Who knew that glory lives on the other side of grit?

We can spend so much time just trying to get through life that it makes me wonder how much we miss out on in the process.

Sitting in the coffee shop as I get ready to type to you and someone catches my eye.

“How ya doing,” he asks me as he adds cream and sugar to his drink. He seems like a friendly type, he said hello to several people on the way to the creamers and like.

After the initial exchange and I ask him how he’s doing, he shrugs his shoulders as he stirs, and tells me he’s not sure right now, check back at 5 PM.

“You know how it is.” he says, “you try to get ahead on Sunday but you also need to rest. Now it’s Monday and I wish it wasn’t so crazy.”

That could have been me 16 years ago.

There but for the grace of that which created me go I.

It’s always a sobering reality to confront. What if I didn’t have the fire? What if I didn’t leave the practice of law? Would I still be here? Would I be 6 feet under? Or worse still, would I be an official card carrying member of the walking dead?

But I’m not, I am here on a Monday morning, sitting at the coffee shop writing to you, a reality I could not have conceived 18 years ago. I would have laughed you out of my office if you had tried to tell me this is where I would be today.

And it’s not all roses and rosebuds, even a bed of roses has it’s thorns. The thing I have found is that it truly does come down to whether we have (or make) time to smell the roses along the way.

So often, like the man with the creamer, we have the life right there (he shared he had three horses that he loves but finds to be a lot of work as well) and yet we spend most of our time to manage it rather than be present and enjoying the benefits.

I didn’t quite intend to start this way, though to be quite honest I never really come to the page with intentions, my fingers will tap out any intention and start tapping to their own agenda, but I already know that when I come to the page, so I wait knowing the tapping will take over.

That said, he did provide a perfect illustration for the topic at hand, be stuck in the grit of life happening and finding glory in it all unfolding.

And sometimes, if you are open to it, and have some space for it to inhabit, glory will come and find you. And when she does she will take you and you will be forever changed by her very presence, or at least that was my experience.

Glory found me and like Pandora’s box, once I caught a glimpse of her, felt her loving presence, I was hooked. It was the first time I felt something good that was not dependent upon anything outside of me. It was, and still remains, quite the revelation to me.

It was the summer of 2001, my first year out of the office. I spent my days sweeping my studio apartment a few blocks from Golden Gate Park, drinking mint tea and walking daily to buy vegetables for the very simple veggie dishes I was learning to cook. Then I would walk out to Hippie Hill, the spot where Glory would leas me to meet Cemaaj.

Until then I was not much of a veggie eater, I was more of a fast food, meat eating, soda guzzling kind of girl. And I certainly didn’t have time to spend my days hanging out at the park. But times change and with them new ways of being emerge.

And here I found myself on the other side of the grit I had become so familiar with, little did I know for so long, that on the other side of grit, was glory. And how different life was with the addition of glory, she was so delicious in her slowness. There was so much to be appreciated that I had never had time for. I rarely took my vacation and if by any stretch I wasn’t at the office it was likely I was sick in either my own bed or the hospital.

To be honest, the only glory I had ever glimpsed was the feeling of achieving something, and that was always a much emptier feeling than one might expect, it was like being the eternal hunter. Once you made a catch it was time to plan the next one, in fact the next conquest was always in play before the old one was finished. Such is the life of achieving, a perpetual carrot dangled ahead of us, keeping us chasing the next best thing.

And all the while, it’s all waiting inside of us, patiently holding out until there is time and space for us to get a glimpse of the magik it offers.

And there I was in my studio apartment, I was going to Hippie Hill, Cemaaj was meeting me there, I could already feel the beat of the drums in my heart as I got ready-a little more glitter here and there, yep, that’s just right…and BOOM…my heart swelled as I stood there, half naked, more glitter for daytime than I had ever dared to wear even at night and my Soul felt free to be.

I looked in the mirror at the reflection looking back at me. We have not had the best of times together, me and my reflection. I used to get so mad at the person looking back at me. But that day, standing there in all my glitter, I was visited by Glory. I grabbed my journal, she was my constant companion at the time, and the words wrote themselves:

TODAY BELONGS TO GLORY AND I AM HER SLAVE

Whoa! I had never wanted to be a slave to anything, but a slave to glory got me thinking. I headed out to the park with this as my mantra for the day. If it didn’t bring me glory it wasn’t going to happen, I always loved (and still do), getting a new filter.

This was a far cry from my days in the office where the world perceived me as a success but inside I was a crumbling mess, hollow without meaning and purpose in my life. Perhaps you can relate?

And then Glory came knocking. I’m not saying every moment of every day is glorious, we are not one dimensional beings and there are two sides to everything. So yes, there’s still a lot of grit in my life, but there’s also a lot of glory. And some days, when the grit gets too much, or the spirit takes me, I hold my hands up and surrender with the declaration, “Today belongs to Glory and I am her slave.” I call it my mantra for living.

This mantra has been the precursor to many memorable days. And whilst it may not solve every problem that comes your way, it does invite in Glory along the way, and just from that magik is possible.

How about you? Have you invited the power of Glory into your gritty life? What if you too declared some of your time to Glory? Sometimes it’s not the grit that gets to us, it’s just that there’s no glory to balance it out.

So say it with me:

TODAY BELONGS TO GLORY AND I AM HER SLAVE.

Now tuck that into your heart and let it come and sprinkle some glory into your life when the grit gets to be too much. Like the man with the creamer, it’s painful to just keep getting through life, why not invite a little glory in today?

Sending you buckets of love on this, day 6 of my 40 days of writing, I have to say it feels clunky and awkward, but here I am, doing it anyway, perhaps just doing it will ease the wheels and oil the squeaky parts-and who knows what glory might be illuminated along the way?

Always in love
Sat nam