“What we do in life, echoes in eternity.”—Maximus, The Gladiator
Recently, I committed to bringing my new creations into the world—my website and novel. Since then, I have become a gladiator.
The critics have arrived to show me my foolishness, to tell me I shouldn’t publish, that instead I should start again, try harder, think more. With my Beloved, I have met them face-to-face in dust and blinding sun of the coliseum.
They appear as allies, with my best interest at heart. One suggested that I may want to start a new novel, a more spiritual one. That cut right to my core—only because that is the very criticism a voice within me has been saying for years.
Always, that criticism—if I do not recognize it inside—appears spoken aloud on the outer, by a family member, friend, colleague or stranger.
I am grateful that it does.
I have tried to believe it. Maybe my novel should be about a woman who wants God, rather than a woman who wants a baby. Yes, I think, my critic is right. That would be a better book.
But this morning I see that they are the same. Whatever we seek is the most precious and Godly thing, whether it be a trip to the Bahamas, a baby or God himself. It is all love. It all teaches us how to love, how to quest for the highest.
Every time I reach, every time I risk, I am grasping for God.
When I reach for something in the material world, I may get it, but with wine comes the headache, with the rose, the thorn.
And when I seek the highest, I manifest no hangover or skin prick.
The beauty of facing that fearful voice within is that I see how its judgment casts not only on my novel but also on my whole life.
Always it is there to tell me I am not spiritual enough. If I were, why would I manifest loneliness or anger? Why would I be involved in a lawsuit or struggle to sleep at night?
But these challenges are completely spiritual. They are the petals that make up the great lotus of my being. All of them, the whole of my journey, is God. To paraphrase a saying by my spiritual teacher, life is love and love is life.
I practice compassion for that part of me—and the person reflecting it—who doesn’t know that all is spiritual, and we are completely loved.
Whether I publish the novel or not doesn’t really matter. What is important is that I keep hold my Beloved’s hand. That simple act spiritualizes everything.
I have contacted the publisher, ready to move forward with The Baby Pact, a novel about a 40-year-old woman who is willing to go to any length to have a child. It is a pursuit as valid as that of Odysseus, Siddhartha or Arjuna.
As are all adventures.
I am a gladiator, wielding my sword at the forces that conspire to stop my quest for truth. I stand tall in the center of the vast coliseum of life. While the crowds boo and cheer, while my adversary wields a spiked wrecking ball, I call on my Beloved inner self, and watch as the illusion disappears, leaving me in a sweet wildflower meadow, where sunny love rays warm my smiling cheeks.
P.S. This is posted on my new website. I invite you to explore! Click here: www.lesleysking.com
Such poetry! Such Truth!
As ever, thank you for what you’ve written.
Thank you, Qatana. You are my very first commenter on my new blog home. I so appreciate all of your encouragement and enthusiasm! Blessings to you, dear friend.
Lesley, I was in awe reading that blog. You held tight the Master’s hand through every word and it is magnificent! Thank you so much for your courage and the example you offer to the rest of us.
Thank you, Rudy. This post doesn’t quite reveal the painful few nights I had while in the coliseum with my critic, but I did keep releasing the situation and very soon the truth came clear. You, too, are a wonderful example of how to live a spiritual life.
Yes, yes and more yes!!! Lesley, this is just BEAUTIFUL and BRILLIANT!! I resonate so deeply with it, and am beyond grateful that you follow your heart and write what’s true for you instead of what’s “more spiritual” – it takes the highest amount of courage to break down that imagined wall of separation – us always wanting to separate god from everything in this world. It starts in the smallest places, but when we can love what comes through us in the same manner we might love our own child – unconditionally – we have truly come home.
