It’s been a challenging week in my corner of the world. A lot of the challenges fit into the category of annoying or inconvenient. Things to breathe through and, hopefully, chuckle about later.
Some of them were much bigger! The kind of reality shocks that require a tremendous amount of pondering and contemplating. The kind that cause me, at least, to stop and really consider what I believe. And for me, that takes a bit of shoring up.
I found myself turning, as I have for years, to what Bill refers to as my “thumb sucking” books. (He’s not entirely off base!) Trustworthy old friends that have helped me wade through difficult days before. Ones I hope will help again. They’re mostly the kind of human journey tales we sometimes refer to as epics. The s/hero starts one place and sets out on a huge journey of such transformation that they find themselves in a place entirely different, sometimes in a geographichal sense and always in a psychological or spiritual sense.
They live on a special shelf, these old friends. At least they do when they’re not all stacked beside my chair, with a few of the most familiar balanced beside the bed. From the stories of a young girl named Karen which began my lifelong love of Newfoundlands when I was 12, to Leon Uris’ Exodus, which was utterly responsible for my surviving that first semester of Hebrew grammar, to more recent, ecclectic epics, they have encouraged me on my journey with the comforting news that others have gone before me.
Two of those more recent friends are Callings…finding and following an authentic life by Gregg Levoy and Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, by Stephen Cope. Books so filled with wisdom that I often find myself needing to sleep every few pages, just for space to process.
It is no real surprise that my wandering fingers let me to just these two in this moment. I’ve worked, for several months now, on putting language to my sense of what I am about at this point in my journey. I needed to find that language in order for this new website to exist. I needed it to design new business cards. I needed it to get my special passport to go seeking new options in the fabulous place called Planet SARK.
And I needed what they awaken in me on a stormy yesterday when a new friend named Sam Bennett reminded me, by way of the miracle of webinars, that we–even I– were put here for big things! You, and I, said Sam, already have everything we need to bring our visions to life. We are perfectly designed to do our work. The opportunity is in front of us right now. theorganizedartistcompany.com
Right now feels a lot more urgent after the last couple of weeks. Realizing that brought the words of another old friend to mind…
You Were Made For This
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. […]
In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
–Clarissa Pinkola Estes, on Awakin.org
You, too, were made for this.