Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Breathing In, Breathing Out

In a few days we begin the year that some believe will be the end of the world.  I prefer to add the phrase "as we know it" and join in the celebrations around the world that predict a marvelous transformation of fear into love.

            The energy is mounting.  More and more, I find myself in cosmic conversations that blissfully dance around images of joy.  Beatific smiles grace the voices on many different venues where people feel more free to describe the sense that wonderful events are unfolding.
            I recognize that I am in Vermont where progressive ideas are common place, but the internet proves to me that the euphoria spreads like a wildfire of coals even the most timid may soon be brave enough to walk upon.  In grocery stores, at high school soccer games, on talk shows and seminars, in a wealth of books printing from many presses, the joyful tales are told how spirit is rising in so many of us.
            After a lifetime of work, I have published my own book.  The sense of pride and satisfaction to hold a copy in my hand is immense, complimented wonderfully by the gentle "pling" of an email's arrival to announce another copy purchased.
            My ego is less salved by the effort, however, than that I am proud to be contributing one more story about leaving expectations behind and pursuing a more heartfelt way of life.  Some of my family and friends are at a complete loss of patience and lack of understanding for my leap into this blatant and unapologetic revelation of my embarrassing secrets.  I hope anyone reading it will find resonance in the description of finding faith and meaning in embracing the parts of myself that are the truest expression of my heart.

          To leap into one's faith, to invest in the unsupported belief that intuition will lead to a more secure happiness than following rational rules is a scary act to take.  I am full of fear and fighting my conscience every hour to keep panic at bay.  With no solid job in sight, no reliable income to pay my rent stored in the bank, I can shudder with fright, nearly immobilized if I ponder too long.

            Listening to headlines and watching the news, the world does not seem to be a safe place.  My job search supports the theory that the economy is desperately slow, trying to hold itself together, but is ultimately a pyramid scheme heading for an inevitable crash.  Grim faces struggle around me to make ends meet.  More diseases from a toxic environment take the lives of friends.  We still insist on making war on terrorists by broadening the definition to include just about anyone, even our own citizens occupying their right to freely assemble and speak.
            Sleep-broken nights for several weeks have been terrorizing my own balance.  Taking on a carpentry job to make ends meet this month is counter-intuitive to my claims two years ago that doing so ever again could mean a fall much worse than from my scaffold.  Having one book in my hand, my heart aches to scribble loftier thoughts instead of calculate the inches between two by fours.
            Despite the fear, compromises must be made for now.
            Relief comes when I remember my promises to my heart.  While I breathe between hammer strokes, I consider that my purpose may be in doubt, my faith once again jeopardized by the pursuit of dollars, but my heart strives to hold strong.
            The power is in the breathing.  With each conscious inhalation, I remember that these are all steps, small steps in a large life, leading to something I cannot see. I have hopes and dreams.  I trust what I feel and know what I know. No clear thought enlightens me to get ahead, but the simple act of breathing, the concentration on the very simple action itself, stops my mind from wandering and gives me life.
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