|A powerful storm rolls in... How will you weather it?|
The following visualization/meditation has saved my mental & emotional hindquarters more times than I remember. I was reminded of it recently while considering the stormy seas of a few friends. Circumstances being what they are in the world, I thought it might prove to be of value to someone who wanders across this page. It is also something I have wanted to save here for my children, for the files. It comes with an unusual backstory -- I received this tool, this insightful gem, from a most surprising & peculiar source. As I said before,
...wisdom resides in the most curious places.
Many, many Moons ago, I was a member of a women's "service organization" which today is considered by many to be a cult. (Indeed, it has the been subject of exposés both written & televised.) I personally never felt that I had been coerced, manipulated or brainwashed into participating, but I will confess that some of their members behaved as if they had. I involved myself by choice & took my leave, with some sadness, when other obligations demanded my full attention. I am thankful to the women who cared for me & taught me so many valuable, life-changing lessons & my hope is that those who were unhappy found the strength to walk away while those who had found their home remain there to this day, nurturing others.
In order to be accepted as a member of this organization, women (there is a men's version too) must attend a relatively expensive, weekend-long, sleep depriving, emotional roller-coaster of a conference which could be best described as EST joining forces with Mars & Venus (of the "men/women are from..." variety). The bulk of the women-only event involved an often inspirational & sometimes demeaning monologue by the organization's leader/guru (ironically, a man) who had spent most of his career as a counselor & therapist.
As a result of his counseling work, he determined that a great deal of the unhappiness in human life results from lack of purpose & perspective. In a nutshell, he argued that when a person is serving only their own immediate needs, their personal struggles & problems appear very large. However, if a person chooses to serve a higher purpose (one that serves a cause beyond their own) their personal problems appear diminished. He further reasoned that the greater the purpose for which someone works, the smaller their own misfortunes will appear & they will experience them with less drama... Drama. It's all about perspective.
Despite its dubious origins, this meditation/visualization is a fabulous exercise in perspectivism (an approach for which I have much fondness):
perspectivism |pərˈspektiˌvizəm|noun1 Philosophy the theory that knowledge of a subject is inevitably partial and limited by the individual perspective from which it is viewed. See also relativism .2 the practice of regarding and analyzing a situation or work of art from differentpoints of view.
-- Apple Dictionary
First, a couple of notes: 1) This is written in my own words, from my own aged memory -- a memory which has been modified over time because I have been using this technique for upwards of twenty years. To say that this is the work of the "guru" would be untrue. What follows is a permutation of his exercise which has evolved over the years while loitering about somewhere in my psyche waiting to be dusted off & embraced whenever drama threatened to outstrip sound thinking. But, quite honestly, I think my version is better. 2) I learned this before we humans had the internet. Well, at least before we had the internet with pictures. Although I haven't done this yet myself, I suggest taking advantage of the Goo-goo Goggle mapping system to enhance the visuals of this exercise. Or, stay old-school & don't. 3) I used this exercise liberally when I worked in a neurotically idealistic cooperative. I did the same as a cog in a hopelessly bureaucratic machine. In both circumstances, it worked wonders... magick even.