25 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Is It Time For Me To Join The Convent?

I live next door to some lovely ladies who are called Didi’s (sisters or yogic nuns) in the organization Ananda Marga. When I first moved to Asheville seven years ago and met them, I wasn’t sure how to act around them. I had never spent time with a group of nuns such as themselves.

These are holy people who have been devoted sisters for forty years. The head Didi is from Brazil and just lovely. The other wonderful Didi that lives here full time is from  Ohio and then there are other Didi’s from all over the world that come and go for brief visits.

The Didi’s are extremely dedicated. They fast one day a week, they meditate every day, they live a simple life and their mission is helping the less fortunate people all over the world.

As I spent more time visiting with the Didi’s I thought to myself, I’m just a regular person, a musician, what do I have to say to these ladies? My little life is so inconsequential compared to theirs.  I’m not worthy of hanging out with them. I write joy blogs and dance in Flash mobs, sing, act, create silly character sketches and talk about finding and expressing joy.

I found myself trying to be sweet and holy-like when we visited. I felt like I needed to make a good impression.

They have been all around the world and have helped thousands of poor children and  elderly. I found myself feeling like a real shmo as I listened to them talk about the projects that they were working on.

I hadn’t saved anyone, I hadn’t slept with the orphans on a dirt floor in India or built a health center for the destitute. I hadn’t immersed myself in Tsunami relief efforts.  I hadn’t done even one speck of what these ladies had done to help humanity. Yes, I must be a real shmo and a half.

What could I possibly have in common with these people?

I found out quickly that these lovely ladies are just like anyone else.  These ladies are just silly girls like the rest of us. We get together for tea and laugh over stupid things, we discuss food and recipes, we talk about how funny life is, we talk about animals and politics, we tell stories.  They have so many interesting stories to tell. I love hearing all about their travels

I also learned that just because they are devoted to service, they too have their moments of frustration, anger, hurt and pettiness. They are human and they still have to work things out among themselves when trying to live together. No, they are not perfect. They have their own set of life’s challenges and they have their own growth to deal with. No one is exempt from that.

I no longer feel like I need to be more than I am. I have my own causes, I try to help humanity in my own way. I am passionate about saving animals. I realize that my gift is entertaining people and that I don’t need to be a Didi to be valuable.

We are not all meant to be caretakers. We don’t need to feel bad about ourselves if we aren’t devoted to service in a big way like the Didi’s.

I feel like everyone can make a difference in their own quiet way, one little drop at a time. The drops make up the big pond and create a ripple effect of goodness no matter how great or small it is.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Don’t compare yourself, it takes away your uniqueness.”  It can be hard not to compare ourselves to others but I wasn’t meant to be a Didi this time around and that’s ok.

Maybe your gift is planting a beautiful rose garden for others to enjoy. I am definitely not a gardener but I love flowers more than anything ( and dogs) so I appreciate all you gardeners out there planting flowers and trees. Your gift is a gift to me.

In fact, one of the Didi’s and I picked some fabulous Lily of the Valley flowers from our neighbors yard next door and the scent in my kitchen from them is heavenly. It brings me great joy every time I walk into the room.

No, I don’t think I’m ready for the Convent but it’s a wonderful reminder living next door to the Didi’s to be generous and kind. They do it so well and I am grateful for their influence in my life.



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