What is change except a kaleidoscope of fluctuating energies. It is the nature of energy to flow and the inhibiting or blocking of this flow can result in a feeling of being stuck in the same old patterns day after day. This “stuckness” can manifest in illness or excessive fatigue. That is why most illnesses are more spiritual than physical and need to include this aspect if healing is to take place. This does not mean that all illnesses lead to cure because healing is not always physical. The illness itself is the change or trigger that alerts us to the inner workings of emotions and thoughts which in turn, influence the healthy functioning of the body. Since all life is connected, we see the same dynamic at play in the world about us.
Change of any kind – the unexpected job loss, the betrayal of a spouse, the death of a loved one, a diagnosis of life threatening illness, even moving to a new house – anything that disrupts the fixed pattern of our lives, pushes us to evolve and grow. Old energy patterns are shattered so that new growth, life , perspectives, wisdom can take root. If we learn to cooperate with inevitable change and embrace the transition process, we find we are moved into a deeper level of living. Change is the unrecognized gift of the universe. So much of life in a post Trump, post Brexit world is obsessed with trying to keep the status quo in place, to lock us into the perceived safe and familiar. But inevitably life will challenge us to move beyond our comfort zones because that is the nature of life. The creative energy of the universe is not static but constantly in motion so change of one kind or another will come on us often unexpectedly but it is not the enemy but a bringer of life.
Some will be asked to embrace more change than others but it cannot be avoided. Major change is often preceded by a period of chaos. For the past few decades the world has been witness to super storms, earthquakes, nuclear leaks, oil spills, terrorism, economic collapse etc. This is not, however, a time to be sucked into paralytic fear but to understand that great changes are taking place and we are not privy to the whole picture. These shocks, like the earthquakes that restructure the physical shape of the land or the sharp slap on the newborn’s bottom which starts its breathing, shatters the old patterns, creating a paradigm shift that allows the new to enter. The old way of being must die before the new can establish itself.
If we are willing to change our perceptions of how life should be and if we are willing to take risks to grow and discover our own power, then a new and different world will be possible. This twenty-first century is Kairos time, a time of opportunity and hope, a time to dance with the energies of the shifting sands of change and transcend the siren call of fear and helplessness. Human kind has an infinite capacity for change and evolution and we can always change the ending of the story.
“Faith is the bird/ that feels the light/and sings when the dawn is dark.” Tagore
Waves crash with a hiss and gurgle as I walk in silent meditation on the beach. The wind tugs furiously at the dry grasses dancing on the dunes. Arrows of sharp cold rain sing from the sky. The wind heightens in a sudden burst of fury and batters the coast. I am exhilarated with the wild energy of the storm.
I watch an eagle as it banks against the wind and struggles to lift herself above the gale. With a sudden scream, she ceases to struggle and letting go to the rhythm of the wind, she glides with graceful ease high above the ocean.
We too, like the eagle, must learn to dance with the winds of life. As we dance, we will experience both the exhilaration of flight but also the tumbling dive of our human limitations. Often bruised and bewildered, we continue to struggle in our pain, not knowing that all that is required is to surrender and dance with these winds of change and circumstance. In doing so, we glide with the eagle above the ocean of our tears into a clear blue, where our vistas expand and enlarge, creating new possibilities. The storm passes, as all storms will. The clouds part. Sunlight again drenches the land. The birds renew their song. We have survived.
I grew up in the city of Belfast. The original settlement was close to the convergence of the River Lagan and its tributaries. The silt from these rivers created a sandbar which became known locally as The Crossing Place. The name of Belfast in Gaelic Beal Feirsde literally means the mouth of, or approach to, the sandbank or crossing place.
It is the nature of the soul to bring us to many crossing places in life. There we are invited to leave behind the security of outmoded ways of being and take the risk of growing. Native American spirituality has a lovely way of explaining this. In their culture the Great Eagle symbolizes the Soul or Higher self. When we are born they say, Great Eagle falls into a deep sleep and dreams that he is awake. At a significant time in our individual life, often but not always at midlife, the Eagle within stirs awake and begins to take control, reminding us who we are and why we live.
It is then that the person finds her/himself at the edge of a boundary, at a crossing place between what is and what still can be. The challenge at this time is to open ourselves to this voice of the soul and follow its call. This is not an easy task. Many refuse to step out of what is familiar and leap with trust into the void of the unknown. We need strength, courage and support to take that first step, for we will encounter the guardian who stands sentinel at the crossing place and whispers seductively, “Go back! Go back! It’s not safe!”
Even if we hearken to this siren voice and turn aside from taking the journey of becoming, the Eagle’s cry will persist within us in many forms until we hear it. For in the mature years of our growing, the Eagle’s wings will beat persistently upon our hearts until it is cleft open and we learn to stand more honestly in relation to ourselves, our world and the unseen world of the Transcendent.