Fast Wisdom™, Newsletter of Holden Healing Studio
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July 2018

By Lonner Holden


     “Need a jump?” I asked?
     “Yeah, someone has gone to get me a new battery, but they’re not back yet,” the younger man replied, his long, course dark hair tucked tightly under his black baseball cap.

I made a U-Turn out of the Safeway parking lot, and circled around to the alley on the other side of the low fence between the two. We introduced ourselves and secured the cables. As my engine idled, re-energizing the old faded blue Ford van’s battery, I listened while Jahid shared his path in life.

     “I just help out people on the street. I don’t judge anybody - I’ve had a lot of my own tough times. Some guy broke my hand - he was bothering my girlfriend, but I don’t stay mad, I just stay in my heart. Got to stay in myself, so I can help others. Doesn’t help to make myself more important.”

As we leaned together into the shadow under the hood of his van, fussing with the cables, I felt increasingly curious about this man.
     I asked, “What is the origin of your name?”

     “I grew up here, but it’s Middle Eastern. My parents told me it means, ‘Unique One’”.
     “Did you grow up in a Muslim family?”, I asked.
     “Yeah, but I studied all the religions. They all say the same thing - we take care of those that are suffering. Lots of people suffering more than me.”

The morning had been nothing but frustration for me. Waking up with a headache, I struggled out of the house to make it to a work-out class. The traffic gridlock was beyond the pale. Nothing moved. I had to abandon my morning schedule, missing my work-out. On top of that, every chore location was inaccessible - Salvation Army drop-off was closed, the bank not open yet because they had shortened their hours, the post office and stationary store both isolated beyond my reach by the traffic clog. Finally, I pulled into Safeway - I was still holding out that maybe the universe would at least allow me some bananas and Post-Its for all of my trouble. That’s when I met my self-confirmed street minister. His teaching by example was definitely working on me.

Jahid, a homeless man, embodies goodwill in his heart, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. As a poor man, he possesses a wealth of wisdom that secure him as an exceptional leader. Shaming no one and blessing everyone, he recognizes the suffering, as well as the gifts, in others. He encourages others in need to find ways to be generous too. That to give relieves suffering in oneself and for those one gives to, and to pay forward among those of little means, this simple teaching of being a quality human.

I was reminded of how in a pure democracy, every citizen is a respected leader in some way. Everyone’s unique gifts are recognized, nurtured and respected as each person contributes and lives a purposeful life. As with the San Bushmen of the Kalahari, and all indigenous people, the egalitarian culture regenerates the best in each person. When our core values are of taking care of each other and taking care of the Earth, resolving conflict is a much easier and simpler process. We can spend less time arguing and governing, and more time celebrating being connected to ourselves, each other, and nature. When goodwill in leaders is nurtured, and everyone is a leader, a peaceful and prosperous society is inevitable.

The battery jump was not succeeding. Wishing I could do more for my new mentor, I made my way into the store. With bananas and Post-Its secured in hand (and a couple of food items for Jahid), the woman in front of me at the register put her hand-basket down harshly on the floor in exasperation at how slow the line was.

     “Been stuck in the traffic too?” I speculated.
     “Oh, yes!” she replied, turning to me. “I had to get my friend to the airport shuttle, we had to find a back way, she almost missed it; then I couldn’t get out of there... hours!” She threw her hands into the air in frustration.

     I smiled, cautiously delivering the spontaneous thought, “Didn’t you know it’s ‘National Accept Everything Day’?”

     She laughed, retorting in reply, “Of course. That explains it!”
Jahid was working on both of us, winking from a distance.

At the register next to us, a woman customer’s bag suddenly broke, spilling a half-dozen champagne bottles loudly clanking onto the floor like a bottle solo moment in a Gamelan concert. One of them slowly rolled further than the rest, its green label winking up at us with every rotation. Amazingly, none of the bottles broke.
     “Wow! Curling, champaign style!” someone quipped. Everybody laughed, appreciating again the gift of humor, as we collectively regained our balance in response to what could have been yet another stressed cry against even more adversity.

We had entered the store as refugees alienated from our day; we left rejoined to our shared humanity. As I moved towards my car, with also some refreshments for Jahid in gratitude for him, I noticed my headache was gone.

On the way home, I turned the corner onto the street close to my house. Ten thousand leaves on trees lining the sidewalk flickered in the late morning breeze. One leaf caught the sunlight more brilliantly than all the rest, a chartreuse wink a reminder that every leaf, at some part of the day, will shine more brightly for a moment than all the rest.

PICK OF THE MONTH: Michael Meade Workshop:  Against the Stream: Ancient Paths, Timeless Songs; a Multicultural Mentoring Retreat for Younger and Older Men; Mendocino, CA August 14 - 19, 2018
Lonner Holden:
Being a Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure practitioner for 27 years has helped me understand the healing potential of the body and the whole person.  A published poet and backcountry guide educated from early life by the natural elements and animals of the Alaskan wilderness, and with Animal Track & Sign certification, my knowledge of dance, trail running, yoga, meditation, body awareness disciplines and indigenous nature connection practices, I bring poetry, nature mentoring and a lifetime of nature awareness to Vive!  Nature Wander™ urban and wilderness treks to enhance awareness, creativity, vitality, health and well-being.


VIVE!  Nature Wander™
Marin County: August 11th

Marin Tracking Club:
Point Reyes: July 29th, August 26th

Sun Valley Tracking Circle:
San Rafael: Next Meeting TBD

Into the Wild Journeys:
Grand Canyon 2018


See events on calendar »




Fast Wisdom™ is the newsletter of my Holden Healing Studio practice.  Each issue explores a theme of living  in the context of healing so you can live a happier and more vital life infused with well-being, improved health and more effective and empowered recovery.

© 2018 Lonner Holden
Fast Wisdom™
Copyright © 2018 Holden Healing Studio, All rights reserved.

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