Creating Your Right Life

inspiration & tools for empowered living


Your Position From the Starting Blocks: Insight from Martha

We all know that change is occurring more rapidly and dramatically today than it ever has in history.  This may be either thrilling or terrifying, depending on the day and how ready we are at any moment to go along with dramatic transformations.  For many months, I’ve had the feeling that many of us humans have been milling around like athletes waiting for a marathon to begin.  Recently, it feels to me as though we’re all being told to take our position in the starting blocks.

I’m not sure exactly what this means, only that it feels tremendously exciting and somewhat alarming at the same time.  I’ve noticed two categories of reaction in myself and the people I know:  Some highly evolved individuals are positioning themselves happily and easily for some exciting unknown transformation; others are kicking, screaming and resisting like race horses who have decided at the last minute that the whole event is just too strange and frightening to tolerate. 

This translates into divided extremes of emotion.  There seems to be no middle ground; either life feels incredibly joyful and exciting or absolutely horrid.  I, myself, alternate between these two extremes.  When I am completely in line with my purpose and following my inner compass, I feel almost intoxicated with joy.  When I am resisting in some way, I feel like week old road kill.  It seems that the biggest difference lies in my ability to relax.  There was once a time when hard work and intense willpower moved me effectively toward my goals and filled me with enthusiasm.  Nowadays, hard work and willpower feel horrible, even when I can muster them, and prove entirely ineffective.  On the other hand, when I give up struggling and acknowledge that I have zero control and no more energy, things suddenly begin to work in my favor, as if by magic. 

I watched this process very intently as my friend Jayne passed away, which as you probably know, was simply a change of address as far as I’m concerned.  People talk about how courageously people fight their illnesses, and Jayne fought ferociously, but the effect of her struggle was horrific.  A few days before her death, when she completely stopped struggling, it opened a door to peaceful and joyful transformation that uplifted Jayne and everyone around her.  Watching the grieving process of her son Joey, who has Down syndrome, was another astonishing example of the power inherent in refusing to struggle.  Joey flows in and out of sadness with absolutely no resistance, and as a result, the pain of this time has been intermittent, alternating with periods of true and enormous happiness.

For anything new to be born, the existing arrangement of particles and situations must die.  Struggling to survive is laudable and natural.  I believe the “deaths” we experience as we take our positions for a new phase of history are benevolent and necessary, and are, therefore, best greeted with relaxed acceptance.  This is a wild time to be alive.  If you feel yourself being moved into position, you might justifiably feel terrified.  My advice to you this month:  Stop struggling.  Relax.  The signal to run is coming.


Martha’s Bookshelf: July 2011

One book the tribe will love is Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again by Roger Housden.

 If you love a book that can inspire you every time you pick it up and open to a random page – and who doesn’t? – you’ll love all of Roger Housden’s poem anthologies.  Poetry is condensed, intense language, and should therefore be taken in small doses.  Housden selects just ten gorgeous selections per anthology, and follows each poem with a thoughtful, articulate, and enlightening essay.  All of his books are worth owning;  this is just my most recent acquisition and I found it as delightful as Housden’s previous work.  I also stole enough material for an entire magazine column.  Excellent! 

Another is At Home:  A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson.   

Bryson is a delightful story teller, and anyone with a curiosity of a reasonably alert earthworm will be fascinated by his exploration of the history and social trends that led to the creation of every single item in our homes.  (Did you know that old churches in England look as though they have sunk into the landscape because each little building is surrounded by the interred remains of up to 20,000 people?)  Those of you who have been coached, or are coaches, in our system may be familiar with the “house as metaphor for life” tool.  Once you’ve read At Home, the meaning of every object you see around you will take on unprecedented depth and resonance.  This is a highly educational read that is also just plain fun.