“An idea for a Philosophy Friday: Like you, my past life was control oriented and deadline driven. It consumed me. I have quashed many of my Type-A behaviors. But I am still unable to Trust the Universe, to believe that I am not try to control everything that happens in my life. I have a friend that has mastered this trust, and he is spiritual, calming, and truly happy.
Think back to when life’s troubles and disappointments appeared. They seemed like giant waves or mountains. But as time passed, we persevered and these bad things made us a better, wiser, kinder, stronger person. While I don’t believe that “things happen for a reason,” I believe that if we are more open to face these challenges head-on and are truly listening, we will gain that strength sooner.
So, my new journey begins with this attempt to Trust the Universe. Obviously, there are many changes that we can and must effect (no plastic bags, clean oceans and air, eating locally and organically, reducing our carbon footprints), but I think that we can gain positive power by not fighting and resisting the Universe and by using this new energy for changing and improving the things that can be changed.
Now I just have to figure out how to foster this trust.”
This sparked off some mid-ocean musings. At one stage I really had the hang of trusting the universe. It was just after I had stepped off the edge of my known world (job, marriage, home) and, contrary to my fears, had not fallen into a cold, dark limbo, but instead into an exciting, vibrant life full of freedom and potential. This is a fairly radical way to acquire trust in the universe. For me, it really, really worked in a very dramatic way, but it is not necessarily one I would recommend that you try at home. It can be a little traumatic for everybody concerned.
Shortly after that, I tested out my newfound trust by spending 3 months traveling alone in Peru. For the first time in my life, I chose my next steps intuitively rather than intellectually, and this powerfully reinforced my trust in the universe. I found travel a great way to let go of old ways of doing things, and to try out new ones. Being in unfamiliar surroundings helped me – in fact, forced me – to see things afresh.
The travel option is less radical than leaving husband, home, etc etc. – but there again, the bigger the leap of faith, the greater the level of trusting required and acquired. Like riding a bike for the first time, sometimes you just have to go for it. If you keep looking forwards and maintain your momentum, it will probably go well. But if you start to doubt yourself and look back, you are more likely to suffer a major wobble followed by a crash.
As to trusting the Universe in facing our environmental challenges, I agree that we too often focus on the problems, which creates feelings of combat and resistance. Personally, I would prefer to see us focusing on a different way of living that makes us happier and more fulfilled, and also just happens to be more sustainable. We need to focus on the positive, rather than on the problems.
After yesterday’s wonderful reprieve, today was a toughie. I passed that significant milestone, but there was little else today worth celebrating. Blown mostly sideways rather than forwards. Waves building to boatfiller proportions. Another iPod bit the dust, as did another set of Aquapac earbuds. I am down to my last set now.
Quote of the day: “Surrendering to life offers some wonderful realizations. We learn we’re capable of being in this dance, of working with whatever happens. We learn to trust ourselves and then others and, gradually, we learn that life itself can be trusted.” (Margaret Wheatley)
Sponsored Miles: Bonnie Sterngold, Stanley Miller, David Cameron, Nick Perdiew, Stephanie Batzer, Hand Verwey, Larry Grandt, Linda Leinen – your sponsorship is greatly appreciated.