Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Courage to Walk on Water

There comes a time when the solid ground we walk upon dissolves. Tried and true methods for navigating life as if we were dwelling on firm terrain no longer work. No matter how hard we try or how much we love, our reliable maps and compasses, insightful knowledge and beliefs, precise formulas and techniques fail. The lines connecting people, places and events vanish. Our actions don't produce predictable results. We can't get a grasp on things. Not only has the rug been ripped from under our feet, the floor is gone too. We find ourselves adrift with no land in sight. The solid earth has liquified. We are living in a watery world.

Our first response it is to flail about, desperately attempting to grab something that's not moving. We look for fixed reference points to tell us where we are. We search for clear signposts to guide our way. The watery world, however, has shimmering milestones and undulating pathways. Everything is swirling, rising, falling, rolling. Nothing is graspable or clearly defined. The separate billiard ball world we're used to has melted into an ocean that continuously heaves and breathes. It's bottomless. It stretches beyond all horizons.

It's time to sink or swim. So we start paddling. Maybe we embrace the challenge and have some fun splashing about in the waves. We carry with us the solid ground belief that we are separate from the watery currents, however, and our arms tire from the effort. Our bodies remember we are not dolphins; we were made to walk upright. But, we've be told that walking on water is reserved for saints. It only happens in the mystical realms of miracles.

We realize there's no alternative. The only way to find food, shelter and clothing is to step onto the shifting currents and find a trail across the roiling foam. Treading on water is counter intuitive, to say the least. It takes a powerful suspension of disbelief to stride through the rippling seascape. That's what life calls for these days. The analog world we have inhabited for thousands of years has been swept away by the digital tide. Everything is out at sea. The only way forward is to summon the courage to walk on water.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Imbalance: The Secret to Dynamic Balance

We seek balance in stillness. Another kind of balance makes the world go round. It's the dynamic balance that nature uses to renew itself. This animated balance enlivens your body through yoga and exercise. It sparks relationships, regenerates economies, and recreates the world in countless ways. This illustration of Growth, Decay and Renewal from my new book 24 Patterns of Wisdom depicts this dynamic balance. It diagrams how balance in action comes through what appears to be imbalance. Instead of seeking balance through freeze-framing it in unmoving suspension. We can sense the dynamic balance that is already and always moving us toward lively renewal.