A galley consists of two parallel runs of units forming a central corridor in which to work; and this work I call ‘taking a life inventory’. As we go below deck – it will require a great deal of authenticity, humility, and courage.
This analogy may provide a compass to an interesting understanding that the reality of our current liminal space of uncertainty and disorder, always gives way to the hopeful possibility of re-order. Let’s adjust our sail and use these opportunities to awaken to a deeper level of transformation, love, and hope.
This is our invitation to experience depth; to anchor and discover what is lasting and what really matters. As Phil Cousineau explains in ‘The Art of the Pilgrimage’…it was what the wandering pilgrim-poet Basho called ‘a glimpse of the under-glimmer,’ an experience of the deeply real that lurks everywhere beneath centuries of stereotypes and false images that prevents us from truly seeing ourselves, those around us, and other places.
Let’s drop anchor and take a ‘life inventory’ of our past – present – future; questioning ourselves in every facet of our lives. This is a whole new world seen in three dimensions; a real-time ‘3-D’ of ourselves. But before we release our true self; we have to recognize our true self. This is will take courage. Too many refuse to accept and even recognize their weaknesses, struggles, and pitfalls. As a result many accept a version of themselves they believe others will like and accept better.
We can also look to the language of Ken Wilber in describing the evolution of personal development. He offers four stages: Cleaning Up, Growing Up, Waking Up, and Showing Up.
The practice of cleaning up and taking inventory is mostly about the need for early impulse control and creating necessary ego boundaries; so you can actually show-up as your real authentic self – which expands our individual bubbles into a much bigger world.
Growing up refers to the process of psychological and emotional maturity that we commonly undergo, both personally and culturally. We all grow up, even if inside our own bubbles. The social structures that surround us highly color, strengthen, and also limit how much we can grow up and how much of our own shadow self we will be able to face and integrate.
Waking Up refers to any experience which overcomes our experience of the self as separate from being in general. The purpose of waking up is not personal or private perfection, but surrender, love, and union with our individual spiritual beliefs of salvation or enlightenment.
Showing Up refers to bringing our heart and mind into the actual suffering and problems of the world. It means engagement, social presence, and a sincere concern for justice and peace for others beyond ourselves. We can use our personal strongholds as a stepping stone to understanding what others are going through, and are up against all over the world.
As we navigate through our individual and collective transformations it can be difficult, but ultimately it’s when everything seems adrift that our journey becomes both an anchor and a sail. Often times tragedy, pain & suffering, and even death that will guide and awaken us into greater self.
In this time of revelation and tumult, contemplation helps us welcome reality as it is with a different set of eyes. And at our individual pace, we will be surprised to find ourselves more and more able to whole-heartily be there for others, even in what used to seem like impossible situations.
Let’s stand in agreement and navigate a steady course and keep breathing with full consciousness, and without resistance – releasing our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear, and despair.
The consistent practice of focusing on our purpose and intention at every stage of our journey will help guild us to understand what we each need to know. And let’s not rule out the possibility that where your anchor is where you need to be…for now.
This is a unique time where more of reality is being unveiled at every level for us all to see. If we can trust the universal pattern waves of change, we will know that an ending is also the place for a new beginning.
It’s a different world below deck – it’s pulling back and reveling. Often below deck there are moments of chaos and falling apart; but this brings us to a place of recognition and provides us with an opportunity to pivot in life one way or another – and we will most likely have to do so again and again.
This is real galley talk.