Do you ever wake up with a song in your head and you’re not sure why? I did today. Over and over the lyrics “six months in Kansas City” were running through my mind. I cooked breakfast singing that line repeatedly much to my wife’s chagrin.

The line comes from one of the songs on the recent wonderful album Lost on the River. Termed “the New Basement Tapes “, the project brought together a stellar group of musicians tasked with taking some recently discovered Bob Dylan lyrics and putting them to music. The results are amazing and well worth a listen. My favorite tune is one primarily created by Marcus Mumford entitled “When I Get My Hands on You”. It’s been constant play around my house since I downloaded the album. But that wasn’t the song running through my head!

Going to Kansas City

As I sat in meditation, the Kansas City song guided me to memories of my good friend Carl. Carl and I traveled similar career paths working with the Federal Medicare agency – he was in our Kansas City office while I held comparable roles in Denver. For years, we were good friends, supporting and assisting one another in multiple ways. We worked on many national projects together, serving instrumental roles in the creation of many important enhancements to Medicare’s customer service. We also shared countless beers at the end of busy days.

I haven’t been to Kansas City in a while. In my final few years working with Medicare as head of their Denver office, an interesting restructuring led to my overseeing a small part of the staff there – including Carl. For a period of time, I traveled there frequently – it was a great group of people and I have very fond memories of working with them. I haven’t been in contact with any since I retired. Carl retired shortly after I did – he’s not on FaceBook as far as I can tell, so I’m not quite sure what he’s up to these days.

Old Friends – New Friends

I had a lot of friends when I worked with Medicare – only a few have I kept in contact with since leaving the agency. Prior to that time, I can look back at certain periods where based on my roles in life I traveled with different circles of friends. There were my early friends from high school and college. They were followed by new friends who arrived through new careers and my new role as father to young children. A move across country brought still more changes to my circle.

Since leaving Medicare and moving into the spiritual teaching arena, I have continued to develop many new friendships. I am blessed now with having more friends than ever.

What’s interesting is to step back and look at the whole pattern of friendships and how they have played out throughout your life. For the most part, friends come and friends go. There are a small group of close friends who seem to remain within my circle in spite of the changes in my outer life. Yet, there are these larger groups of friends and acquaintances who were instrumental in my life during certain events – and as my outer life changed that group was supplanted by another one. The picture I am left with is my having this small number of friends who have transcended all of the changes in my outward life while I have moved through other “blimps” of friendship circles whose influence was time limited. Yet, all of these friendships have been critical in evolving me to the person that I have become.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

The truth is this – every person with whom I have been in a relationship in some capacity throughout my entire life continues to influence who I am to this very day. I may no longer interact physically within the world with them, but we are still in a “relationship”. I carry a part of them within me and vice versa.

Picture this – see yourself as a round sphere traveling through life, sort of like you are moving around in a bubble. Your bubble bumps into certain other bubbles for a period of time. There is an exchange of ideas and information between the bubbles. You grow from the interaction. They grow from the interaction. At a certain point, your bubbles separate and move on attaching to others and repeating the process.

If we can step back and view our lives from a higher perspective and a longer timeframe, we can see that all of our interplay has worked out perfectly to bring us to where we are in this moment. All of our relationships – including those which were challenging as we were experiencing them – have served to grow and develop us to our current state of awareness. It’s like a beautiful dance that played out in a divine milieu – a grand and glorious ballet of life within an extremely complex universal system. Each seemingly independent and separate person forever interlocked with every other seemingly independent and separate person, bumping into and forever changing each other on the path of life.

Of course, it only seems that we are independent and separate from one another. When we are able to lift our eyes from the busyness of our individual lives and shift our perspective to a much higher level, we see that the dance of all of our friends – old and new – within this magnificent divine milieu is all really the dance of the One. We know too that in our receiving intuitive messages such as singing “six months in Kansas City”, we are singing the “one verse” of the Universe – the continuous reminder that we are all One.


Mark Gilbert


Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his very latest one Becoming a Spiritual Change Agent. Check it out!


Photo credit: Jeff Kubina / Foter / CC BY-SA