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The Cave of Destiny

“In the cave of Destiny, She spins, She weaves, She cuts…”

The more I deepen in my own work, and the more I dive into the pool of stillness, the more it becomes clear to me that my writing, teaching, and traveling have the purpose of helping a few people walk more firmly into their work. I see this with some of my clients and students: their work is going to end up having far reaching consequences heretofore unimagined. They are going to touch people in ways I can barely comprehend, but I can feel it, and it feels big. And for the other folks who come my way, my hope is that what I offer helps to bring them a bit closer to their Divine Work in the world, or to at least makes their day-to-day lives a little better. And of course, I try to keep learning.

This sort of realization – that there are people I know who’s work feels so profound it can make my offerings feel small – can leave me feeling both incredibly grateful and a bit bewildered. There are still parts of my ego that want to set the world on fire with sparks of awareness and creativity. There are other parts of my ego that want to just live what feels like a simple life, an ordinary life. And there are yet other parts that say, “Yes! This! My work helps these amazing people!” Luckily, the latter voices are loudest, but perhaps because of my Libran nature, the reality is that I live somewhere in between these facets. My task is still the great return. It is not to speak to everyone’s heart and soul. It is not to make everyone happy. No, it is to show up for yoga and contemplation every morning, to sit with teachers, and to continue with the practices of self-observation and cleansing, to notice the ways in which I avoid looking at my own reflection, or act out of fear, or make assumptions. It is never ending work. It is work that will last a lifetime. It is from all of this that I write, and teach, and travel.

Daunting? I could let it become so – and sometimes it feels that way, particularly when I run up against the friction of expectations – but there is also the sense of stillness within and beneath it all. That stillness is what carries me forward. That stillness is what continuously connects me to my destiny. Without it, I think I would be lost.

Whenever my personality gets agitated around the work at hand, there are four options I return to, depending on the duration of the reaction: First I re-center and breathe, and return to stillness, which connects me to compassion; I might ask my personality part what it wants or needs; I may call up a friend to vent for ten minutes; or I might do a cleansing rite to help me return to balance. No matter which of these I choose – and usually all it takes is the first – there arises a sense of connection that abides as a thread between myself and whatever I feel upset, hurt, or irritated about. This sense has been cultivated and is maintained by the consistent return to the cave of stillness. It has taken many years practice, but as with all things we practice, it has gotten easier, simpler, and stronger. For this, I give thanks!

We want our egos to be our allies, not our slaves or masters. We have success and make mistakes, sometimes moment by moment. Can we keep on? We are living in times where many seem to be in great turmoil and forces of upheaval are affecting even the planet: volcanoes erupting, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes… Many spiritual communities in transition and questioning, countries are at war, or arming for war. In these times, the bedrock of quiet, the opening gates of silence, can be of help. How? We are affected as individuals by the forces at work on a global and even cosmic scale. If each individual can remember this, and make time to seek out silence, there will be greater equilibrium in our lives, and we can draw from that to better help everyone around us.

No matter what our work is, we don’t need to give up when things feel like they are just too much to handle. We can retreat instead, into the nurturing, life giving silence. We can catch our breath and find our way back home.

Blessings to you all. Blessings in and on and from your work.

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