In front of my house, alongside the driveway, is a beautiful Japanese flowering plum tree. It is magical. Every fall it loses its leaves completely and in the spring these brilliant purple flowers appear for only a few weeks, when they are replaced by large dark reddish brown leaves.
One spring day, I was on my way out and I stopped and marveled at my purple tree. I looked a little closer and there it was, a tiny dark red leaf, “this too shall pass” I thought to myself, considering the impending end to this vibrant purple beauty. I got into the car, hooked up my Spotify and proceeded down the road. The first song that came on was “This Too Shall Pass,” by Tyler Stenson.
It took my breath away. A sign, a message?
This was early April. All month I have been meditating on this idea which is simultaneously defeatist and comforting. How to reconcile the conflict between my belief in building your life and making powerful choices and my experiences that prove out the idea that “this too shall pass”? Should I sit idly back and let things unfold? Give in to fatalism and just let things roll on as they will? Should I power forward, set goals, make a bucket list, join a march, write a letter, build my business, go to the gym, do yoga… check things off the bucket list?
Here is where I landed… When things are not going well or "according to plan", take solace in the idea that “this too shall pass” and make a powerful choice - act because it is the action that puts the “passing” on a purposefully chosen path. Use the comfort of knowing that “this too shall pass” to bust open the inertia, stamp out the depression, and replace the anxiety and fear with confidence and hope. On the other side, use the knowledge that “this too shall pass” to be present in this moment, and this one, and the next, to live with gratitude, and to calibrate the laurels you’re resting on and develop a practice of making powerful choices to guide you down the river of life in the boat you want to be in, with the people you want to be with, in the direction you want to go and to the destinations you yearn to explore.
Photo by Lynne Harris Bernstein ©2017