Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Two Words To Tip My World
"The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.”
— Chögyam Trungpa
I am living between worlds, but here I am. Right now, here, in life experience.
We all have lessons and events that life offers to us for soul growth and it is up to us to learn or not. How this works is a mystery to me, but I know it happens. How many helpings of a lesson served might be a factor of acceptance or resistance, action or retreat. Maybe it varies. I can only guess or estimate from my own experience.
What is certain, in my opinion, is that as soon as we think there is mastery, what feels like solid ground, "Finally, safety and security!", the ground gives way, it shifts again. Maybe we stumble, maybe we free fall, perhaps we are picked up by tornado like forces only to be dropped in a whole different state of being, all different expressions of no ground.
Some of these lessons happen over time and they make themselves known gently, they ease their way in, glacially slow. Some blast in, abrupt and shattering, like a volcano erupting, changing reality in a mere instant. In a flash a new world can blossom, illusion once again torn away.
The illusion being the idea that I am in control of anything except for my personal response to these brilliant, divine offerings. I can suffer or I can soar. I can resist or relax. I can stay who I am or I can expand and evolve.
I am moving into a great wide unknown, time to fly. I will tell you why.
A little over a month ago I was sitting sleepily on my couch, considering the long journey to my bed. My husband, Stephen, was traveling so it was all up to me. Move or don't move. I had total control of this small yet immediate experience. Blissfully simple.
The phone rang and the caller i.d. let me know it was Stephen, odd for him to call me at this late hour. I answered and after a short "hello" and "how are you?", he got down to the reason for the call. My ground was about to fall out from under me in volcanic, seismic, plate shifting fashion.
He said, "I could not sleep until I talked to you."
This put my guard up and slapped the sleep off my face.
I said, "What's going on?"
He said, "I got a call today and have been offered a promotion, but we will have to move."
Now, this was not very shocking since we have moved several times for his job and we knew a promotion was on the horizon. To me this felt like a thunderstorm event, a rumble and roar, but nothing we have not weathered before.
So of course my next question was, "To where?"
I anticipated something like Maryland, Ohio, Minnesota. Perhaps far but familiar.
The next two seconds would quickly fill with two booming, explosive words and my whole world would tilt on its very axis.
The response was, "Shanghai, China."
Those two words instantaneously changed the face of my life landscape. All my routines, my predictable life, my very sense of who I am began to crumble. I felt like I was dissolving, falling so fast through space and time. One second I was here, and now......and now I am here, but not quite here. I am changed, though nothing has really changed, not yet.
I was just trying to go to bed and now I was going to freaking China! From simple to insanely complicated, just like that. It only took two words to tip my world.
Shanghai, China, almost might as well be Mars. I have no concept, no frame of reference, no language, no idea whatsoever, and I love that. Complete newness, the ultimate clean slate.
I am so excited to go, so very intrigued, I can hardly wait. I know I am going to explore so much new territory both externally and internally. I am going to ride some big waves and crash on a few rocks, cliff jumping, life diving. No parachute.
I do have some anxiety, maybe even a smidgen of fear, but mostly I am just totally fascinated about this new venture, this new chapter.
Even with no ground out there, I have the very solid rock of my faith and spiritual practice, in here, in me.
The most important people in my life are going with me.
Lesson number one in groundlessness is that you only ever have control over your responses to people, places, events and changes. You choose your actions, your words, your way of seeing.
When you know that you can fall with no parachute, nothing to hold on to, and know also that you are perfectly safe. You can go anywhere, anything can happen!
For me, next stop Shanghai.