Riding The Bench

I had the most amazing dream the other night. Almost!

“You come from an extensive line of Gods and Goddesses.” The fortune-teller’s voice was deep yet lilting.

“One incarnation is that of Hera…wife of Zeus and therefore Queen of all Gods.”

I began to feel exalted for a split second. Then, she shifted uncomfortably in her chair. I could almost hear the screeching tires in my head.

“Oops, hang on a moment,” she said. “I have read that wrong…I see here you come from an extensive line of Yiddish peasants.”

To say I awoke feeling humbled is an understatement…But I had a good laugh;-)

Humility is the thought that kept coming to my mind while riding the “Friendship Bench” hosted by 360° Nation this morning. I could relate to every story of struggle with those annoying little demons of fear and self-doubt when committing your deepest thoughts to the page. What is it that makes one a good writer?

Well, humility for starters. It is extremely helpful in those moments when we are learning to fearlessly think for ourselves. Not only to be comfortable in our own skin but also confident enough to let things go when the need arises. There will always be those who do not like our stories for one reason or another. And have no problem with telling you so, publicly.

“Romans 12:3: For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

Being humble, however, does not mean being passive. There will be situations that arise that will require you to speak up, loud and clear, to diffuse those who may look to tarnish your credibility. Ah yes, they are out there. The internet trolls ~ the vipers of virtual reality looking for a target to sink their teeth into.

When I first began writing on LinkedIn’s self-publishing platform, I enjoyed incredibly positive feedback and established a wonderful network of friends and fellow writers. We had each other’s backs. But prior to establishing that support, I had disturbing moments with annoying trolls.

They surf the internet looking to create disruption. They love the ‘Influencers’ with all their followers. A captive audience. They will show up in the comments section of emotionally charged content and seek to intimidate those who do not agree with them.

They can be brutal and use the internet as their own personal battleground. Learning to slough them off like a worn-out old skin is my greatest accomplishment thus far in my experience of the stalkers in the virtual world.

“Ecclesiastes 7:9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.”

You see, how we treat others always comes back to the self. Our behavior is rooted in our childhood experiences. And those who devalue others like the intimidator feel powerful when tearing people down. When in truth, they are just frightened little children at their core. Given this perspective, one may even feel sorry for them.

That is why it is so important to find an environment of loving support and peaceful engagement. There is a much greater chance in a collaborative and creative environment that we will feel safe enough to do the ‘deep -dive’ and develop a network of lifelong relationships. Maybe even hang out with each other through multiple lifetimes. That’d be a kick!

In my work as a facilitator of healing, I feel it important to recognize the human in each of us, despite our differences, and share what we have learned with an open heart. Yes, that makes us vulnerable, but not weak.

We cannot control what others think, and likewise, neither can they control our thoughts. Unless we LET them. Then we are no longer ourselves…We are an extension of them.

The little daily disturbances in life are fleeting. If we can begin to let go of our incessant need to control things, we can allow for the outer chaos of the world to ensue without feeling the need to control or condemn it.

Our experiences of the world as individuals are unique to all of us. They are meant to serve as a guide through the evolutionary process of expanding awareness.

The inflexibility of people to respect or even consider the views of others does nothing but impede their process of evolution. Our ability to remain steadfast in our thinking and resist the temptation to demonize them advances our own process of expansion.

The truth is, we are afraid to share our stories for fear of ridicule or hurting someone’s feelings. However, squelching our own authentic voices harms us more than it does others. Never hush your spirit for the comfort of another. It does the health of your mind and body a great disservice.

Learning to let go of everything is a lesson of love in the purest form. It is a lesson in acceptance of all living things the way they are, rather than the way we think they should be. It is going with the flow, rather than clinging to our desires.

It is life’s way of teaching us humility and grace. It is trusting that mother nature always has our best interests at heart. Even when we resist her, she loves us anyway. A heart that loves is always torn…and we all need love…especially for oneself. I am finally getting there.

It is a powerful position you hold when you love yourself and those around you as a means of bringing light into a very shadowy world. When you connect with the heart of others, you connect with the spirit of ALL THAT IS to guide you through these especially turbulent times.

Whatever that may mean for the individual, know that what connects us is the truth of all existence. It is the tapestry that feeds our intuitive fire, and we must learn to trust it. It is more dependable than any information you will ever receive in your “external” environment.

That is not denial or ignorance. THAT is emotional honesty in its purest expression. THAT is self-awareness. THAT is truth. THAT is LOVE.


