Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Challenge, Transition and Appreciation


There is an ancient Zen phrase "wei jee jyi chuan jee" which states "crisis is opportunity". This ancient Chinese motto can serve to remind us that we have choice in how we deal with the more difficult moments in life. While times of crisis certainly bring with them feelings like pain, fear, and exhaustion, they also provide us the opportunity to respond with a cadre of more noble qualities. It is in these times of crises that we are forced to look at who we are when all of our surface qualities are stripped away. We are pushed to answer the question "who am I" with immediate relevance. Crisis can create an empty feeling void that must be filled in order to prevent the potential collapse of our entire psyche. Never the less, the emptiness that crisis leaves us with creates an opportunity for us to choose how we will fill the remaining void and what we will fill it with .

I have found hidden away in the everyday occurrences of life, many lessons. These types of simple moments are essential to our development as sentient beings. This is no more true than in times of distress. While it is true that crisis inherently forces us to look at ourselves and face who we are at the core of our existence, it also provides us with the opportunity to find meaning in the often overlooked moments of day to day life.

Our emotions are as significant as they are both relative and temporary. They are a part of the way we relate to the world around us and they are filled with partial truths and mistruths. As quickly as they afflict, they can resolve. They can bring heaviness as effectively as lightness and opposites always travel is pairs. One can not exist without the other.

I lay on an angled rocky outcrop at the edge of a several hundred foot cliff. My position here on the sun warmed rock provides as much peace and comfort as I have felt in some time. Behind me a self proclaimed city girl remarks about the precariousness of my position, all the while expressing exuberance over conquering the mountain (from road to rim the hike is about a mile). It's all relative I guess. While taking in this scene thoughts drop slowly and leaves fall to the ground. Fall is so good for moments like this. I think about concepts like struggle, progress, and change. Mostly, I think about how good it feels to be without shoes or socks, nestled in a shallow crevasse on the edge of a cliff with the fall sun warming my face. A feeling, I know, that will not last. There is no place here for regrets.

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