On this rainy Sunday morning, I’m sitting at my desk in my lovely new home, looking out across a pewter sea to a horizon obscured by shifting clouds.
These past few weeks, change has shaken the foundations of our world, reshaped it like Playdoh.
Thousands of people have had their lives and homes shattered by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, by violence and revolution in the Middle East.
Outside my window, an old apple tree shudders in the springtime winds. A froth of white blossoms trembles and drifts down from slick, black boughs.
Overhead, a cloud-filled sky moves almost imperceptibly, driven by the wind.
Change, newness, a shredding of old identities, a demolition of old structures-springtime turns all our certainties upside down. It strips us raw.
We are creatures of Nature, and Nature has a way of pruning, sometimes ruthlessly, that which no longer serves.
And yet, through the tattered remnants of the old patterns of our lives, our essential selves glint and glimmer. The sun of our Divinity shines through, as the clouds of habit, the lowering sky of unconsciousness, dissolve in the wind.
We hear the call as an urgent beating of our hearts, a thunder and whoosh in our pulses.
Over and over, I hear my clients and students, friends and colleagues say: “I have to do this now. There’s no more time to waste. I have to serve the world in a bigger, more powerful way. Now.”
Gripped by urgency, which is an exciting, dangerous playmate, they reshape their lives and their businesses. They search intently, scanning the heavens for the path that will lead them to their destiny.
I feel it too, this urge to expand, to reach for the horizons and beyond-to wrap my arms and heart around my tribe, my world; to restore us all to wholeness.
And yet, to truly serve requires grounding–stepping back from urgency, into the arms of Wholeness.
The terrain between vision and grandiosity is often blurred by mists. Desire leads the way. It pulls us by the hand, out of the swamps of stagnation and complacency, into the bracing air of the unknown.
To bring desire into focus, we enter into stillness. Into connection and relationship with the deep heart of the world.
We dream-a spacious dreaming that follows the thread of our desire to the place where it meets the desire of Wholeness. Together, we dream the world that wants to be born. We dream our place in it. We dream its landscapes, its gifts, its qualities, its challenges.
And then we shape a passage-a birth canal-between the dream world, and our three-dimensional reality.
We gather our resources. We call on our allies in all dimensions. We sing our dream out loud. We give it a voice, a body, guts and breath and blood-we invoke its beating heart.
If we’ve been doing this long enough, with faith, dedication and skill, our dream emerges out of the mists to meet us. Allies magically appear. Grace and miracles abound.
Everything in the universe conspires to help us give birth to this dream of service.
And in the birthing, we discover that the dream has its own life, separate from ours. It has its own reason for being, its own allies, its own purposes.
The service we are called to bring into the world may look nothing like the images born of our urgency and desire.
It may require of us something less glamorous-working patiently with our inner selves to unify them, so that every part of us is engaged in this process. Stretching muscles that have grown accustomed to contraction. Or contracting ones that have become ungrounded from reaching for the stars.
There is no one way to serve. Service requires listening to the Life that calls us with its need, its dreams, its vision. It requires faith and courage. Humility, obedience. Tenderness. Craft. Skill. Patience.
Above all, love.
Love for our own life. Love for the life of the world. Love for the relationship between us.
What dream is calling you now? How are you answering its call?