The Perpetual Quest for the Final Chip
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Lately I have been showing up to chip away at a very large vision I received two years ago in the southern Utah desert – to create a school-retreat where people can come to reinvent themselves after a period of immersion in soul-based explorations, chipping away at their core issues, sifting and sorting through the broken shards of their lives for that blinding flash of visionary calling capable of morphing into the softer light of a creative offering.
I’m lucky enough, in this endeavor to have fellow chippers to play with – a few hardy souls, who have been around the block of their own lives a few times, and still have enough wild courage, playful audacity, unbridled curiosity, appreciation for the absurd, and fierce innocence to want to chip away not only at their own lives, but at the broken world in which their own lives have made of themselves what they could.
As a first step in our process, we have created together a couple of workshops. These are designed not to be feel-good experiences, although I must admit in retrospect they do feel pretty good – but rather life-transforming events. This sounds like a bold statement, especially for a perpetual chipper like me. Yet, I also know – because I have seen it with my own eyes – that there comes a time in the course of a life of dedicated pursuit of wholeness when just one more chip can reveal something that was there all along – to a life-changing gasp of wonder.
My intention in working toward the changing of lives through Yggdrasil is to create a space where if such a soul should enter, that final chip can fall off the blade. To my amazement, it is already starting to happen. The two workshops we have done this year have witnessed a number of those final chips falling. I sit in awe as I write this, and find myself asking the question, how did that happen? What exactly did we do that we might consider doing again?
This is – and will always be – a very large question with no final answer. But through an extensive evaluation process, which has become a part of our collective way of chipping away at it, the question has begun to yield a few choice insights that I feel moved to share with you now.
First, I do think that what makes possible a life-changing event is the deep desire to change. As simple as it sounds, without this essential ingredient, we broken people have an infinite variety of clever ways to patch together our broken lives with Duct tape, string and bailing wire, to keep ourselves rattling down the road. It is usually only when the bottom drops out that we admit to ourselves that broken means broken. Until then, the human capacity for denial will trump a tepid intention every single time, and in some cases, time after time for a lifetime of little actual change. People often die with the issues they were born with still relatively intact.
The lucky ones are broken open in ways they can’t quite put themselves back together. Those who are broken and can't pretend they are not have no choice but to work on their issues.
We all go through periods when it is possible to coast, and even the most broken of jalopies can seem to be moving down the road. Yet those who have been truly broken are somehow unable to forget that every downward sloping hill is followed by an uphill climb, and that at some point soon, a bit of engine will be required. This engine is the intention that we bring to our experiences. A well-oiled intention will take us up that next hill, and renew itself on the way down. If our intention is to chip away at our core issues, then every hill, up or down, every twist and turn in the road, every experience in fact becomes a portal through which that final chip may fall – provided our intention is strong enough to keep us chipping away no matter what.
The next post in this series is Inviting the Intention at the Heart of Your Story to Dance.
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