One must embrace the chaos within
to give birth to a dancing star.
-Nietzche
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Call for a consultation (no obligation),
US: 617-275-5706; UK: 0203 295-2051
Smashing into Flow

Posted on Monday 11 July 2016

 

Brexit has hit many people around the world pretty hard. It appears that ven those who crafted and voted for it are wondering what they’ve gotten us all into. Colleagues of mine in the UK have talked about feeling disoriented, like the world has somehow tilted on its access. For others, the idea of Donald Trump in the White House has a similar impact.  And these are just two of the big issues facing the UK and US, where I spend most of my time. Other parts of the world have challenges of survival: How to get fresh water? What’s going on with the weather? Is this what global warming feels like? My home is being blown up.

If we let ourselves, it can feel like the world is being smashed to pieces around us. This is when I think about my favorite parable, what I think of as smashing into flow.  I found it years ago in a book by Richard Bach. It goes like this:
 


The Parable

Dancing baby ray fish

Clinging tightly or letting go? I like to think a river creature might look like this while smashing into flow.

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Tho I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’

The other creatures laughed and said ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!’

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream to whom he was a stranger cried, ‘See, a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!’

And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.’

But they cried the more, ‘Savior!’ all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Savior.

– from Illusions, by Richard Bach

 

The Crux of the Issue

When I’m feeling battered and bruised by life, I often think of this story. And as my friend and editor Kathy points out, the crux of the issue is, “how did the “Messiah” have the guts to let go? You need to be clear on your goals before making the decision to let go of your twig. The Messiah was better able to weather the tossing against the rocks because he wanted something else badly enough that he was willing to absorb the ride. AKA “no pain, no gain”. Clarity about your goals can also minimize feelings of being out of control. You are always in control of how you look at life and how you respond to circumstances.

Risk-taking means leaving your comfort zone. Eleanor Roosevelt summed it up, “Do something every day that scares you.” Sometimes bouncing in the current is a tumultuous but necessary shakeup because the old way isn’t working. It can take a good shakeup to get us to let go of our old habits and try something new. Which to me is the good news in the aftermath of Brexit, and the hubbub around the US presidential election – perhaps they augur a shakeup we need.

 

The Goal

When I have been able to let go, face the challenge and release into the tumult until I’m lifted into the flow, things start to make sense again. Staying focused on my goals, my dreams, my purpose for being here helps me get through the difficult feelings. And it reminds me of the divinity within, both myself and others. Perhaps we need to do this both as individuals, as a community; dare I say as a world of which we are all citizens.

We each have a contribution to make on this planet, what I think of as our uniqueness, the thing that our individual perspective, experience, make-up, training, allow us alone to bring. No one has our voice, our eyes. Great or small, we each have a necessary component. Here’s to you making yours. And if having a coach would be the support you need to let go of your own twig, book an appointment with me here. The first session is free.

  1.  
    Rita Carey
    July 12, 2016 | 5:12 am
     

    Deborah,

    Your message touches my heart for a couple of reasons, the main one being that I am agonizing over man’s inhumanity to man and what our responsibility is in the midst of such suffering.

    I will reflect on this during the day.

    I hope you are doing well.

  2.  
    Bennie
    July 13, 2016 | 1:23 am
     

    Hi Deborah,
    Thanks for sending the parable. I have heard different versions of it before, but not this particular one and it is meaningful in these times. I suppose my favourite author, Eckhard Tolle would describe it as surrendering to WHAT IS.
    All the best.

    Regards,
    Bennie.

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