Sunday, March 3, 2013

How Many Marbles

How Many Marbles?
Thirty-five years ago I spent three years with an inspiring teacher. She  taught me about life and valuing the time we've been given on earth. She put it into perspective with a remarkable lesson. She said each person was specifically chosen to come to earth during times of great change with a mission to accomplish. The mission could be discovered by turning to a psychic reader, or a course of study might stir the fires of past-life skills needed now.
She advised "doing the work yourself" by seeking answers through meditation, dreams or journaling. She said be mindful of the time you have on earth and know you've been given a limited amount of it. She said each of us had been given a secret number when we departed the spirit world. It was the number of years we have on earth and it related to our destiny and our mission. She said use the time wisely and with purpose. So I asked her "How do we measure our time left and how do we accomplish our mission?"
She'd heard the question from many students before me so had a prepared answer. She asked me a series of questions: "At the beginning of each day do you set an intention to be better than the day before? How do you spend your time and in what pursuits? Do you respond with kindness and compassion to others? What talents or skills do you generously share with others?  Are you frivolous or thoughtful with the hours of each day? Do you treasure each moment that you've been gifted to be here? At the end of each day are you grateful to Spirit?"
Taking a jar filled with marbles from her altar she said each marble represented a year left in her life. When she was younger, the jar was practically full but in the latter part of her seventh decade, there were only 15 marbles in the jar. Rolling them into her hands the visual made a lasting impression. She explained that when she was a young girl in South America her grandmother taught her the magic and medicine of the earth and how to relate to all species. Her grandmother also taught her about the finite number of years given to each person on earth.
To help her remember the teachings, her mission and her lineage, the grandmother placed 85 stones in a pouch. She said each stone represented her grand-daughter's life expectancy.  On each birthday she was to take a stone out of the pouch and deeply reflect on the year just past. What had she done with the year? How did she spend her time? Was it a year making the world a better place? Or was it squandered? She said at first the bag appeared filled with endless stones. But over time, as the stones began to diminish she realized the value of time and how it was being spent.
The questions always cause sober introspection. But the visual of the glass jar of marbles, diminishing with each passing year, is much more indelible. My teacher is gone now, but the lesson of the jar of marbles remains. Her lesson is use the time wisely! You never know how many marbles you really have left! 
Jo Mooy - March 2013