Hello my fellow human Beings:
With baseball season upon us here in North America, I reflected on some of the curve balls that life can throw us. Perhaps we are pitched one of the following curves in our life:
- we fall sick when our plates and schedules are full of activities;
- we don’t get the job we really wanted (needed) and had been prepping for; or
- an estranged ‘friend’ approaches and strikes up a congenial conversation.
When life throws us one of these bombshells, we can go through a range of emotions from disappointment to surprise, from sadness to shock, and from frustration to skepticism. We weren’t expecting this twist in life’s journey and we aren’t prepared for this seemingly out of the blue event.
So what do we do?
Native American scholar, anthropologist and activist, Alfonso Ortiz, tells us:
“Whatever life’s challenges you may face, remember always to look to the mountaintop, for in so doing you look to greatness. Remember this, and let no problem, no matter how great it may seem, discourage you, nor let anything less than the mountaintop distract you. This is the one thought I want to leave you with.”
He reminds us to remember the big picture of our life’s purpose, our raison d’être.
When life throws us a curve ball, it’s time to pause and reflect on what the underlying message may be. Perhaps it is just a sign that we have gotten too caught up in the minutia of our busy lives and have forgotten what we are all here to do, to be, and what’s really important in our lives.
Remember why you are here?!
In between errands and appointments yesterday, I found myself near the Toronto Public Labyrinth in Trinity Square Park. It is situated in the heart of the city, nestled in the centre of a square surrounded by a large shopping mall (the Toronto Eaton Centre), a little church (the Church of the Holy Trinity), and some office towers.
Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has just one path from start to centre. It is not a puzzle that needs to be solved in order to find one of many possible ways to get to the centre. Rather it presents a singular path with lots of twists and turns.
Labyrinths have been used for centuries for varied purposes with a resurgence in modern days accompanied by an increased focus on personal self-awareness and spiritual growth. They are used to relieve stress, aid in rehabilitation in health care centres, for meditation, for reflection, and for exercise. Labyrinths remain a metaphor for one’s journey through life.
It was while walking this labyrinth in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city and my own busy day that I was reminded that life’s journey is full of twists and turns, curves and curls, which we may not be expecting. Some of these arcs may take us on short detours from our goals, others on longer seemingly tangential passages away from the straight direction we had intended to take to our destination, and even others on a far-reaching, retrospective voyage around the perimeter. Yet, with all its curves, the labyrinth eventually takes us to the centre — the hub of our existence and beingness.
Walking the labyrinth reminds us that it is not how quickly we get to the destination, but that we always keep that central aim in mind, even when the twists and turns are big and distracting. For there is something to be gained or learned from the curves of life’s journey, even if at first we may not see it (or even want it).
But how do we keep focused on the core of our existence and beingness?
For me, it is meditation that helps remind me of my central life’s purpose when I get distracted by life’s curves. Whether it is walking a labyrinth or sitting in quiet reflection, my meditation practice reconnects me to my Source and I can see more clearly my destination.
Internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development, Dr. Wayne Dyer, noted in a talk at The Chopra Centre with Deepak Chopra, M.D. entitled “How To Get What You Really, Really, Really, Really Want” that:
“Meditation shatters the illusion of your separateness. [It is through meditation that] you make conscious contact with the creation process.”
…and Deepak Chopra, M.D., one of the world’s greatest leaders in the field of mind-body medicine, added:
“Meditation is the ability to go beyond thought.”
So when life throws you a curve ball, take the time to be still and meditate, to go beyond the thoughts and emotions of your ego, and reconnect to your life’s true purpose, the reason for your beingness, and your oneness with all creation. You’ll be reminded of the greatness of the mountaintop and the abundant life you are meant to lead.