The town of Casco, where I live, has one traffic light. It only blinks, never turning fully red. Two buildings down from the old, red Hancock Lumber office on Pleasant Lake is the Casco Village Variety store. I go there most every day.
Inside the store, to the left of the door, is a small white marker board where Evelyn, the owner, posts a quote each morning. The short messages are so good that I have started going in to read them even if I don’t really need anything from the store.
This morning’s quote reads:
“Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.”
That one sentence is the essence of my book NOT FOR SALE. (took me 500 pages to say it!!!!)
Long ago, before the coming of the horses, the Lakota were given Seven Sacred Rites by the White Buffalo Calf Woman. One of those rites was the Vision Quest (Hanbleycheya). In the Vision Quest rite, young men coming of age and adults at transformation times in their lives, would leave their tribe and journey alone into the wilderness for the purpose of seeking a vision. The object was to gain a deeper sense of the connectivity all living things share with each other and the Great Spirit. Then, under those quiet and meditative condition, it was often possible to hear more clearly the whispers of your own soul (the soul always whipsers but the ego doesn’t always listen).
The idea was to gain insight into that which inspired YOU…to see…for a moment…your unique path and core values. Then you were expected to return to your tribe…share the vision you had received…and live your life in accordance with what you learned.
The idea was simple but powerful…if EVERY individual was strong because they were being true first to themselves, than the tribe would be strong. As Rudyard Kipling wrote, “The strength of the pack is the wolf”.
In this way, being selfish is selfless. When we listen first to ourselves…and follow our individual path of truth…we become the most valuable to others.
All that from the morning quote…on the left hand side of the door…at the Casco Village Variety store…
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself, again and again.”
- Joseph Campbell