This is what I have found: by sharing our love, knowledge, resources, skills, creativity, or inspiration with those who can really receive and appreciate it, we can enter into an experience that no “thing” can ever bring us.
It is like a simple secret that has been lost in the hustle and bustle of this modern world. We are not here simply to maintain or even perfect ourselves only. The bridge, the doorway to that apparently secret portal to a life of purpose is at the juncture of our self offering.
It is when we give fully of ourselves that we can fully receive. We are all longing for a deeper experience of this precious life, but how to find it? It is an eternal yearning covered by many layers of distraction, striving and forgetting.
But we can step off of this illusion, step out of this endless searching, whether for materialistic emptiness or endless spiritual seeking, both which often hide underneath a deep unspoken angst. We can enter again into the innocence and joy and fulfillment of life, by fully participating with life.
More than 12 years ago I moved to the pueblo of Pisaq in the Sacred Valley of the Andes. I have worked here and in the indigenous communities outside my village since I arrived. What I have found has completely transformed my life and perceptions.
Though many of the people have very little, almost nothing materially (aside from their families, community, small adobe homes, and a piece of land to farm), and although there are many problems, they are mostly very happy.
When I think back on the consumption and materialism of North America, it is just amazingly evident that things, objects, stuff, glitter and illusions do not bring happiness. In fact, they appear to estrange us from ourselves, our families, our communities, our connection with the earth and life around us.
From a distance, there appears to be so much suffering in the most materialistic of countries, yet it is often hidden.
The contrast between the indigenous/earth based peoples and the 1st world countries is vast. But what is the connecting point?
The indigenous tribes on this earth, what is left of them, have a message for us that is incredibly profound. Their very lives are an example of what is possible. Realizing that true wealth is really the simple things of life: family, community, farms, homes, culture, language, food, traditions.
By caring for, protecting and nurturing that which is most precious on this earth, we will also be cared for.
By empowering those who are hungry, we will be fed.
By loving those who are forgotten we will know amazing love.
The indigenous people of the Andes (as do all Indigenous people world wide) have a rare gift for us, and we want to invite you to experience this. Together, we can truly lift each other up.