I once read that we should pay attention to what people tease us about – because what we’re being teased about could actually be one of our greatest gifts. I’m referring to good-natured teasing, of course — not bullying.
I’ve been teased throughout my life for talking too much and for being a social butterfly. And, in fact, one of my strengths is my ability to communicate and deal with all sorts of people. My successful career in corporate sales is a testament to that.
I was reminded of this during a recent trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. I attended a workshop given by Elizabeth Jenkins on Inkan mysticism. During this weeklong adventure, Elizabeth taught us the techniques that she had gathered from the many years studying with the Q’ero community of Peru. We did a lot ceremony and several of the initiations included jumping into freezing cold pools of water and walking barefoot across an old a’a lava flow.
One of the participants, noticing my reticence to jump headlong into these exercises, began teasing me – and calling me “The Reluctant Paco.” The term “paco” in this case refers to an initiate of the Andean mystical traditions. And, I realized right away that this was a moniker that I could wear proudly.
Having been involved in far too many to remember spiritual retreats and classes over the years – I’ve learned that it’s good to look before you leap. Putting a little space between myself and what’s being taught allows me the opportunity to judge whether what’s being given out is worth taking in or not. And, if that looks like reluctance — well then, so be it. 😉
Here’s a video taken shortly after our barefoot walk across the a’a lava flow near the Black Sand Beach. Aloha.