Thank God for the wise ones amongst us. Reading the deeply wrought words of the wise opens us to new vistas of what is possible, through their inner work new horizons begin to open up for us. Our individual decision to make a difference in this world can only benefit from a deep digestion of their wisdom. The integrating of wisdom is often a journey into our own frailty.
‘You Were Made For This. My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.’ – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Dear Clarissa, thank you for your inspiring words. They touch me deeply. I thank God for people like you, so deep and wise. You see so clearly, verbalise and express yourself so well, and I’d love to join you in saving the world, but I am a little busy right now.
I just don’t see how I can squeeze any more into my day! I agree the world is a bit of a mess. It just all seems way too big a problem for me to deal with. And, as my dear old mum said, ‘If you can’t complete a job, don’t start’. She was wise, like you. If I could just work out how to turn my new iPhone on to global roam I’d ring you and have a chat about it all; I too have a few good ideas. But, gee my life is so busy right now. There is so much to do, so little time. And, it’s not just me, everyone I know is so busy. My mind is agog, trying to work out how to keep on top of it all. Mentally, Clarissa, I am stretched to breaking point. I can’t figure it out, I have all the latest technology at my fingertips, iPad, iPhone, I am connected to Facebook, Twitter, social media, LinkedIn and Basecamp, but I am still breathlessly busy and trying to catch up on last week’s emails. And meetings? I am up to here with meetings.
My new mindfulness app doesn’t seem to be working properly. I just want to throw my hands in the air. I thought technology was going to make my life easier, and I quietly hoped the world would change for the better through Bill and Steve’s good work. I can’t help but think Steve would be dreadfully disappointed with me.
Everywhere I look I seem to be up against it. Mentally I am withering on the vine, and just between you and me, Clarissa, I am starting to hear voices. All of this rushing, to no good end, has confounded my mental faculties. This techno-induced stress has set my mind in a tizz – one minute telling myself I am a hopeless techno-klutz, shy, lazy, rude and recalcitrant – and the next I am an expression of divinity, mindful, and an inspiration. It seems the busier I get the more deafening the inner voices become. The dance of modern life, for me, is like dancing with a gorilla in a canoe.
Just quietly Clarissa, I’m not entirely sure I am made for these times. I pine for a good horse and a sunset.
‘In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know.’ – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Fainting? I am so glad you brought that up, I think I am past the fainting stage. Okay, I confess, some of the voices are true. I can be very lazy. I try not to be. I take steps to combat my innately slothful approach to life. I set my alarm early, so I can spring out of bed to tend to the ‘unmended’, but the new android phone alarm app doesn’t seem to work. Actually, I don’t want to dwell on these voices but some of them are actually quite amusing, especially when I stand naked in front of a mirror. After years of therapy, workshops, mind training, visualising, NLP, and other modalities, you’d think I’d have a better grip on it all. I look to you for guidance, and will do my best to not dwell upon my failings. It is a comfort to know I am needed.
‘I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind. Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.’ – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Oh, you have such a way with words. Gee, that’s a beautiful vision right there Clarissa. I can smell the salty air and feel the wind whipping around me. The wine-dark sea washes over me as I read your words. Please don’t feel poorly towards me, but I feel more dinghy than seagoing vessel. My hands are easily chafed from rowing, and every time the wind comes up I part company with my breakfast over the side of the boat, downwind of the other folk of course. I find crowds distressing and the thought of being with millions of other boats makes me come over all clammy. I do have motion sickness ever since I caught the ferry from Freo to Rottnest Island. Are there any tasks I could perform on terra firma?
‘Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.’ – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Ah, now I think I’m catching on! Oh. I feel so silly. I thought, well, it doesn’t matter what I thought. So, okay, mending a little part of the world within my ‘reach’. Clarissa, clever you! Ha. Well, let me think what can I do in my neck of the woods? Perhaps I could pop a post on Facebook to see who might need a hand? Or maybe I could share your wise words on LinkedIn? Hmm, come to think of it there are a few little things I could do today that might just make a difference to someone. I know a few people I could help out, and perhaps gather a few friends together, and see how we might each help one another. ‘Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul …’ Oh, Clarissa, silly you, if only you’d said so earlier! I’m going to crank up my iPhone and get busy.
Julian Noel, founder of Shine, vision holder, leader, connector. Presenter. Consultant. Coach. Facilitator. Maker of unreasonable requests. Sacred activist. Shine is a community that supports people to act on their inspiration, find their true purpose and helps them do what they love to do. We are creating a world where everyone shines. 0405 466 340 | http://shinesydney.com.au
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