The other day my kids came home from school after what must have been a chaotic day. They were both seemingly irritated and hanging on the edge of frustration. "Nothing went right today," they both said in their own way.
To work off their frustrations they hopped on their scooter and bike and, together with the new puppy, we took off for a bit of exercise.
About halfway through our ride, my youngest, who was peddling slowly up the steep hill, managed to hit his front tire on an uneven piece of sidewalk in just the right way so to tip him over. He sustained a skinned knee and a few hurt feelings.
A few feet later my eldest tried to pop up the front end of his scooter and somehow ended up flat on his rear end. He was bruised and both boys now had tears on their cheeks.
Now wary from the events of our short ride we decided to just sit still in the park for a few moments. In the stillness, an interesting thing began to happen. The burden of chaos that came home on their shoulders began to drop off and move on. Like stepping out of the moving herd, we could feel the mayhem passing us by. With a deep, cleansing breath we continued on our walk, and thankfully, uneventfully.
You have to wonder why it is that we tend to try to overcome chaos as opposed to escaping it altogether. Perhaps we forget that it's possible. Or maybe we mistake the signs for obstacles that need to be or could be overcome. But the signs are always there, especially the repetitive ones, warning us to slow down, pay closer attention to what is going on around us and to make our moves more deliberate and proactive.
Chaos is akin to a galloping horse, and the temptation to jump on and take the wild ride can be there. There's something about the desire to swallow the hook that can feel exciting. But that carefree temptation can turn into a carless mistake.
My Kabbalah teacher from years ago decided to try an experiment. Early one morning he decided to move slowly and deliberately throughout his day, and only in response to Guidance. He sat in meditation and began to tune in to the energy around him. When he felt guided to move in one direction he did, slowly, step by step. When he felt guided to stop, he did, even when there wasn't any external validation for his choice. As a result he found himself standing next to the phone before it rang and in front of the door before someone knocked. He was always a little ahead of opportunity.
As we're out of sync with the internal, we become out of sync with the external as well. Fortunately, though, the reverse is also true. Chaos is a call to escape, a warning to step back and step within.
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