No Mud No Lotus
So last August Sacred Threads had a wonderful time in a little pop up shop here in Totnes. If you are reading this you may even have been there since our community is still small and personal. If you were you will know that the weather was fabulous and spirits were really high. Everyone was so happy to be out of lockdown and doing something ‘normal’ like browsing the shops, having coffee...and well, just being outside and being together.
In my little shop I was happy to get The Threads out and display them in the window and pile them onto shelves. What I didn’t realise was just how much more enjoyable it is to be displaying everything, arranging flowers and putting on some tunes, than it is to sit in front of my lap top trying to work out email marketing.....(not my favourite skill, and certainly not my most accomplished)....but what was truly the best thing was meeting everyone and seeing them enjoy the Threads, touching them and exclaiming how super soft they are, trying them on and seeing how flattering the cuts are.....
Interesting too, because a lot of the ladies that came in would go for the large, loose cut sweats, especially the ‘Flash Dance’ sweat..... you know that ‘cover myself up’, ‘hide’ mentality that we all suffer from, or have suffered from at some point in our lives. By the end of a couple of days however, I felt emboldened to make suggestions as to which Thread would suit them....would compliment their figures....it’s easy to see from this side...and it was such a total JOY to see their smiles and hear their exclamations of surprise......
And what started out as a fabulous week in a pop up ended up being so much more....every day I explained the chant that sits on the back of the sweats...(back then it was only printed along the back hem – now it’s available vertically along the spine too)....and in explaining the chant, the pure power of it the absolute positive truth of it permeated the shop. Honestly, my memory of that week in the shop is such a high point in the short life of Sacred Threads. Everything was so much brighter, and cheerier, and exciting. If you were there you may remember how happy and fun the shop was. You may even have been one of the lovely customers with whom I managed to chat between busy times.
The Om Mani Padme chant, very simply translated (very simply) promises that with the proper action & using the correct methods; something truly beautiful can grow out of nothing. For those few days in the shop I used the metaphor of a seed growing out of the mud at the bottom of a pond*. I can honestly say that 9 times out of 10 I saw a light go on in people’s eyes when I used the metaphor of the Lotus flower seed, which, while sitting in the mud, bursts open to find its’ way up through the mud and murky water to become a resplendent and perfect flower sitting atop the pond.....it was the ‘and so, something beautiful can be achieved out of nothing from mud’ that people really heard....I could see it, the pause for thought, the recognition in themselves that they too had an idea, a dream, a plan, that they saw the possibility for a more beautiful world they knew to be possible**.....that story gave everyone permission to believe something they had possibly not given themselves permission to believe, that they possibly hadn’t even told their best friend or partner about.
It is no surprise then that by the end of the week the energy in the shop was so very high and extremely positive. That despite working 12 hours a day, talking to people all day, despite the emotional out pouring that speaking the (extremely simplified version) story of the chant demanded, the panic of re-ordering, twice, because after the 2nd and the 4th day I realised I was selling out too quickly.., not having time for lunch, despite all that, I felt no lack of energy.
And on the very last day a customer came in who told me that His Holiness would be very happy with my story of the chant. Which was wonderful to hear, because it was such a simple version....but this customer spoke of the Tibetan ladies, who she said would have needed 3 hip replacements in this country, walking a path around the Dalai Lama’s compound chanting Om Mani Padme Hung and counting their prayer beads as they walked.
Her energy was rather beautiful and brought tears to my eyes as I stood talking to her.
I believe that speaking the story about the chant everyday for so many days brought this person, who had a direct connection with his Holiness the Dalai Lamma, into the Sacred Threads little pop-up shop.
Honestly. I do. And from that brief meeting a friendship of sorts was born.
Today she sent me a card that said ‘No Mud – No Lotus’.
Which is perfect, because since August, while the world went mad, I have again been sat at my lap top trying to grow Sacred Threads through the wiles of the digital world. Not my favourite skill.....and certainly not my most accomplished......and all I have really achieved is spending more time with my children. More time considering and being available to my elderly parents. And I’ve done all of these things with raging imperfection.
But today I get to think of it as the mud....from which a resplendent and perfect flower will blossom... That’s it.
This long winded story ends with just that.
No Mud. No Lotus.
So if you were in the shop last summer, and heard the story of the seed busting out of its’ shell and pushing up through the mud, finding its’ way through the murky waters to sit perfectly on top of the pond, and it moved you to pause and consider, or even if you weren’t in the shop....just know.....
No Mud. No Lotus.
The seed of something wonderful sits in the mud.
The seed is always there. We know it on a personal level. And we know it collectively.
We’ve felt the necessity of it as we have been through the mud of what has been the last year.
And we know what is needed for the seed to grow. Altruism and Wisdom.
And Altruism and Wisdom are what the seed is made of.
Kindness and compassion are what activate it.
So whether you relate to this story on a personal level, or you see how transformation can happen on a collective level. Whether you personally feel the seed of something wonderful that wishes to grow, or see the possibility of something amazing that could grow out of the collective pains of this last year – you know, truly that the answer is Altruism and Compassion.
Om Mani Padme Hung