Much love to you and your beautiful expression and all you do in this world – I am loving your new “home” on the web, congratulations!! xoxo
P.S. – I have a great many places in my life where this same battle comes up – and one tiny example of that that I have noticed is my use of enthusiasm and exclamation points – I have this story that it’s not very spiritual or does not imply a “wise or peaceful” tone, but when I write to people they just come out – each one is a statement of the love I feel for the other person or thing I am commenting on, each one is a warm embrace and a letter of encouragement, and I finally realized that that’s okay, and I don’t need to hide it because it seems “immature” or “over-enthusiastic”. Phew… what a relief! (!!!) 🙂 xo
Sunni, I am always happy to see you here. Though I lament that my new site doesn’t have the grace your amazing design eye brought to my old one, this one is working because I can be the master of it by going into the back side. What you say is so true, in both of your comments: “We can love what comes through us in the same manner we might love our own child – unconditionally…” Yes! And, I always enjoy and “hear” the enthusiasm that comes through in you, and it is very beautifully spiritual. I tend to overuse exclamation marks too, but often I am just so happy to connect with the beautiful souls in my sphere that that little mark barely seems to encompass my gratitude. There’s a line in a song that says, I’d rather be a comma than a full stop (British for period). I guess I’d rather be an exclamation point.
🙂 😀 Took me a while to dance in nothingness and then type these words to a fellow soul who I admire dearly:
Con Mucho Amor…LJN
Thank you, Logan. What a beautiful image of you dancing in nothingness. I admire you too! Much love right back at you.
I had my first and only baby at age 40, so I can relate to your book, The Baby Pact. We find God in the journey and in the handling of life’s circumstances, just as you so eloquently expressed. I think your book has merit and deserves to find an editor who catches its vision.
Margaret, what an adventure it must have been to embark on motherhood at age 40. My congratulations to you! I love what you say: “We find God in the journey and in the handling of life’s circumstances.” So very true. I’m happy to share the journey with you.
Lesley, Your strength is mounting! I loved the line: “I practice compassion for that part of me—and the person reflecting it—who doesn’t know that all is spiritual, and we are completely loved.” What an incredible matrix! What a fierce act of courage it is to dare to act to in order to find out. You cannot go wrong while holding the Beloved’s hand. You are a shining example to all of us in your willingness to be the spiritual warrior whose only weapon is love.
Thank you, Jamie. I love what you say: “the only weapon is love.” What a beautiful metaphor. And yes, it is very exciting to learn to create in the now, leaning on nothing but the Beloved.
Thank you, Lesley, for such a beautifully written description of the inner journey. I often taste that dust in the coliseum where I face my inner critic, relying on the Beloved to take me through whatever He has placed in front of me. “Every time I risk, I am grasping for God.”
You give such a gift to share the journey with others, so I can see the words written that describe my own experiences in some way, even though the outer details are not the same. We grow into these stories, whether they come from our current chela companions, our Master, or the ancients like Rumi, Hafiz, and so many others.
I love the new website. You’ve done a great job creating from the grace and bhakti of soul and the Master while still attending to the basics of cyber-marketing. Much love.
Thank you, Sage. Your site, Songs of Love and Devotion, is an inspiration to me as well. How wonderful that we can show each other how to actuate this beautiful current in our lives, in our Beloved’s name.
I resonate with much of this so. What a wonderful story, and thank you for sharing it. Congratulations on your new platform, too. It looks great!
I imagine you face those critics in your creative life too, Elsa, especially since you brave such new worlds in your art. Thank you for your kind encouragement.
Wow, how powerful and beautiful dear one. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing through this new and refined channel. I love the new blog and website ……….. so masterfully directed.
So sweet of you, Deborah. It’s wonderful to see you here, as always. Knowing that you, too, are embarking on a new chapter of your life in the physical is comforting for me. We can share the coliseum!
This is simply beautiful Lesley. Courageous and heartwarming. I love the Gladiator persona. Especially in a woman! You are a diamond in the rough my dear. Live your truth and you can’t go wrong!!! Much love!
Thank you, Deborah. Yes, the gladiator is very strong. I am a big fan of the movie, in which Maximus has to fight to reclaim his legacy and that of his mentor. Of course, this is what we do each day on our spiritual walk. Blessings to you, dear friend.
Yared, your words are beautiful, and so very true: “But, what makes them stand out is that they will have had fun through out the journey.” Yes, my fellow adventurer, we can have a total blast. So happy to share the journey with you.