Life challenges, metaphors, and the power of intent
This past weekend marked one of the most spiritually combative weekends of my life. Not that there was anything tragic that happened, but this weekend showed me so many things about myself and life. What I can share that won’t confuse the reader (or myself) is what I observed about my balance.
One of my best friends, 2 of his very young neighbors, and I were walking through an obstacle course on Saturday. We did not have the proper equipment to go all out on the obstacle course, but there was one obstacle that we could work with partially; the suspended log.
No, our log obstacle was no where near this high, but you get the idea. Again, there were 4 of us. The first to try it was a youngster who was around 8. He walked across with some difficulty, but not much. The same could be said about his older brother who had a slightly more difficult time, but again, they both walked across the beam with little effort. Then my friend attempted it. He swayed back and forth, regained his balance, and made it across most of the beam. Then it was my turn; I got on the beam, somehow gained my balance, walked a step or two, and somehow managed to fling myself off of the beam. So much so that the beam swung violent in the opposite direction of my body.
This probably means nothing, but in my hyper-sensitive, self-effacing spiritual state, I reflected on those few moments and concluded that this was a metaphor for we as people in stages of our lives and how we maintain balance. As a child, if we’re lucky enough, our stresses and imbalances are few. At that age we worry about how fast we can run, who or who is not our friend that week, or something else that we as adults would consider trivial. The kids’ balance on that beam from the weekend was strong; they were able to maintain a focus across it several times. My friend and I struggled across it; both of us forty-somethings with bills, kids, and risks that will effect everyone who is connected to us. But to break it down even more, my friend, who has always maintained a healthy balance of work, family, and spirit managed to walk across the beam with difficulty, but walked across nonetheless. Me on the other hand, I have at various points of my life struggled with all 3 of those aspects; sometimes simultaneously. It should come as no surprise that I was the one who struggled the most with the beam. My balance both physically and spiritually are obviously still in disarray. I was barely able to get a step forward before not just falling off of the beam, but having it swing wildly after I disembarked.
Does this mean that I am or my life is so unbalanced that I cannot take one step forward without totally being disengaged from my path and having to start over and over and over again? Probably not. However, the fact that in retrospect of that sunny, metaphoric afternoon, that there may be any connection to that instance and my life as it stands whatsoever, I may have serious changes to make in my life.
When we desire change in life for balance, we have to be very careful in our pursuits. Those desired changes must be made based on our stages in life; are we fresh out of college, nurturing a family, or are the our communities’ elders? Each of these changes requires a specific level of determination. In our early twenties, our intentions and goals are extremely simplistic; good job, decent car, nice place to live. In our thirties and forties, the intentions and goals are similar yet more specific; good job, decent car, nice place to live with respect to a spouse, children, and sometimes aging parents. As elders, the intentions and goals actually become more important as the realization of limited time left on the Earth is more clear; enjoyable activities, family, and a safe place to live. For an early forty-something, I have many things to consider for making changes. The main thing is knowing change is an absolute necessity given my self-perceived shortcomings. The question de jour is how to I go about doing this? I’ve accomplished goals before, but many times those accomplishments do not turn out the way I had foreseen them. I turned to my spiritual muse, Deepak Chopra. Oddly enough, this lead me to my favorite source general information, Inc. magazine and Mallika Chopra.
Mallika Chopra believes that the power to specify and pursue intent is the key to personal peace and fulfillment. “I am a big believer in the ritual of actually setting it and articulating it. A lot of us have so many things in our head and hearts that we always want to do, but the process of actually articulating it is important. Whether you go on Intent.com to place it there or you write it on something at home, the actually process of writing it out and letting go of it is very powerful. Of course there is a fine line, but we have to, in some ways, let go. Like with a seed, you have to plant it, but you don’t go and take the seed out every day and check it. It’s going to grow, because we nurture it and we give it time and we give it space. In achieving intents, we can’t be obsessive and too attached. And part of the practice in all of this is the act of letting go.”
This is phenomenal advice for me or anyone who has read this. I have some things that I am attempting to achieve and they have not come to fruition. We have to let the seed we plant grow; which it will if it’s nurtured properly. If it isn’t, then it won’t grow and sometimes it won’t grow because….well, it just wasn’t meant to be. Chopra also talked about how people seek a great job or money only to find out that what they really truly want “…if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that people want love, they want to feel connected. They want a feeling of purpose, meaningfulness, and relevancy. These are things we see a lot of coming out of people’s intentions on our site. People are expressing those deepest aspirations of why they want to be. ” Personally, I take all of these things to equate to balance. I don’t have to be rich, powerful, or popular. I have to be balanced so that I can continue to enjoy life as it presents itself.
With that said, its time to visualize the goals, form the intentions, and do like EPMD said “time for some ak-shun (re: “action”).