“She felt that somehow, wandering through uncharted territory, we might stumble upon something that will, in an instant, seem to represent who we are at the core. That was very much her philosophy of life—to not be limited by fear or narrow definitions, to not build walls around ourselves and to do our best to find kinship and beauty in unexpected places.”
~ Maya Soetoro-Ng, speaking of Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro
A few of us might be more likely than not to gain some equanimity, or at least resilience, when faced with the unknown, uncharted, and uncertain.
Instinctively, though, we might be more inclined to avoid uncharted territory, whether because sameness feels comforting, or we’re just flat-out fatigued by perpetual change and transformation.
The recognized, familiar terrain makes us feel more comfortable. Safe. At least for awhile, on the surface.
Life often has other ideas for us, though, since the very nature of Life is perpetual change, and there’s a whole lot of that stirring up these days.
There’s a lot of Phoenixing unfolding for more than a few of us!
Even so, it can seem that some of us get served up a whole lot more change and challenge than others.
Though I’ve experienced so much of it — those perfect storms that stir up dizzying, norm-shattering, nonnegotiable upheaval — I still can’t say that I’m blasé about it.
Sometimes it really is neither desirable nor fun, though after awhile the ‘backpack’ of handy tips, tools, practices, and helpful perceptual lenses does become well-stocked.
That’s a plus, as well as experience that can be shared with others to make their way a bit more graceful, their mojo a bit more resilient and creative, and their ability to navigate those ways with a bit less trauma or isolation more solid.
So finding some fluency and even adopting a sense of ‘creative adventure’ with it might be the invitation. May as well, yes?
It’s true, though, when I really look at it.
Where those fabricated walls are — in an effort to keep fearsome change and ‘other’ out, to try to keep the fear of change at bay through the seeming safety of sameness — there’s also a stunted growth, a staleness or stagnancy that has more in common with a living death than in full-on living.
Opening those self-and-culture-created, life-stunting boundaries, creating bridges where chasms once frightened us — having our too-small perceptions and beliefs challenged and expanded by the uncharted, the unsame, the other — also feeds a new creativity, a new heartfulness, a revitalized sense of aliveness and inspiration.
This is just one of many things we share in common, at the roots of it, even with those who have been painted as ‘other’.
As Maya shares in her remembrance, where these old boundaries get shaken and opened up, we also find unexpected joy, creativity, kinship, beauty, and connection.
Where have you found joy, creativity, kinship, and beauty in unexpected places, by traveling behind your fear-walls and previous narrow perceptions?
Where are, or how might you be, walking those ‘nonnegotiable perfect-storm’ transformation paths right now?
Featured image credit: Thai Rainforest. Photo by Michael Cory, CC via Wikimedia.
May 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm
I love this expression… “walking those ‘nonnegotiable perfect-storm’ transformation paths”.
Sometimes it feels like crawling until you look back and realize you have traveled so far that you must have been somehow delivered.
May 15, 2017 at 5:36 pm
Oh yes, crawling. It does sometimes feel that way. Though as you said, hindsight-view can show just how far we’ve traveled (with more than a bit of Grace, as far as I’m concerned!). Blessings to you (and thanks for all that you share from your journey-wisdom).
May 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm
The well-stocked backpack does come in handy! Thanks for this, enjoyed reading.
May 15, 2017 at 8:29 pm
You’re welcome, Cheryl. Thank you for stopping by! (And a well-stocked backpack really does come in handy, doesn’t it. 🙂 ).
May 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm
Life definitely has its own ideas! Great post Jamie. Here’s to the unknown of life. 😃
May 15, 2017 at 9:22 pm
Don’t we know it. 🙂 Yes, here’s to the unknown (and the kinship and beauty) of life. xoxo
May 16, 2017 at 8:08 am
… and after some “time” of more expansion … “created bridges” … may just become … internal pathways 😉
May 16, 2017 at 8:34 am
… or, if we drop all that we might seem to know, including our Self-limiting “well-stocked backpack”
“everything we might stumble upon, might seem to represent who we are at the core”
May 16, 2017 at 10:17 am
… and somehow “my associative mind” ponders … are these not two sides of the same coin ???
“Setting Down the Great Sack of Boulders” and the ““well-stocked backpack”” …
Ohhh … “my associations” … should I cry or laugh now … only a smile 🙂 appears yet 😉
May 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm
Perhaps it’s a perceptual shift, or a qualitative one. Fixity and fluidity. The associative mind will find other possibilities. 🙂
May 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm
The well-stocked backpack is a symbol for our resourcefulness at the core, rather than a literal one. You knew this, of course. 🙂
May 17, 2017 at 10:15 am
… also it would be beautiful to experience … “a silent unwavering (associative) mind” … there seems to be a longing to go beyond it …
No Jamie, i did not know about that symbol … “a well-stocked backpack is a symbol for our resourcefulness at the core” … as then an other association pops-up from Tilopas Mahamudra:
“MAHAMUDRA IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS”
… also nature seems to be so abundant in it’s ways to bloom and blossom and grow fruits etc. …
so “resourcefulness” seems to have some “lack” associations within my mind-structure when approached from this perspectives …
… “words and symbols” … seem to confuse “my mind” … a lot 😉
… also I am not able yet to firmly remain in mySelf and not express these stirrings of “mind” … which seem to be survival mechanism of “mind”
All the best
May 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm
So true Jamie, change can feel overwhelming at times, but it makes space for great things to happen.
May 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm
It can, Andrea … understandably, right? 🙂 And true enough – great things (and just new things & thus new learning) rely upon change. Thanks (as always) for stopping by.
May 25, 2017 at 1:55 am
Reblogged this on dreamweaver333.
May 25, 2017 at 11:15 pm
Thank you for the reblog, Violet Gold! 🙂 I’m grateful that you’ve shared this with your readers. Blessings to you!