There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when is serves, or lose our ventures.
I first read that quote in 1975. I remember cutting it out and putting it on my bulletin board so I would read it daily. The Institute of Noetic Sciences published The Shift Reports in 2007 & 2008. They talked about A World in Transition. Many of the common features suggested a move from a materialistic to a humanitarian-spiritual orientation toward life:
Attention to spiritual growth
A sense of responsibility to the environment
Reverence for nature and the earth
A sense of inclusiveness toward humanity
Among their comments on shifting assumptions and values, they mentioned an integration of science and values, compassion and the awareness of the suffering of others, integration of feminine energy and the values of cooperation and love, and valuing intuition.
We are in a world in transition. We are called to choose what matters to us most. We are also called to show up, be seen, speak our truth, and take the risks that entails. I see many friends in the generations after mine (baby boomer), questioning, exploring, experimenting, and showing up to participate. They inspire me, provoke me, challenge me, and support me. It is clear we are each other’s mentors. We explore mutual relevance. What matters? What matters now? What are we saying yes to? Can we do that even if it doesn’t make sense and it is scary? What does it take? What if we think we are alone?
Integration isn’t something we do, it happens. There is an inherent integration of action and resting. We call it balance and we strive for it. However, balance isn’t a static state, it is a flow. We are integrating our experiences while we are having them. I often use the example of Shavasana…the pose at the end of a yoga set when we get to lie on our backs, breathe, rest, and integrate the set. If we didn’t do that pose, the union of body, mind, and spirit would be compromised. There is a purpose in the pose that matters. Living an integrated or whole life, requires a willingness to acknowledge the flow. The dance of action and resting, saying yes and letting go, managing fear and nurturing courage, being an observer and taking a stand. It is happening with or without our awareness. Consciously choosing to be aware is not for everyone. It is an expansive experience and one that calls us forth to notice our choices.
“On such a full sea are we now afloat”
What are we willing to choose? How conscious are we of the choices we make and don’t make? What are the ways we can be compassionate with ourselves as we make mistakes, fail, fail more, fail better…and continue to show up and participate?
Notice the kindred spirits in your life; other explorers, questioners, and risk takers. For the sake of what are you willing to play on your own edges? I heard myself say today to my kindred community that my commitment is to a future I won’t be here for. Somehow that matters more and more as I grow older.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, emotions, and truths.