Step Into Your Ordinary

Yesterday I had a moment that was truly surprising. It will not sound like much but to me it was profound. I was raking leaves and deeply appreciative of the fall and thinking of my life a year ago. The fall is a reflective time for me and the repetition of raking facilitates great mind wandering. Last year at this time my metaphoric house was ablaze from a fire that I’d lit. I was intentionally burning down everything that I knew. It was the second time in my life that I’d put a match to my life. One year ago the fire was burning hot and rather than run from it like I did the first time so many years ago, this time I stood in the flames. I’ve learned that the conflagration is total and to run only prolongs the burn. The fire will always catch the firestarter. It is better to embrace the path rather than choose it and then deny that it was a choice. So I stood still and burned.

I’ve already written too much about my months of wandering. It is enough to say that I had no map and was in a new geography. I drank deep from the cup of lost. I had great teachers, met some dragons, acted poorly, fought bravely and was blessed with an extraordinary guide and master who could only go so far with me. As is true in all great stories, the last mile I had to do alone. That’s the point of most transformational ritual: the community and guides can carry you only so far. Dying to the old form is necessarily a solo act. In the course of a single lifetime there are several cycles of dying and rebirth. The dying happens alone yet it always leads to rebirth, renewal, and a return to the community. The transformation of the community happens through the transformation of the members of the community and vice versa. It’s a cycle of renewal just as is the cycle of the seasons.

And this brings me to raking leaves. I was content. I was nowhere else and wanted to be nowhere else. I didn’t need to achieve anything or change anybody or facilitate a revelation for anyone – not even myself. There was no gap between me and my artistry or my work. I am my artistry. I am my work. My moment of profundity: I realized that I’ve stepped into my ordinary. I feel no need to defend or justify or explain or lie or glorify. I no longer need to be anything other than the raker of leaves, the painter of paintings. Peace. I understand that raking leaves and telling stories and painting paintings and dancing in the front yard and making dinner are all celebrations of life.

[906. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine].

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

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