Do not resist, be a player in the game.
Surrender to the change in motion.
Let yourself be broken, seized,
and blown to the next home.
– Hermann Hesse
Maybe you’ve lived a life that’s measurable by its consistencies? . . . maybe you live in the same place where you were born; or you work for the same company you started with after completing your education; or perhaps your friends are the same people you grew up with? Perhaps you’re someone deep in inner crisis as these perceived consistencies are being questioned and eroding due to our current paradigm shift . . .
I contemplate what life would look like if consistency had been my experience. What makes the people who’ve had so much consistency different from me in ways that can inform my life? Are there lessons or comforts in consistencies that I’ve missed? Indigenous wisdom teaches us the value of being rooted and deeply connected to the environment of one’s origin: the consistency of place inspires community and stewardship. Consistent friendship inspires intimacy. Consistently feeling loved and loving inspires, well, everything!
At times in my life, I’ve worked to create consistencies through routines and structures only to find myself chaffing against a lack of inspiration. I tried to cling to the consistencies I created for myself with the self-deception that what was potentially missing would make me feel safe or secure, but constructed consistency and I seem largely incompatible. So no matter how tightly I held on, life always found a way to knock me off my feet. In the process, I’ve become adaptable and resilient by default and here’s what I’ve learned . . .
The lesson of our current reality is to undergo inner transformation at the deepest levels, so we cultivate our capacities for surrender.
None of us would be who we are without our particular life experiences. I now feel gratitude to the depths of my being for my unique, quirky, and completely inconsistent journey. So perhaps that’s why I felt better prepared to surrender and launch into my next act so wholeheartedly, when I recently moved to New York City.
From the outside, it looked like lunacy to move to New York City at 50-years-old with a teenaged son and large dog in tow. I’ve questioned my sanity many times, but there’s an urge inside all of us to fulfill a dream so crazy it seems impossible. That’s precisely how I feel about NYC and the future of humanity!
I’ve had a love affair with New York City for nearly 40 years!
I still remember the butterflies I felt in my stomach the first time I spotted Manhattan’s skyline from the window of the taxi from JFK International Airport: I was speechless and brimming with excitement. She (I use “she” here, because I always experience place situated in the feminine dynamic of Mother Earth, although NYC has decidedly masculine energy.) still makes me feel this way every time I see her at a distance. But, I love her even more on the ground. She’s dirty, noisy, smelly, and crowded and everything about this much life force pulsing around me makes me feel alive and connected. Even better though, she’s inspiring. There is architectural magic in every city block and myriad diversity in personal expression. And maybe I can love her this much because I experience being immersed, without being hooked into her; I see her matrix for what it is, but I see her potential for what she can become . . .
I’ve been preparing for the flexibility, resilience, and creativity that helps one thrive in chaos my entire life. And New York City certainly is chaotic! My choices aren’t for everyone. But my choices do, however, reflect an inner process of deepening one’s relationship with their divine nature and the spirit that moves within, so we can learn to withstand even the most challenging of experiences, which is what we all must be doing as we navigate the great change that is upon us . . . a global metamorphosis!
Surrendering to metamorphosis itself is both a leap of faith, as well as the realization of an urge within to embody our highest potential.
Did you know the dragonfly lives most of its life underwater as a nymph? Then one day, when it feels an urge to fulfill its fullest expression – a groundswell of maturity if you will – it pulls itself out of the water and begins a molting process where the larva redistributes the water in its body to shed its former self and emerge as an entirely new iridescent winged creature. An insect that once only knew water, surrenders to a metamorphosis that begins the most mature stage of its life as something new, completely different, and magical in a yet unexperienced reality.
This kind of surrender is an active and engaged process, where all resistance is dropped in favor of higher forces acting for transformation. This is the kind of surrender we all must cultivate: consciously allowing what wants to leave our lives and what wants to enter our lives. It’s contemplative in that it informs us on a moment-to-moment basis as we create the spaciousness for answers to arise from within.
Hindsight reveals the wisdom of timing.
At various points in my adult life, I’d planned to move to New York City. Each time, life got in the way. But looking back now, I see the perfection in surrendering the timing to divine orchestration. I had to surrender to metamorphosis – to becoming something new – rather than forcing something I’m sure I lacked the maturity to handle too soon. At any point before now, I would’ve been plugged into the matrix, but that would’ve rendered my gifts untenable and likely my life self-destructive. Like the dragonfly, I had to reach the stage of my own evolution where I had not only reached a certain stage of maturity, but I had to surrender to the forces of my divine nature and purpose. I had to trust that everything in my life up till now was in service to and preparation for becoming someone new.
