Follow the Rhythm of Your Destiny: Insight from Martha

Yes, yes, yes!  I am sill working on a book!   

Oh, I know I’ve been working on it for years, and I know I keep saying it’s almost done.  It is almost done, dammit!  But book writing is an incredibly slow process, and I can be “almost finished” for months or (please God no) even years.

The problem is that I keep slowing down the completion of this project by trying to do it faster.  Every month, when I stop to write my magazine column, I resentfully toss together a few ideas so I can get back to my book, thus ensuring that the column will need several rewrites.  Every time I need to run an errand, I become so distracted and anxious that I forget important items or information and end up taking much more time than I’d expected.

These days, with everything happening so incredibly fast, I think most of us are feeling rushed.  Every time someone asks, “Haven’t you finished that yet?” or “So how’s the [your project goes here] coming along?” our guts clench and our minds race.  In that moment, as we try to speed up, we invariably slow down. 

I have a theory that during prior periods of history, working harder and bearing down actually did increase the speed at which we could complete tasks.  But things are changing on planet Earth.  Events are much more sensitive to the energy we broadcast and the energy that makes things happen is love.  Fear – including all varieties of anxiety and rushing – causes a tension that chokes off what wants to happen.  Remaining calm, as calm at the end of an event as at the beginning, facilitates a smooth relaxed completion.  A pattern I’ve heard described by many fellow coaches is:  trying hard to finish something; getting closer to the finish; getting excited or frustrated; encountering all sorts of maddening obstacles and delays; giving up; then suddenly receiving a fire hose blast of everything we were trying to accomplish.

As I attempt to finish my own long term project, I have developed the goal of making this process less traumatic.  That means relaxing, instead of tensing, when people ask me “aren’t you finished yet?”  It means being as fascinated with the sentence I’m writing as I am with the concept of being finished.  It means letting the present moment bring whatever love it intends.    

One of my coaches recently went to work on me as I wrestled with this issue.  Instead of the statement “I have to get finished with this book,” I came out of our session with the conviction “This book has to finish me.”  As it balks and refuses to be finished, it teaches me to follow the rhythm of my destiny, rather than the rhythm of human expectation. When I do that – when we all do that – our various desires and objectives will not only finish themselves, but finish teaching us how to bring everything we have imagined into reality.

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.