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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 9
A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E /
(Note: This article originally ap-
peared as the lead article in the Fall
Catalog for the Kripalu Center for
Yoga and Health)
We live in crackling times.
Changeseemstoelectrifytheair,
inourindividuallives
andintheworld.The
mediareportssadsto-
ries, dark messages,
dire predictions and
warnings.Hopeisrare-
lybroadcastedfromthe
channelsofthemain-
stream.
Rowdyangelsrattle
ourcubiclesandturn
o u r r e t i r e m e n t a c -
counts upside down
--andtheywillgetour
attention.Butthechallengesof
our time will spur new and re-
markable solutions. The oyster
produces its jewels in response
tosand.Agitationgivesbirthto
transformation.
I invite you to consider that
intimesofchange,wildmagicis
afoot.
Formostofusgoingthrough
change,fearpoundsonourdoor.
Yet,thisdiscomfortbringsanin-
vitation to awaken our passion
andalivenesslikeneverbefore.
Somethinglargerwantstoexpress
itselfinourlives.
Painoftennudgesourgrowth
orilluminateswherewehavebeen
holdingbackonourtrueselves.
Mostofusneedapinchofdesper-
ationtoawakenourhonestyand
inspiration.AspoetDavidWhyte
says,"Absenttheedge,wedrown
innumbness."
Still,whenyouhityouredge,
numbness looks like Shangri-
la. When it happened to me, I
remember feeling as though I
couldn'tbreathe.Mywholeworld
feltlikeoneofthoseSalvadorDali
paintings,wherenormalreality
beginstodripandarcinunnatu-
ralways.
Arisingstarinthelitigation
departmentofanelite,big-city
law firm. I had graduated from
Harvard Law School with hon-
orsandwithgrandexpectations
aboutmyfuturesecurity.Ihad
consciously avoided the flim-
sy foot bridge of risk, but deep
down, I knew I wanted to be-
comeawriter.Ichoselawinstead
becauseIwantedfinancialfree-
dom,baubles,andsafety--but
Ihadn'tcountedontheruthless
mercyofthesoul.Ididn'tknow
thatyoucanonlyavoidyourself
forsolongbeforethetruthhits
thefan.
Ineverimaginedthatmylife
couldgetsooutofcontrol(and
I certainlyneverimaginedthat
I'd eventually bless the day it
did).ButIfoundmyselfsittingat
abeachinCalifornia,watching
thewavesandrealizingIdidn't
wanttoliveanymore.Icouldn't
beartopracticelawinthatoffice
onemoreday.ButIalsorefused
toleavemyjob,myidentity,my
income,andeverythingIknew.
Ofcourse,Iwasfight-
ingtheinevitable.The
soul's true desire has
infinite strength. The
creativepartofme,the
oneIhadalwayscon-
sideredweak,frivolous,
andnegligible,hadthe
power to bring about
depression, rage, and
eventhewillingnessto
die.Ifelthelplessand
strippedofallmypre-
vious powers to func-
tion.
Intheenditwasmyvulner-
abilitythatgaverisetomygreat-
est freedom and joy. I stopped
defendingthelifethatwascaving
in.Iletthelastpreciousscraps
fallfrommyhands.NowIwas
available to spirit. Just a few
weekslater,withoutaviableplan
orincome,Iwalkedoutofmysafe
careerandintothenextphaseof
mylife.
I found it absolutely terrify-
ing to walk into the unknown.
Ididn'tcarehowmanyspiritu-
albookssaidpeacewouldcome
fromlettinggoofcontrol.Iread
everyoneofthemwithclenched
white knuckles. "You will find
yourway,"saidmytherapist.She
clearly had me confused with
someonelucidandresourceful.
StillIcameformoresessions.It
feltimportanttohearthesereas-
suringmessages.
GraduallyIfoundmyway,or
moreaccurately"theway"found
me,breathbybreath,asitalways
does.Iwroteaboutthisjourneyin
myfirstbook,This Time I Dance!
Creating the Work You Love.
The alchemy of change had
temperedmyfearintoabsolute
wonder,andIwrote:"I'vebecome
someonewhotruststhatthoughI
feelasfragileasaflamingleafin
autumn,Ihousethecapacityof
atidalwave,ameteorshower,a
whitetornadoofinspiration.
I'vebecomesomeonewhobe-
lievesthateveryhumanbeinghas
atornadojustbeneaththeskin
andthatwearemeanttoliveour
dreamssowecandiscoverthat
naturalforcewithinusthatblows
constrictionaway."
Foryears,Ihavetaughtperson-
al-growthseminars,stirredaudi-
ences,ledretreats,andcoached
thousands.I'veoftenwitnessed
thisastoundingalchemyinoth-
ers. In unsettling periods, cou-
rageous individuals begin to
discoverthatthereismoretolife
thanwhattheythinkthey'relos-
ing.Theyturntonewwaysofsee-
ing,being,andrelatingtotheir
experience. Uncertainty gives
thempermissionandmotivation
toexaminetheirpresentlifeand
delvedeeperintotheirownex-
traordinarymysticalandcreative
reserves.
InThis Time I Dance!,Iex-
plained,"BecauseIhadtosearch
forasenseofsafetybeyonddol-
lar,privilege,andapproval,Iin-
heritedtheultimatetrustfund.
Ilearnedtotrustinmyownre-
sourcesandthestartlinggener-
osityoflife.Youwill,too.And,
thereisnoothersecurity."
Likemany,Iamstilltempted
tocontractwithfearduringtimes
ofdistresswithinourworld,and
withinmypersonalcircumstanc-
es.Ifindmymindwhirringaway
with"Whatifthishappens?"or
"Whatifthathappens?"Isearch
forwisdomandstrategythrough
thelensoflimitation.ButIknow
better.
AsAlbertEinsteinsaid,"One
cannot solve a problem at the
leveloftheproblem."Iknowmy
distraught identity will recede
into the night sky. To embody
newanswersandperspectives,I
willgrownewmuscles,readnew
books,mendwoundsandmem-
ories,ignitenewfires,andtake
bold steps. Nietzsche says, "It
takeschaostogivebirthtoaris-
ingstar."Adifferentselfwillwalk
intothatdifferentlife.Ultimately,
that'stheserviceprovidedbythe
challenge.
Here'swhatyouneedtoknow:
There will be stepping stones,
places of safety and clarity on
whichtostand.Morethanthat,
it'sactuallyallsolidground,con-
In Times of Change, Wild Magic is Afoot
By Tama J. Kieves
(Continued on page 22)
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