Chaos and creation go hand in hand. One is never without the presence of the other.
The world we live in has shifted drastically. As we look on, we know that the structures that once held up “the way things were” are collapsing. A constant stream of conflicting information, fear-mongering information, misinformation flows to us daily. All at the tap of a button. All filtered through algorithms that carefully curate our greatest fears in order to sell us things to temporarily alleviate those fears. Just long enough to leave us hungry for more.
With all of the things that are happening in the world right now it is easy to get disheartened. It is easy to give in to fear. It is easy, especially in this time of solitude, to want to connect with others through the sharing of that fear.
So fear compounds. So it grows.
But nothing is any less certain now than it ever was. With the crumbling of the facades of stability and reliance on faulty institutions, we have a golden opportunity. It is the opportunity to see that we have always had what we need in order to thrive. Not merely survive, but to thrive.
This thriving happens when we take stock of who we really are and what we are really capable of. In the slumber of comfort that comes with “the way things are” we can lose sight of the fact that we are resilient, creative, intelligent people. When we let our minds be controlled by the media, the news, the indoctrination given to us by the educational system, we can forget that we come from survivors. We come from people that faced the ends of their worlds and somehow were able to gather their intelligence, strength, and adaptation and overcome the challenges in front of them.
The only proof you need is that you are here reading this.
The shifting sands of our world are bringing forward new opportunities. Ones that have never existed before because the world can never become what it was. It only moves in the ever-shifting direction of the unfolding Mystery.
To see the opportunities, you have to have vision. You have to have sight.
True sight comes from the willingness to be fully present in the moment you are living. It is to know how to be alert but not expectant. Confident but not comfortable. It is to, first of all, realize that there is never a moment of chaos that does not have a moment of opportunity simultaneously born out of it.
These are the things that have been on my mind lately. Observing the world around me, and observing the dancing fluctuations of thought and fear through the virtual world. It has been a trying time. This year has flown by and, largely, not at all turned out as I would have imagined it. But it has been what it is meant to be.
In the process, it has taught me many things. It has helped me to see the wisdom of flexibility. The ability to get to know a world that I am unexpectedly limited to for the duration of this quarantine. I has taught me that the only way that I can move forward is through a careful balance of discipline and adaptability. Being willing to take stock in my gifts and my opportunities, not with projections of the future, after all none of us knows what that future will look like, but with a devotion to being fully present and alive now.
In the Toltec teachings, we learn about using death as our advisor. In knowing that this precious human experience that we are having is never guaranteed. It is, instead, the moment by moment flickering consciousness that arises in us. That allows you in this moment to think of yourself as you.
The great illusion is that there ever is a future. There is always, and only, what is now. Our lives are perpetually shaped by that now. If you learn to live in it, you will realize that there is no need for fear. Fear only arises when we are stuck in the future. Fear only arises when we are consumed by the illusions we create in our minds of what will be. Either good or bad.
Whenever you feel yourself being pulled into fear stop and find your breath. Be consciously aware of it. Close your eyes and witness it spread throughout your lungs, throughout your body. Feel into your body by becoming aware of it. Stretch your senses, see how many different sights, smells, sounds you can recognize at the time. Doing this pulls you out of the realm of your internal dialog, which is where all of the fear is created, and into the knowing of your body. When you find yourself there you will be in the now.
Ask yourself what your gifts or talents are.
Who can benefit from them now? They are certainly needed. All you have to do is allow yourself to see by whom. Perhaps envision new ways of applying those same gifts.
I recently had a conversation with a teacher that is feeling really weighed down by this pandemic. In the conversation, she told me that she does not think she can go back to being a teacher. But being a teacher is something that starts in the heart. Not in the subject matter. Not in the area of expertise. Not in the classroom. Being a teacher is something that starts in the heart of the one that can see the brilliant potential in the hearts of others. Then use whatever the subject may be to coax that brilliance out. It is done in many different contexts, but it is always, if one is called to be a teacher, first and foremost in the heart of the teacher and the heart of the student.
That gift will always be necessary.
At the heart of it, all of our greatest gifts have to do with how we make others feel. How we bring our experience and willingness to witness someone else grow by sharing that experience. This is part of the universal unfolding of consciousness.
It is the part that we can all play. In any situation. By doing so, we become aware of the opportunities in the chaos. We become the agents of creation. Some beautiful things will arise out of what we are facing right now. It is up to us to give our inner gifts to help them grow.