We all know that moments of crisis can and usually do take us by surprise: the news of a terminal illness, an unexpected car accident, earth-quaking or flood-making breaking news. Without notice, the rug can be pulled from under us and suddenly our neat and tidy mental construct that has provided an appearance of security and safety is forever changed. Sound depressing? Well it's the biggest fear in town -- the fear of uncertainty -- of the wait being over and the other shoe imminently dropping... hard and fast.
There is another moment that arrives unannounced. This moment is also a life-changer. Yet instead of fear, this moment brings with it a renewed sense of hope and vitality. This moment is filled with a vision that is clear and purposeful. It was the moment your child was born and you became a loving parent. The moment you decided to go back to school and you became a committed student. To start your own business or write your first book. It is the moment your life's direction was crystallized. The moment when you knew what you were put on earth to do, and you were filled with the energy and courage to act.
Have you ever had such a moment? Can you desire to experience this moment with as much excitement as you have dread for the moments of crisis in your life? The choice of what you look forward to or back at is yours.
It is easy to get cynical about the state of our world. Our future's bright side is seen through some thick and foggy shades these days. People are out of work, out of patience and in despair. It is so tempting to shut down and shut out the world. It is hard work to keep our hearts open when it feels it has been broken by the karate chop of a bad hand dealt.
Yet here is the challenge of our generation: Can we dream, in spite of our present reality, of a greater and greater vision for our lives and never give up on pursuing happiness? What would it take for you to live out an expanded vision for your individual life, for your family, your community, your country and for your world?
My paths have taken me from struggling through an oppressively poor childhood in the Bronx, N.Y., to obtaining advanced degrees and management positions -- only to consciously and in an arguably foolish manner, pursue a distant dream: become an author and facilitator of Heart Circles. After trembling through life's greatest fears and insecurities for the past two and half years, seeing the elimination from my family life of financial safety nets -- during the greatest recession since the Great Depression, I now find myself embracing heart-directed communities all over the world, saying yes to intuitive healing and guidance in spite of judgments and criticism, finding joy in a day job, and a growing faith in the unseen. Above all, I find myself having a strong desire to be fully present as I seek to realize the unrealized in our world.
So 2012 will likely have moments of crisis that will birth "print-on-demand" books on the fulfillment of doomsday prophecies. It also has the potential to give rise to many moments of awakening and joy that allow us to glimpse our true nature and pure potential. Which 2012 do you want to see?
Dennis is a Heart Circle facilitator and author of The Super Human Effect: My Quest for the Moment When Everything Changes.