Experience: Out of Whack
I’ve been feeling quite out of sorts lately. With daily accounts of anger, hatred, and violence across the country, it has been like standing in the middle of a cultural hurricane. And it hasn’t just been the news. Friends and family are swept up in the national story. Nearly every personal exchange I have begins with COVID-19, civil unrest, elections, climate change, or the economy. It is as if I and everyone else is free falling, groping in the dark, and wondering where to turn for answers. Not a surprise that my mind is distracted and agitated.
This distraction has taken its toll on my normal, daily rhythms. Time has a weird bend to it and I find it sometimes difficult to motivate myself to do what was once easy or normal. Because, I say to myself often, nothing feels normal or easy. The hours can pass, but my work and tasks don’t seem to flow like they once did. People I would see daily are stuck inside. Work meetings are now remote and distanced. Passers by on the street move away to the other side. It all feels strange. On some days, even with great attention, each step I take seems like walking in heavy snow. I labor forward, with extra effort. I am out of whack.
There is a great convergence taking place right now in the United States, perhaps in the world. A number of forces are coming together that will shape our future as a human species for years to come. Convergence happens when possibilities have been explored and conversations come to a decision or action point. It is a time of reckoning and choice. The November elections are but one of these choice points. We can see actions on subjects from climate change, racial equity, economic disparity, and more coming to a head. It is the “fierce urgency of now” that Martin Luther King Jr. described in 1963.
Allowing yourself to stand in the zone of convergence is like being in a wild place. It is a space where answers are not yet formed. It is a place where destruction and darkness collide with brightness and hope. A time of convergence is painful, confusing, and the results are by their nature not knowable. You just have no idea of what will take place. It is unsettling. It is a WILD place.
Practice: Birthing the New
Here are some steps to take to be completely engaged with WILD convergence:
Total Attention – As understandable as it may be to want this to be over with, wild places of convergence require our complete and utter attention. It is like giving birth. There will be contractions and pain. There will be moments when we want to turn away. If we don’t pay complete attention to what is going on, however, we will miss mysterious and subtle opportunities that show up. Be on the look out for glorious surprises and strange and wonderful possibilities. You have to be in the game to win!
Take Action – Small actions can seem pointless. But any action you take makes a difference because it multiplies geometrically with other people’s actions. Show up to a talk. Give money or time to things you believe in. Reach out to a neighbor or friend you haven’t seen in a while. Action leads to more action.
Breathe – Make sure you take extra time for breathing and grounding. This is the exact time when slowing down and deepening your breath into your belly is critical. Take at least 15 minutes each day paying focused attention to your breath. Breath brings you and others to life; birthing the new.