By Stew Bittman, D.C.
Another Panama mission has recently come and gone, and even though we chose not to participate in this one (physically, anyway), I could feel the energy of it. All week during the mission, I could feel the excitement and the joy and the miracles, as well as the inevitable (albeit very few) hassles and frustrations and ego conflicts. I could feel the unconditional love being given and received. I could feel hearts opening to new realms of possibilities. I could even feel the heat! And now I can feel the energy of chiropractors that have returned to their offices, attempting to bring the love and energy of their recent experiences back into their everyday practices and lives. The hard part, for sure.
The experience of a Panama mission is indescribable. Witnessing the incredible power and simplicity of our principle and our art, delivered with no strings attached to the love and service, depending completely on the power of Innate to take over on both ends of the adjustment; an amazing gift, indeed. It is an experience of love and unlimited possibilities. It is an experience that carries a huge surge of the energy of awakening to its participants, to a nation, and to the world. It is an experience of incredible value. I wonder: how much more value could that experience manifest when we unleash the gift of it here, in our own practices and our own communities?
Indeed, how much more value is there in an experience, if we don't separate it from the rest of our lives? How much more value is there in an experience, if we use it to further our growth and our ability to serve? How much more value is there in an experience, if we remember to use it as a bellows to fan the fire of our passion? How much more value is there in an experience, if we stay diligent to the possibilities revealed thru it, and continue to do the work that opens the door to Grace? Even an experience that brings healing and hope to hundreds of thousands of people, as happens in Panama, can be magnified infinitely when it is integrated into one's very being. When a heart remains open and continues to serve without strings.
I am confident that we have all had amazing spiritual experiences. Often I find myself desiring to sit on a beach in Hawaii communing with the magnificent creations of Mother Earth, or to sit in a cave in the Himalayas in constant meditation and prayer for the world. There would be tremendous value in such experiences, for myself and for the world. Yet as a servant, as a warrior, I need to be in the world. Not necessarily of the world, but in it. In a cave or on a beach or in Panama, it is easy for me to know that God is with me, and that God is working thru me. It is easy to know my connection to everything. Easy for me to know my essence and to let that essence erupt from deep within me. In the world, my knowledge of those things is tested. Big time. Only by being in the world, thru my relationships and thru my service to others, can I discover where I am blocking that flow, how I fall back into my illusion of separateness, and what I haven't learned to love about myself. Only by being in the world can I become a true servant. Only by being in the world can I rise above it.
My advice (even though I realize advice is the worst vice) for any of you who are suffering from the Post-Panama Blues is to do the work on yourself that will make your practice more like Panama. Keep your hearts wide open. Let the experience flood your heart, let it saturate your consciousness, and let it emerge from every pore. Let it stand as a beacon, towards which your path continually winds. For the rest of us who weren't there, let's be diligent to the possibilities of Panama, and let's use all of our experiences as fuel for our warrior engines. We are on the verge, as is the world, of the realization of our dreams as principled chiropractors. As Dick Gregory recently told Gerry Clum while sitting on an airplane: very soon people will be keeping us in our offices, at gunpoint if necessary, so they and their families can be adjusted. With the possible exception of the gun thing, I can readily see it. I can see 5000 people waiting for me when I arrive at my office and for you at yours (I will definitely need an associate!). I can see chiropractic available to every person on this planet. I can see a world with much more health, sanity, joy, abundance, principle, and spirit. It begins in our own hearts, in our own offices; thru our own experiences. Happy Spring!