Cyndi Wilkins
Cyndi Wilkins
I am a licensed/ certified massage and bodywork professional and the sole proprietor of The Healing Element, located in downtown Marblehead Ma. I have been practicing the art and science of therapeutic massage and energetic bodywork for nearly 20 years. Through my training as a manual therapist, coupled with my understanding of body-centered psychotherapy, I am an empathetic partner helping my clients heal from physical pain due to illness or injury and emotional pain/trauma. My approach to healing is in recognizing the mind and body work together in creating the health of all of its systems. I welcome the opportunity to work with anyone with a desire to reconnect with their mind, body, and spirit to explore the root causes of discomfort and disease. Together we work to initiate the body's own natural response to the physical and emotional triggers caused by everyday life stresses. The goal is to address the complete body/mind complex in a truly integrative, holistic way. I also love writing and sharing dialogue with those who encourage 'positivity' as the directional flow of conversation, especially when confronting conflicting attitudes. Reinforcing positive dialogue with a calm inner presence and open-mindedness activates the inner wisdom embodied within each conversation. I believe this allows us to move more freely through life's difficulties and navigate our way to healthier solutions. Health does not come from medicine...Most of the time, it comes from peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of the soul. It comes from laughter and love. For more information about my work, please visit my website/blog as well as my profiles on the links provided above.

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  1. Cyndi what a beautiful expression of who you really are and of who we all really are. Indeed none of us perfect, just doing the best we can under any and all circumstances which arise in our everyday lives. I loved meeting you on “the bench” and thrilled you felt safe enough to communicate directly with me through email. I don’t know much about the internet trolls, but am certain they circle profusely looking for their next victim. This behavior only means they are lacking in this self love you speak of attempting to somehow validate themselves. “Never hush your spirit for the comfort of another.” I have been guilty of this in the past and it did not serve my higher self or that of others. You are in a safe place for writing your heart. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom and humility. We all need and want to hear them.

    • Thank you again Char,

      I am so grateful for this space, for you, and all those who bless this community with their own nuggets of wisdom. The ‘trolls’ I spoke about were a case of being in the ‘wrong’ space. It was an experience I had to go through to raise my own awareness of the impact of our words in terms of ’embodied cognition.’

      For me, it was a lesson in how to effectively respond to an encounter that evoked troubling emotions, rather than react to them. It is very challenging to ‘turn the other cheek’ when you feel the need to defend your position.

      But through it all, I learned the power of language. Carolyn Myss is one of my favorite teachers in becoming conscious of language we use in our daily interactions.

      Warmer responses in the face of adversity simply by changing the temperature of the dialogue is a much more effective approach to challenging situations. In that ‘mind space’ we are more likely to elicit solutions to problems rather than continuing to reinvent the wheel with the same behavior that created it.

  2. Cyndi,
    There are so many great nuggets in this essay…but this right here, I read 10 times:
    “Never hush your spirit for the comfort of another.”
    The Friendship Bench is such a powerful platform/community that reminds us of our value and our greatness.
    YOU are more than enough…You are the one to speak this truth…YOU are love magnified.

    • Thank you so much Carolyn Lebanowski
      This was my first trip to ‘the bench.’ And it did not disappoint.
      I think I will change the ‘YOU’ at the end of your comments to, ‘I am’ and post this on my message board as a daily reminder.❤

  3. Beautiful expression, it resonates with me Cyndi,
    Our bench is a highlight of the week for me. I look forward to our time together and the raw safety that comes with it.
    Truly when I started releasing parts of me in poetry….I have experienced true humility as I only set out to share as I was instructed too, from my soul encounter and complete surrender to the Universe, and my belief that God created it all.
    The power of self love is undeniable the greatest encounter where you reduce embarrassment and increase humility to its rightful place. Humble love submits to God and recognizes the prize that you are. Your sense of value increases your worth, for you are priceless and can’t be replaced

    • Thank you for such a breathtaking comment Paula. I am a fairly new member of ‘the family’ and have found great inspiration here. This was my first trip to ‘the bench’…and it did not disappoint!

      I hope to see more of you around the neighborhood;-)

  4. When I first began writing on LinkedIn’s self-publishing platform, I enjoyed incredibly positive feedback and established a wonderful network of friends and fellow writers. We had each other’s backs. But prior to establishing that support, I had disturbing moments with annoying trolls.
    The above is your writing Cyndi. This is the river of life. It gets murky with doubts and ill-feelings. But then if we are patient the river flows and unload bad feelings to clear to waters of understanding.
    Beautifully you described life.

    • I am learning to ‘go with the flow’ my dear friend Ali…At times it is a hard swim upstream, but my instincts tell me it is necessary for the spawning of new ideas.

      Thank you so much for popping by with a comment here! You know you are one of my favorites for igniting my creative juices a flowin’ 😉