Have you ever stepped onto an escalator or one of those “moving walkways” in an airport and temporarily lost your balance for a second? Maybe it was moving faster than you thought, or maybe you just weren’t sufficiently prepared to absorb its momentum with the items you were carrying, or dragging, along with you. Chances are you regained your balance by righting yourself, or briefly leaning on a handrail or a person nearby, before laughing it off and (literally) moving on. It may have been scary for a second, though, that unexpected movement under feet that were already moving.
You may not have seen it coming, but you found a way to engage with it, and use its support to help you, without any lingering doubt or judgment about why you wobbled, or why the support was there in the first place.
You all know by now that one of my favorite quotes is from Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, in which he talks about how once you’ve aligned with your purpose, “all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.” What a delightful phenomenon, no? Sounds fabulous, and yes, I’ll have a double helping of it, thank you. You too, right? Mmm hmmm.
Here’s the thing I’ve noticed, though. That momentum of the universe conspiring in your favor can be scary AF. Here you are, doing all this work with your head down, grinding out the work that’s meant to take you towards your goals, and suddenly you feel it, see it, hear it. The ground underneath your effort is suddenly moving, potentially far faster than you thought it would.
So, then what happens?
You wobble. You start doubting whether it’s really moving, or whether it should be if it is. You begin – consciously or not – looking for ways to slow it, stop it, or deny it completely. You decide you’re not ready, or you don’t deserve the support. And well, it can only take you so far if you won’t align yourself with its momentum.
I mean, ever tried walking backwards down an escalator going up? Great exercise, and ideal for someone who wants to expend a whole lotta effort going, well, nowhere.
Another one of my favorites quotes is from Marianne Williamson, who says that “it’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” When we finally find that we are in sync with our purpose, the energy that comes with that discovery can be overwhelming. It’s not at all surprising if you want to throw the lid back on it immediately. No thanks, not for me, I’m supposed to be struggling with this. And so you will, if that’s your choice.
Or, you can steady your legs, reach out for that handrail, or friend, for support, and see where the universe wants to take you. Or more precisely, where it wants to support you in taking yourself.
Photo credit: Sean Stratton