This was a very different Friday.
I didn’t really do any work. Meditated in the morning. Talked to an ex-student and confirmed her participation in the upcoming Right Livelihood Quest (OK, it can be considered a bit of work, if one insists on being a stickler for specifics). Joined Alison (my beloved) and a friend who dropped by for a visit for a conversation about presence and consciousness and ways to bring it further into the world of organizations and leadership. Cuddled with Tobi. Went meandering in downtown Vancouver with Alison and had a great Lebanese lunch at a newly opened Paramount Fine Foods (strange name, great food), meandered some more, found a pair of shoes (no, not in Fluevog, though I did look), had great coffee at Revolver. Came home, did a bit of deep core fitness work. Casual – yet delicious dinner – and then off to see Wonder Woman (a beautiful movie!).
A day. Simple, easy, fun, flowing, casual. A day that I haven’t had the like of since the beginning of January. Life has been incredibly rich, full, and focused with work. A LOT of it. Intense. Probably unlike any other recent period that I can remember, and definitely not for that duration.
Freedom is actually a bigger game than power. Power is about that you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash. – Harriet Rubin
There is the East Australian Current, EAC, in the movie Finding Nemo, with Crush being one of the turtles riding it. In many ways, this was my life during this period of time. Riding the current. And I was not always as smooth and gracious as Crush was.
Most of the time, I remained solid. Grounded. Focused on the tasks I needed to accomplish, while still remaining connected to the “why” and the purpose behind them, and in my heart. Even during these times, I felt like Crush, riding the EAC and allowing its flow to support and guide me along. It is not that it was completely effortless, yet it was much easier to be with and in the flow. Being aligned and with the flow felt grounded, empowering, and with the experience of connection to something much bigger and stronger than the human “me.”
There were also “other” moments.
The lesson that life constantly enforces is ‘Look underfoot.’ You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don’t despise your own place and hour. Every place is the center of the world. – Naturalist John Burroughs
These were the moments I was out of the EAC. Disconnected from the flow. Grumpy. Frustrated. Annoyed at the little things. Tight jaw. Not happy with life. Struggling to focus or accomplish what I needed, and also not giving myself a break. I was not a fun company (just ask Alison or Tobi).
The interesting learning in these experiences was not about being “in” or “out” of the EAC flow. The nature of life is such that it happens all the time. On and off, followed by another on and off. Ad infinitum. Attachment to the flow is a dangerous thing, for it guarantees an ongoing disappointment. For me, the more I struggled to “get back in,” the less it happened and the grumpier I would become. Forcing the flow to happen didn’t work either. The thing that needed to happen was very different from trying, forcing, or willing into existence. I needed to slow down and become present, both to myself and to life around me. Then, voila, I would automagically reconnect to the flow. After all, the EAC, or the flow of life, is always around. Always flowing. We just need to slow down enough and get present to it.
Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings. – Jalaluddin Rumi
One day, I will have learned to be Crush.