(That’s me goofing around on one of my recent adventures.)
I was dancing my tail off backstage at a concert watching this major recording artist entertain several thousand people into a frenzy when I heard this one liner (okay really, probably a facebook status update soundbite) go through my head: “one thing leads to the next.” I had this epiphany-like year in review hit me where I could see the happenings, experiences and introductions that all led me to be standing, or rather, dancing my tail off in that precise location at that precise incredible moment.
The greatest surprise of the realization? Most of what I had expected or thought that the happenings, experiences and introductions would lead to actually didn’t. Almost every door that I stepped through became something else. The romantic curiosities became career moves. The career moves became romantic curiosities. The friendships turned into collaborations. Amidst the thread of all of it was this total wisdom to the unfolding of life, and, a willingness to keep saying yes to possibility.
Often times our greatest disappointments later unveil that they were stepping stones, opportunities, or blocks getting out of the way of the next great adventure or phase of our lives. Are we all heroes living out our own version of The Odyssey while stepping through the screen of epic adventures at all times? No. For many of us our great epiphanies appear like gentle waves to outsiders. An insight on the nature of love. A feeling about what real friendship is. A feeling of unity with life on a great ride or run. This is actually the tenderness of where our lives happen and gift us with experience: often in the most unexpected timing, circumstance, and unfolding.
In working with hundreds of people I can say this: life has inevitable rhythm. Our expectations often fall short or are entirely misled. When we glue ourselves to what we thought should unfold, we inevitably miss out on the magic of what is actually unfolding.
In the freshness of the new year as the gentle whispers of spring blow through the remnants of winter we can start to feel how the die off of winter really does emerge into the blossoms of spring.
We can trust this never ending process of life in the appreciation of the present moment, in knowing one thing continually leads to the next, and in expressing true curiosity and appreciation for the process of life itself.
For me it is a commitment to being open to what is, instead of the picture I think it should be. There is a common saying that people enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I think it is true of themes in our lives as well. Getting with this is the difference between turning life into a series of battles and dashed expectations or turning it into a dance.
When we compare ourselves with others (and lets face it, no matter what self help book says not to, we will) I think we are good to realize real comparisons: all of us will have highs, lows, and zig zags. We’ll have successes, failures, dashed hopes, and awkward moments. We will also have moments of incredible grace and clarity. We might gain a distanced popularity with the use of our egoic desires to build ourselves up to be “more than human,” yet we will build relationships and richness of life when we allow ourselves the experience of being fully and richly and beautifully human.
As I step in to this year of 2012 I can say that I am doing it armed with the reflections of many past experiences having taught me the beauty and wisdom inherent in knowing that indeed, one thing leads to another, and, that I can trust it. The more I am aligned with me, my inner being, and a faith in life in general, I can live knowing that there is a wisdom acting in life that is far bigger than my own individual story.
It is the metaphor of the car setting out at night to cross the country: it can only see what it is the headlights at any given time. We all set out on adventures with goals, ideas of what the journey is about and the end in sight. What happens along the way is the real adventure unfolding in the present moment. I have been in awe time and time again at how much bigger the picture really was than what I thought it was going to be. Do I use images to set myself out on these adventures? I certainly do. I also aim to cultivate along the way actual participation with the unfolding picture of life.
How awesome it all is.
I am stepping in to 2012, inviting you to join me, with an attitude of discovery for the magic that is unfolding that is bigger than you and I, and that also unites you and I.