The early life scripts and experiences for many of us make ever learning to say, “Yes!” to life challenging. And given there is so much in the world for us to stand against, and to thus ultimately identify our selves through our oppositions, discovering what it is in Life that we actually stand for is a gift many never discover. Yet the crisis of times like ours offer a particular kind of invitation to us: the evolutionary invitation for a transformation of identity and consciousness.
Life’s great evolutionary moments have always been driven by the challenges of circumstances and emergent opportunities. “Novelty”, as Buzz Holling, the ‘father of resiliency thinking’ says, “emerges from the interaction of crisis and opportunity.”
This bit of ancient wisdom is also culturally enshrined by the Chinese. They use the same word for ‘opportunity’ and for ‘crisis’, and the interconnectedness of this is illustrated in the familiar Taoist black and white symbol for the yin-yang energetic dance of life. The useful Spiral Dynamics model of human evolution and Integral Philosophy coalesce around this recognition and the consequent challenges and opportunities to “incorporate, integrate and transcend.’
That the challenges of our time call for nothing less than a transformation of identity—is a reflection of humanity’s dire position at the precipice of opportunity and of the end of life on earth as we know it.
The Life force within urges us to catch the uplift of its innate drive to survive and to thrive. Simultaneously, we are collectively living out an old story that no longer serves: that we are separate from and superior to all of our relations on the Tree of Life, upon whom our own lives depend and are inextricably entangled with.
The invitation becoming ever more visible to ever more folks is Life’s inviting us to say “Yes!” to our belonging; “Yes!” to the co-creative power of our presence; “Yes!” to the courage of clear seeing and open and strong and full heartedness. It is only through this existential courage, driven by the desperation of our circumstances, by the depletion of Earth’s finite resources and by the fouling of our own nests and by poisoning the very food our children eat and… that this evolutionary leap of identity will occur, can occur.
Herein is an awakening of the heart and mind and soul that is not to be achieved, an enlightenment not capable of being earned. It is a gift of awakening that belongs to Life itself, not to any individual; yet it scratches for attention at the threshold of each of souls. This is Life yearning to say “Yes!” to itself; “Yes!” to what is, and the courageous willingness to not turn our eyes from our intimate role of co-creation in the same.
Herein is the “Yes!” to the impulse within that longs for our own wholeness. Herein is the vulnerable “Yes!” to knowing ourselves as the body of Earth awakening in human sentience to our own beauty, and to likewise perceiving the vulnerability of life on an earth that will not be as we would wish for our children to inherit. This is to know exquisite pleasure and pain, in the same breath. The same heart. It is to see the story we are living and ourselves as authors of the same; what power!
In this terrible crisis of the Deepwater oil gusher is the telling of a story of war against our very selves that is collapsing in upon itself. This story mirrors to us the many ways our lives, life styles and very identities are currently configured for self-destruction.
Mirrored to us as well is yet an older story: Life’s invitation to itself once again to experience a transformation of identity. This is the path of the upward spiral of resilience. And it is ours personally to claim as birthright—as we each hear the awakening within.
So say, “Yes!” to Life. Within this affirmation is the awakening power of our transformation.
“Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.” — William James
“When you have a pro-peace rally, I will be there.”
— Mother Theresa’s response to a question about why she did not attend an anti-war rally. (Found at the Fierce Love blog post: What is Spiritual Activism?
Following are a few inspirational resources of people saying “Yes!” to Life, despite circumstances.
Michael J. Fox, in an NPR interview about the release of his new book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.
“There’s always failure. And there’s always disappointment. And there’s always loss. But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums,” he says.
Comedian Joan Rivers is a Real ‘Piece of Work,’ is a Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, in which Joan reveals her ferocious “Yes!” to life.
“I am so much freer now,” she says. “I always say, ‘What are you going to do? Are you going to fire me? Been fired. Going to be bankrupt? Been bankrupt. Some people aren’t going to talk to me? It’s happened. Banned from networks? Happened. So I can say anything I want, and it has freed me totally.”
Actor Zack Weinstein pursues an acting career after being paralyzed from the waist down in an accident. A Here and Now interview with Terry Gross.
The Neuroscience of Getting Along on Peace Talks Radio.
“…explore the field of social intelligence – or a personal ability to understand his or her environment optimally and react appropriately for peaceful outcomes.”
A Ferocious Yes!, is a blog post at Fierce Love exploring this edge of the awakening consciousness.
“…an incredibly positive vision, in which the Big Bang, and everything that’s come since, including human consciousness, is seen a great big Yes!”
Note: The Yin-Yang symbol above was found at: About.com: Taoism