Monday, November 9, 2009

Peaceful Power-- Lessons in SELF from the ocean.

I stood, coffee in hand, on the 24th floor balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The waves marched in like lines of soldiers bravely moving forward to battle, faces a mix of stoic purpose and confused resignation. The seagulls floated on air pockets, neither still nor moving; a rather strange mix of moving stillness, really. How is that even possible? The breeze nipped at the tiny hairs on my neck and sent a shiver down my back. The ocean was all I could see, miles and miles and miles of ocean. An expanse so incredibly huge I cannot even fathom the distance or volume or power. And then, me- a teensy, tinsy little spec. A mere dust particle in comparison.

Talk about perspective. I couldn't make even the tiniest wave stop it's purposeful march to the shore, no matter how hard I tried. Even if I mustered every single ounce of strength from every single muscle fiber in my body, I couldn't float on an air pocket. I couldn't achieve that perfect mix and create stillness in motion like the birds. Every brain cell in my head working at full capacity, can't understand the magnitude of this view; I can't comprehend how all of this works so perfectly with such ease. The birds don't fret about whether or not they will catch the next air pocket or if the laws of physics will suddenly change and they will crash to the ground. The mollusks don't worry about which direction the current is carrying them and whether or not they will like this new location. How can you be so purposeful? How can you know so well your place in life that you allow it to just happen as it will? How can I be so self centered as to think anything or anyone should revolve around me? Or that I am so powerful that I can fight the natural course of life in my pursuit of anything?

I stood on that balcony and I had to fight every muscle fiber in my body. I wanted to jump so badly. Not because I wanted to die or anything crazy like that. But because I wanted to feel it. I wanted to float on an air pocket, I wanted to just let the current carry me wherever it goes. I wanted to resign and just let life happen and see what comes of it. I fight too much. I struggle and fret and wrestle, and I think it's too much. I need to learn to create change like the ocean, with poise and purpose but also resignation, humility and flexibility. Oceans change shorelines-- slowly, methodically. The ocean can't stop the magnetic pull of the moon or fight the resultant monsoons from volcanoes on the other side of the world. Nope. The ocean creates change silently and gracefully. It works with what it is given. It stays at the task day in and day out understanding that despite the challenge presented on any given day, it must continue its march to the shore creating great change without great commotion.

Hmmm. That's something to think about....

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