Mastery… A Life Path

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Trekking friends David Larson and Sonam, Bhutan

Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born
until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting
that a new world is born.
-Anais Nin

Master (edited from Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2nd edition)

1. a person eminently skilled in something, as an occupation, art, or science 2. a person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something. Syn. adept, expert, skillful, supreme, matchless, consummate.

Oh my, what a year this has been! A year filled with newness, of moving out of a place we had been in for five years and into our new location, of new staff with fresh ideas, and of some great new ways to fulfill our vision: to inspire and support positive change, creating an abundant, loving, and respectful world community.

As I look back at this year with deep gratitude for all the support of my staff, our wonderful participants, backup team members, and all the people involved with the renovation of this delightful space, I am amazed at the dedication and different types of mastery that brought it all together.

When I look even farther back in time, I realize that I had two of the best teachers in the whole world demonstrating mastery to me from the earliest I can remember: my mom and my dad. There is no way to tell you the hundreds of ways they showed me that bringing my whole self to whatever I did would not only serve me, but would serve the whole family and from there my community.

I am not talking about meeting expectations of perfection to please somebody else. I am talking about what I believe are the four keys to mastery.

  • Expressing my passion for anything the best way I can
  • Being an avid learner in that process
  • Committing to deepening my skills through practice
  • Sharing my capabilities in service to my world

I remember my dad teaching me how to make a mosaic for my eighth grade art class. He worked with me every step of the way, and yet I did all the work. He was patient and encouraging even when I messed up. He would chuckle and ask, “What did you just learn by doing it that way?”

My dad had a great laugh; remembering it fills my heart with joy and brings tears to my eyes, I miss him so. He had a keen eye for design, color, and use of space. His questions provoked me and challenged me. Through his drawings he helped me see the world in a whole new way. Wanting to please my dad, I worked very hard and held my breath for long periods of time. When he heard me exhale—whoosh!—he’d look at me and encourage me to relax into the creative process.

My mom showed me every single day about touching life with reverence, love, and humor from how she tended her gloxinias, prepared a meal, prepared to teach, raised corgis, washed the car, or played the piano. Her range of mastery was and still is incredible to me, and none of it was a push or a proving. It was all fueled by the love of what she chose into her life. My mom is the most fulfilled ninety-two-year-old I have ever known!

As I read what I have just written, I realize that these keys to mastery—expressing your passion for anything the best way you can, being an avid learner in that process, committing to deepening your skills through practice, and sharing your capabilities in service to your world—are what Wings is all about. I am so grateful that I can pass on what was given to me with such love.

Reflections:

1. What are you passionate about?

2. Are you ready to express it? To commit fully and master it?

3. What will you risk to do it?

4. What will you risk if you do not do it?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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