Storytelling at Work
September 01, 2021
SHINE!

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This is Alex Romero. He shines shoes at the Denver Airport. I met him 30 minutes ago as I was making my way to Gate 54 and realizing what bad shape my shoes were in. That's when I asked him how much he charged and he told me "whatever you want to pay", which I found quite intriguing. So I took my seat, waiting for him to finish up with his other customer, and soon the shine began.

Rolling up my pant legs to my ankles, Alex asked me what it was that brought me Denver. I explained that I had flown in from Albany to attend an Intelligent Existence training, facilitated by Prem Rawat, on the subject of "noise" -- the all-too-common static in our heads -- and how we each have the ability to go beyond the noise to the place inside of us where real peace abides. Alex nodded. Then he went on to tell me that the noise in his head used to show up for him as worry, but now it has morphed into doubt.

As Alex continued shining my shoes, it seemed to me that he was some kind of shoe shine samurai. So focused he was! So dedicated! So present -- putting all of his attention into each and every stroke, each application of polish and cream, each change of cloth for each phase of the process.

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"Have you ever heard of Jack Kornfeld?" he asks me. I nod. "I listen to his YouTube videos and practice the meditations he teaches. Once I experienced myself as the eye of a hawk, but got a little nervous and so I stopped."

We both laugh. Then he tells me he also gets a lot of value from the online teachings of Abraham-Hicks. I show him an Abraham-Hicks app on my IPhone. Then I ask him if his job at the airport had been affected by Covid.

"For sure," he explains. "A while back the only store open here was McDonalds. No one was flying anywhere. So I got a job as an Uber Eats driver for three months, but it was too much wear and tear on my car, so I came back to the airport."

Two days a week, Alex explains, he sets up shop in Terminal A, three days a week in Terminal B.

Then he asks me, again, to tell him the name of the man whose training I had attended a few days ago.

"Prem Rawat," I explain. "He's a really cool guy. Very accessible. Very wise and with a great sense of humor. I've been his student for 50 years."

Alex nods again, continuing to work his magic on my shoes (which, curiously, I had bought in an airport about a year ago). I look down. Wow! I have never seen them look so good. It's almost as if I can see my face in them. Astounded, I ask Alex if I he's OK with me taking his photo so I can post it on my Facebook page -- a way that friends of mine might learn about the service he provides, just in case they ever find themselves in the Denver Airport. He agrees.

As I move into position to take his photo, I notice, to my left, a small sign Alex had posted between the two chairs where his customers sit.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take," the sign says, "but by the moments that take our breath away."

PremRawat.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:33 PM | Comments (3)

July 27, 2020
The Pencil

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"To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour." - William Blake

In six weeks, I will be turning 73, the same age Ray Charles, Federico Fellini, and Charles Darwin were when they left their mortal coil. Based on the most recent actuarial tables at my disposal, I have another 12.43 years to go. That will make me 85 when it's time to split the scene. Of course, the actuaries might be wrong (just ask their teenage kids). Today, for example, could be my last day. Or maybe I have 30 years left. I have no idea.

What I DO know is this: In the many years I've been alive, I have spent an extraordinary amount of time trying to communicate, in writing, the ESSENCE of things -- what it means to be a conscious, loving, evolving human being on planet Earth. Towards that end, I've written seven books, 4,500 blog posts, 750 poems, 350 speeches, 125 magazine articles, 25 songs, 500 power point shows, five book reviews, 150 unpublished journals and God knows how many love notes and letters.

Do I like what I've written? Some of it, yes. Have I received some positive feedback along the way? Yes, indeed. Have I truly communicated what my howling heart has hungered to express? Um... well... er... not really.

Enter, stage left, the sound of one hand clapping or, perhaps, a wolf, head tilted towards the sky.

This age old dilemma/paradox/contradiction -- the inability of our species to communicate the inexpressible -- was described, some years ago, in a single sentence by my favorite person in the whole world, Prem Rawat:

"It's like trying to describe the taste of a mango."

OK. I get it. Words don't cut it. While they may, on a good day, be the finger pointing at the moon, they are not the moon itself. Still, in my heart of hearts, I still believe it's possible for words -- the soul's hieroglyphics -- to evoke the feeling of moonlight, if not the lunar landscape itself -- love's luscious luminescence that... just... might... be enough to see by... on any given night... to reveal a field, off to one side, with just enough space for YOU to dance in. Or, if you don't feel like dancing, then at least have a chance to catch your breath.

And so, my friends of cyberspace and beyond, in the spirit of knowing I am mostly deaf, dumb, and blind to that which is calling me, I am doubling down during these crazy days of quarantine -- and promise, with absolutely no guarantees, to write a story, soon, about what I learned from a single pencil rolling off my desk, onto the floor, in the middle of a Prem Rawat Knowledge Session in India, ten years ago -- a time in my life when I was just beginning to learn how to serve without making such a big deal about it.

To be continued...

Photo: Jan Kahanek, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2020
NEW FROM PREM RAWAT: Once Upon This Time There Lives You

NEW from the master storyteller, Prem Rawat! ONE 2 ONE, a series of daily talks about the story of all our lives -- the real plot... the true telling of the tale... and YOU are the character.

Feel free to subscribe to his newly launched YouTube channel to stay up to date with the timeless.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:14 AM | Comments (0)

ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

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