Tuesday, May 22, 2012

War Paint & a Handmade Bow

When I first got to hold a handmade bow that took my friend Wilson over 50 hours to make, something clicked inside me. It didn’t just click in my head, but in my body and in my heart too. It felt like a zig zag design of dominoes toppled over within me. You know what I mean? It’s like when you’re in class and amidst the generally boring lecture, a gem of information surfaces and sticks. It’s a curious piece of information. Or an inspirational piece. Or a perplexing piece. 
No matter what it is, it usually feels like an eruption of awareness. And eruptions of awareness are in high demand in this sleeping world. So what was it about this bow? I’ve never been particularly interested in archery (even if Katniss Everdeen is bad-ass) but when I had it in my hand, it felt symbolic of so many other ideas. Like the ideas of sustainability, revolution, and community. Like the ideas of a new world. Like the idea that we have to be the people who create that new world, starting now. I know it seems crazy to get all this from holding a terribly cool handmade bow, but sometimes a thought hits the moment at just the right time and you get....the click.
There is an undeniable urgency surrounding our need for change, but the wisest people I know have always taught me that when we feel we must rush, we must actually slow down instead.  We have to be still. Our un-evolved minds are so used to emotionally reacting that the smartest replacement is that of intense and equanimous observation. It’s not that we should be lazy and do nothing, it’s just that it’d be best to slow down enough to become acutely aware, so as not to allow our primitive minds to make a mess even messier. In this state, we actually are capable of getting more done, more efficiently and effectively. 
So how do we address the urgency and slow down in a time of great change? I dont know. I dont know how we are going to do it, but all I can think of is this:
We have to do what we’ve put off for so long and we have to do it now. Or at least start it. Wake up in the morning and begin. Give ourselves a reason to pop up out of bed and go. Because we're going to need all of our gifts. We are going to need as many human beings as possible to tap into their inner purposes because what we’re meant to do is written in our hearts and now feels like a very sacred time for us to access that. It may not be easy, but it’s worth it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive, alive with the things that they were put on this Earth to do. So I guess we have to get at that and get at that fast, but when we actually go forth into the processes of  discovering our purpose, we have to move with awareness. Be with every moment. Feel present on the journey, not just obsessed with the outcome. Be with everything as it’s happening, intensely, in a state of open awareness. We're not gonna be great at it in the beginning. We're seriously out of practice. But let's try to ignore that and do it anyway. All of it. 
Take your bucket list out. Do the whole thing this year. 
Abandon the rules. 
Abandon our fears. 
Jump off the cliff. 
I promise you’ll find amazing people at the bottom. 
We’re taught that it is not possible to do so much in a short amount of time, but it is possible.  Something about surrendering to the present moment gives us a power which automatically allows us to remember that we are creators. And when we fill our days with our hearts deepest callings, dormant forces naturally come alive that move and operate beyond that which is physical or mental. It’s the god within each of us. It’s that juicy stuff about humans that none of us can explain. It’s what makes us magical; what fills us with hope in the most difficult of times.
Now is our time. This minute. Let’s make it count. 

That bow made me think of a little speech I wrote that I like to repeat to myself in the mirror : 
Go forth, and set this fucking world on fire. But notice the journey. Be with each moment. And when you slip up (and you most certainly will), don’t dwell in it. Move on. Instead, go into your room and quietly put your war paint on. Start again. And again. And again. Cultivate your community. Put a feather in your hair. I don’t care. Whatever you do, own it. Tune out the criticisms and the status quo. You are not here to perpetuate the status quo. You are here to create a new world. And don’t you forget it. We need you. 
Whatever inspires you to raise your freak flag, let that be your war song. And play that song on repeat, 
Because we will not only have to do whats in our hearts but we will also have to do it without inhibitions. Self-consciousness, low self-esteem, and shyness are byproducts of an old world. As a pioneer of the new world, go now, and push past the anxious feelings and move into the deepest, most authentic layer of yourself. There, you will find your totally unique freak flag, dusty, and just waiting to be waved high with dignity and courage. 
We need new. We need you.”

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