Do you ever tire of learning the same lesson time and again? I certainly do, though often the relief I feel at being freed from whatever trap I've made for myself is ample compensation.
Case in point: I've just scrapped an essay that was not to be~~this after putting an inordinate amount of time into it, pushing and shoving words around the page like a bully in the schoolyard. But these words were no cowed first graders. Like every other living thing~~you, a musical score, or the Christmas cactus pinkly blooming on the bookcase across the room~~words are containers that need a lively fire to thrive.
I'd forgotten the fire. I'd shown up at the page knowing what I would write, believing I was in charge of the process. A couple of ideas had come to me, and I'd set out to weave them together as I saw fit. But the words were having none of it. They were perfectly good words, mind you, but without an authentic life breath, they were weary and banged against each other in a most jarring fashion. Instead of a pleasing product, I'd created only a tangled mess of wordy threads. And the harder I tried, the messier the tangle became.
Luckily, during a lunchtime break, my vision cleared. I vowed to stop doggedly trying to force what wasn't working. Surrender happened, and brought with it a welcomed release. And a chuckle. You see, I'll be facilitating a writing workshop next week whose main thrust is helping folks step into the creative flow and let it carry them. And here I'd spent my afternoon stubbornly paddling against the current. So I pulled my dinged and dingy dinghy onto the bank and sat, gazing back at the flowing waters~~and found my essay.
All spiritual traditions urge us to live in harmony with a greater flow, but so often we try to force life to fit our intent. It's that pesky free will thing. Life's sweet energy flows through each of us, and our task is to direct it skillfully. We aren't asked to relinquish our individual wills, for that would be to refuse the gift. We're only to sense the larger flux and move with it in a way uniquely our own.
We've just celebrated Martin Luther King Day, a time to honor those who have aligned their small wills with a larger pulse, allowing miracles to move through them. The Voting Rights Act of 1965. The ozone hole over Antarctica shrinking due to international limits on PFCs. Same sex marriage now legal in 36 states. Malaria deaths in Africa dropping an amazing 54% since the year 2000. Miracles do happen. And they happen when individual wills are aligned with the larger flow.
By virtue of being alive, we are immersed in that dynamism. It fills each molecule of our bodies and every particle of our souls. All we need is to fully receive it, and let it inspire our actions. Then magic will happen.
Here's to magic!
For anyone in southern Colorado who would like to take part in Cascade: A Writing Workshop, please zap me an email at email@example.com. And for those who live in other parts of this gorgeous planet yet are interested nonetheless, please let me know. An online writing workshop is always a possibility. Blessings!