Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wobbling to Nirvana

The straight and narrow.

In common use, this phrase refers to "the strict way of proper conduct and moral integrity." Although values, ethics, and moral principles clearly play a critical role in society, their application usually does not demonstrate a "straight and narrow" path.

Most natural processes in life are not straight and defined.

Consider these examples:

As an infant, you didn't simply wake up one day and decide to walk. You had to go through many incremental movements that involved lying down, rolling over, crawling, pulling yourself up, and taking your first step. Then, you fell, took more steps, fell again, and so on until you successfully "learned" to walk.

Similarly, when you were a teenager and wanted to drive, you didn't get in a car and go. You had to acquire many micro-skills to accomplish the larger task of managing a vehicle on the road with other cars. You probably made numerable, anxiety-provoking mistakes along the way. If you drove a manual transmission, you heard the unforgettable grinding of gears, stalled in traffic, and panicked on hills. It was not a pretty process! Whatever the transmission, you eventually made your solo trip.

In the circus, high-wire acrobats walk a tightrope between two points. Although the rope is taut and straight, the aerialist does not walk across the rope the way you might on a hardwood floor. The wire moves from side to side and oscillates up and down as the acrobat walks. The walker needs to make constant adjustments to these expected features of the wire, as well as accommodate any unexpected changes in personal or external conditions in order to master the journey.

In sailing a boat or flying a plane, you might chart a straight line between the point of departure and your destination. However, you will spend most of your time traveling away from this line, "off course." If weather comes up, you will have to veer even farther from that direct path until you reach your desired endpoint.

These situations provide important reminders for anyone who consciously walks a spiritual path.

Reflect for a moment on any insights you see for your own way of living.

You may have a desire for the "straight and narrow" because that path seems "clean," perfect, and within your comfort zone. However, this kind of avoidance and denial doesn't teach you anything useful. In fact, when you don't act outside your comfort zone or learn how to deal with you mistakes, you reinforce a feeling of incompetence that will sabotage you in the face of future challenges.

Or, at times, you might become very attached to a specific idea of how you want something to work out. You may feel "locked in" to your image of the way things ought to be. You lose your flexibility and capacity to be creative in the midst of your unwavering, limited expectations.

Life is messy.

In chaos or clarity, you need values to help you grant meaning and guide your choices. In this way, your principles act as an internal compass to navigate the ever-changing conditions of yourself, others, and the world.

In addition, your aspiration for awareness, acceptance, and expression of your HeartVoice becomes a compelling beacon that illuminates your path. Even though you don't know the details of this path, you can dedicate yourself to take one step at time toward the realization of your true nature, and let everything else unfold.

In this way, your spiritual path integrates the focus of your values and aspirations with the vastness of allowing yourself to experience everything your life has to offer.

Along the way, you will wobble. Sometimes you will be clear, grounded, and balanced. Other times you will not. That's all part of living a passionate, inspired life.

If you don't wobble, you're not fully engaged!

As you take steps on your path, invite these questions:
  • How can you enjoy the wobbling?
  • How can you use the wobbling for your growth and realization?
Love the wobbling!

Love and Peace,
Dave

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