Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Living On The Edge

Day 4 of 29 Days of Spiritual Messages.

Today's spiritual reading comes from the writing of photographer William Guion, who describes an oak tree leaning over a pond and how it speaks to his situation at the time. His reflection is based on his photograph Leaning Oak and Reflection, New Orleans, 1991.

Here's a snapshot from his reflection:

"A thin mist fell, or more accurately, hung in the air. Rain had soaked the landscape during the night, and mud at the water's edge sucked at my shoes. In the yawning light, I saw an oak leaning at a precarious angle over the water. The soil had eroded over time, dissolving much of the tree's foundation, yet the oak's roots were locked tenaciously into the receding land. Against the threat of drowning, this tree survived through an elegant dance of balance, perseverance and heroism. Almost in praise, the pond mirrored the oak's profile creating a beautiful mandala-like wheel with spokes of water, leaves, earth and light."

How often have we lived life on the edge? How often have we operated within our comfort zones, within safe boundaries, never really stretching outside of ourselves?

Oh, the uncertainty of life.

When we are faced with a decision that could change our lives forever, we tend to go back and forth in our thinking. We play out the possible scenarios in our minds; we carefully weigh our options.  The mist of doubt often clouds our vision. Sometimes we just don't know what to do or expect. In our impatience, we want answers, and we want them NOW. But the truth is, we won't know what happens until we do it, whatever it is.

That "thin mist" of uncertainty or doubt that hangs in the air, still and unmoving, will remain until we make a move. When we act, when we make a decision, we begin to move in the direction of choice. As we set things in motion, the universe begins to move and conspire, and we find the mist beginning to dissipate. Then we can move forward toward our vision.

The "rain that soaked the landscape during the night" has made a mess of things in our own interior landscape. It has loosened our foundation, making it difficult to traverse the land. We get stuck in the "mud" of our old thinking, our old ways, unsure of doing something new and different. Every time we try to make a move, the mud sucks at our feet, trying to hold us back, as if saying, "No! Don't go!" Our old ways do not want us to abandon them.

But "in the yawning light," what was once indiscernible now comes into view. Our weeping may have endured for a night, but joy now comes as we realize the direction in which we must go.

The "oak leaning at a precarious angle at the water's edge" reminds us of our position. We are at the edge of something big, something great, something heroic, if not to others, to ourselves. This is a big step. All of this time we've been playing it safe, doing what we thought and believed we should be doing or doing what was expected of us.

But something inside of us is  s t r e t c h i n g  us to reach further as we struggle between what should I do and what do I want. This is the crux of the matter, and so we stand on the edge of an uncertain future, "locked tenaciously into the receding land" of our old life, but desiring more by leaning forward over the "pond" of the unknown.

No matter what happens, we will survive. Our decision may be life-altering, but it is not life-or-death by any means. We come to see all the "rain" -- the grief we endured in our dark night -- as our baptism into a new life. And as we see the oak's profile as a "beautiful mandala-like wheel with spokes of water, leaves, earth and light" mirrored in the pond, we glimpse ourselves in a new form, reborn.

And so we are transformed.

Blessings.


10 comments:

  1. Another profound Truth!

    I made a life altering decision once years ago that had my family up in arms.
    They actually outcasted me from their "tribe" for five years! LOL!

    Honestly, that was the most "empowering" and "liberating" time of my life!

    That experience set into motion something "greater" within me that I knew revolutionized my life and my purpose to stand my ground even if I was alone.

    I say "Amen" to stepping out on the edge of something big, something great, if not to others, to ourselves!

    Healthy blessings,
    Gena :)

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    1. So, you were the "black sheep" too? LOL. So was I for about three years. And like you, I felt so liberated and empowered! I refuse to be compartmentalized because my Spirit is much more than just sitting in someone else's box.

      Amen for stepping out on that edge!!!

      Blessings.
      Penny

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  2. Well I always think of airosmith ...living on the edge...dating myself...lol..but I do retract when I live on the edge...its BC I don't want to mess up anything for my son....like if I truely expressed how I felt bout my job to my boss I would not have a job....I have to think of not only me would b effective but my son too...n that's not fare to him...but I too walk a line on living on the edge with how I think about things...
    b4 I would've always jump down peoples throats when they didn't agree with me...but now I listen and bite my tongue ..n that's living on the edge for me...lol.... and you do know me...lol
    But living on the edge also taught me to FINALLY stand up for myself...and that was so difficult for me...but I am living on the edge...in that sense...lol peace n blessing my friend ....

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    1. I knew you would get the Aerosmith reference...LOL.

      You must do what you feel led to do. And it's important to be in alignment with it.

      There are ways to be diplomatic about your job if things need to be expressed. Holding things in will do more harm than good, so if the air needs to be cleared, it can be done in a respectful way.

      And, yes, I know that Irish temper of yours...LOL. Pick and choose your battles.

      But remember, too, that when we change our thoughts and attitudes about work, things begin to change.

      Blessings.
      xoxo
      Penny

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  3. WOW! What else can I say, Penny, except, WOW! PROFOUND!

    <3

    :-)

    Kathy

    kathyhadleylifecoach.com

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    1. I'm just channeling Spirit, Kathy!! Letting it flow and being in the flow!

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting.
      Blessings.
      Penny :)

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    2. I LOVE THAT!!!

      That is why it feels so good!

      I LOVE getting the STREAM from different channels.

      All ONE yet all Unique, too!

      Strange, and beautiful!

      :-)

      Kathy

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    3. Amen, Kathy!

      All ONE yet all Unique...love it!
      :-)
      Pen

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  4. You have such a gift for writing and drawing analogies that make the meaning so clear. I love reading your posts, what a talent you have for revealing profound truths in your writing. So often in the past my fears have held me stuck and I struggled to get free. Even now, sometimes I can see the same pattern emerging. And yet, I can feel the wind of change upon me and it's exciting and exhilarating. Transformation...bring it on! :D

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    1. Andrea, thank you so much for your kind words. Writing has been my outlet since I was a child. It took me a long time to accept it as a gift because I didn't think it was good enough. Silly me. I've since learned that Spirit has endowed me with this gift to use to inspire and encourage others.

      Fear certainly is a tricky little devil, but we know that it can be overcome when we face it, and it knows we can overcome it. Thank God for awareness so that we can recognize old patterns when they try to emerge so that we can nip them in the bud.

      Let those winds of change blow! My sails are ready!
      Blessings.
      Penny

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