The dragonfly’s metamorphosis is the perfect metaphor for each of us, personally and for all of us, collectively. As we face a reality in the throes of extreme transformation, the urge inside all of us to become something entirely new is ignited. This is the responsive nature of our DNA, as well as our consciousness. I know, it still takes courage!
There’s nothing quite like telling people you’re moving to New York City!
I’ve never experienced such a range of extreme emotions projected at me, as I did with this news. Everyone had an opinion, and every opinion was strong, because they were rooted in the ego’s fears and desires. Fears around money most especially, as NYC is expensive, or how life here is perceived as such hard work, because it’s a different kind of lifestyle. It incited a level of self-scrutiny to see where parts of myself might still get hooked in. The mind, and fear most specifically, is a tricky bitch: she likes to test the heart to make sure the heart is sure. So I had to keep asking myself if I was fearful and if so, what kind of fear was I experiencing?
There are two kinds of fear: primal fear, that is an instinctual response to danger imposed on our survival, and fabricated fear, derived from egoic projections onto the future of negative outcomes based on experience. The first kind of fear should always be heeded. The second however, should always be questioned. And even better, likely discarded. (Technically, primal fear is often delineated into three kinds, but I personally find primal fear really only applies to the fear of death and the other two – abandonment and failure – belong to my second category.)
We all need to get intimately acquainted with fabricated fear.
If you’re not living your best life, how do you know what your best life is? Don’t we owe it to ourselves to try even the scariest things when what we’re currently doing isn’t working? I was drowning in a sea of homogeneous consistency of my own creation. I’m now completely in love with my new reality: myriad expressions of personhood; diversity exemplified; curiosity piqued; engagement amplified. For me this is relief, because it taps right into the heart of my gifts, which operate best responsively.
When we tune into the truth and passion within our own hearts, we discover that fabricated fear has no home here. Does it mean that we shouldn’t feel fear, absolutely not! But it forces us to reassess how we make our choices, how much we surrender to choices that require faith, and if we can trust that whatever challenges we face are opportunities rather than mistakes . . . we move beyond the limitations of fabricated fear into surrender . . . into a creative partnership with our divine nature.
Inside all of us is not only an urge that wants to be realized for our own fulfillment, but one that is deeply rooted in service to the collective transformation taking place at this time.
We each have a role to play. Some of us know it already, but the vast majority is just starting to feel the inner stirring of the deep urge to realize a new form. I see the perfection of New York City in my life now. This remarkable city – the gem that she is – is poised to be an example of what’s collectively possible. As the early epicenter of the COVID pandemic, NYC has withstood horrific collective trauma. Because of its collective heartbreak, it’s a population ripe for positive inner shifts. I’m here immersed in the matrix, with the clarity to reveal the matrix for what it is: an illusion of separation and individual ego. I am here in service to metamorphosis itself.
The current lack of consistency we’re experiencing collectively is revealing there is only one necessary consistency for us all: direct experience of our oneness. We’re all unique reflections of a divine whole moving into a new form; each of us becoming someone new and contributing to all of us becoming something more cohesive, expansive, and loving. So while the consistencies created by structures, routines, institutions, and even the seasonal weather break down, we’re called inwards to realize our new form. What will that be for you?
I imagine a city, a world, that can act from a unified, sacred consciousness, with each personal choice made within the larger framework of our collective paradigm.
This in no way diminishes our individual freedoms, but rather frees us from the burden of inciting – either by feeling it personally or projecting it outwards – guilt, shame, judgment, blame, or divisiveness in our collective experience. We are each responsible. And a just, diverse, and respectful reality is well within our capacities to manifest: an inner urge in urgent need of realization.
This is inner freedom . . . the one true and sustainable form of freedom. Each personal choice actualized under ethical considerations will always be for the highest and best outcome of all. We carry this moral compass within and can utilize it by default, if and only if, the veils of egoic illusion breakdown and fall away. All of the inconsistency – life as we know it now – is inviting us into a deeper relationship with ourselves and the world we inhabit. None of us is separate: you are me and I am you, but we all get the privilege of a lifetime of personal expression that reflects facets of the ultimate; together we are all unique, beautiful expressions of a cohesive, magical whole . . . therein lies the gift of a new kind of consistency, one that has always existed within each of us to realize in form.