Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

In the shadow of a calling I found myself . . .

Staring at the moon and jonesing for comfort food.

Musical Moment:
~ “Breathe” David Gray
I went on a walk through the woods today. It was a beautiful, blue-skied cool kind of day where you breathe deep and let gratitude flood through you. Trust me, I know it is not always easy to feel grateful, no matter how many times Oprah talks about it. Many of us are in places in our lives where we are dealing with health, family or work issues. I understand that these things, these distractions are so overwhelming that you can’t take even a minute to step away from the insanity, but I have learned over the years, through my own . . . we’ll call them challenges, that those times in our lives, when we feel most desperate and uncertain, are where deep, soulful lessons reside. It is the time when life challenges us with the question: What are you going to do to make it better? How can you live the life you need to live, want to live, will live?

I listened to a meditation by Deepak Chopra a little while ago and he said something interesting. He said, “Our mind craves certainty, but our soul lives in the realm of the uncertain. Uncertainty creates Creativity. If you don’t have chaos or confusion or uncertainty then pray for it because without uncertainty there is no creativity.”

Huh. Honestly, I’m not going to pray for it. I don’t think most of us need to. Uncertainty sucks, especially if you’re stuck and you feel like everyday is groundhogs day or that you are a hamster trapped in the wheel - moving, moving, moving and going no where. But I must admit I do agree with the sentiment. I think we experience these life challenges so that we can each find our own mountains to climb, birds to listen to, wind to feel and sunny skies to squint at. The uncomfortable, uncertain, chaotic experiences in our lives make the calm, peaceful, joyful times that much sweeter.

Do you recognize those sweet moments or do you let them slip away without acknowledging not only the good times, but how awesome and special YOU are?

You are you know.

You are not standing in quicksand and you are not stuck, but you do have to get creative. Whatever that may means to you.

In my walk, I came across a Medicine Wheel. Medicine Wheels are from the traditions of Native Americans. They are ancient and they are beautiful. The Medicine Wheel is a circle made of stone with four points of intention representing the four directions, the four winds - north, south, east and west. There are many interpretations of its meaning, but basically (or simply to me) it represent the phases of life from birth to death and all the teachings and lessons therein.

I entered the circle and sat there for a long time watching the birds and clouds and swaying trees. I felt the breeze on my skin (it was chilly as all get out) and I realized that I was feeling joy. A rarity these days given the crazy things going on with the government, the environment, the weather and people going over the deep end of nonsense. I almost didn’t recognize it. I took that time to reflect where I was in my life, where I have been and where I desired to go. I have a journey to make in this writerly life I choose to embrace. I have gut level instincts I need to listen to when they whisper so softly it’s easy to miss. I have anxieties I must kick in the head to avoid and I have hope in my uncertainty. I really hope Deepak Chopra is right and I will find my creative wand to get me through to the other side.

So, what will be your next move? Will you join me in the journey of being creative or will you be like the groundhog looking for your shadow?

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