In his book The Icarus Deception, author Seth Godin sheds new light on the ancient Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus.
The story goes that Daedalus created wings for himself and his son Icarus that were attached with wax. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, or the wax would melt.
Icarus became euphoric with the sensation of flying and did indeed fly too close to the sun. Sure enough, the wax melted, he tumbled into the Icarian Sea and died.
But what has been lost over the eons is that Daedalus also warned his son not to fly too low, or the sea water would ruin the lift of the fragile wings.
The admonition of not flying too high and not flying too low aligns with the Buddhist idea of “The Middle Way,” which is the path to liberation.
Although The Middle Way and balance are wise, mindful approaches life, I tend to believe that Icarus did the right thing by flying high.
If you fly too low, you are squandering life’s blessing.
If you fly in the middle, you may have a comfortable life, but you may also miss the adventure.
When you fly closer to the sun, while you risk melting the wax of your wings, you are also breathing rarified air.
You just might get a glimpse and a taste of Heaven.
Isn’t that worth the risk?
And shifting from Greek Mythology to Seventies Rock and Roll, this from Manfred Mann’s Blinded By The Light…
“Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun… but Mama, that’s where the fun is.“
Your New Year’s Resolutions will fail.
Count on it.
Either today or tomorrow or in a few days, you’re toast.
At least if you are like vast majority of people who make resolutions.
Change isn’t easy.
Old habits die hard.
For some reason we’re wired to believe that Day One of the New Year is the ideal time to make a change.
And when we revert to our old ways we stay there for a long time.
But remember this…
The calendar doesn’t determine the new moment, the new day.
This is your life, this is your dance, this is your movie.
And every moment is the new moment.
Every moment is your opportunity to become the best version of you.
Your quest is heroic.
The epic battle is you versus you.
Will your higher self or your lower self prevail?
A lifetime of trends can be vanquished with your will, your heart, your faith and your refusal to play small.
So when your New Year’s Resolutions fail…
Remember the Japanese proverb: “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
Dust yourself off.
And begin again.
This is the sacred moment.
The clock strikes midnight
Are you ready?
Do you realize
You are given a gift
A new day
A new year
A new chance
To begin again
To wipe the slate clean
To see the world with new eyes
To trust your heart
Instead of the tired voices
In your head
To take the leap of faith
That has always beckoned you
My new year’s wish for you
(and for me)
Is that we realize
That the most precious
And sacred moment
Is not in the distant past
Nor somewhere in the future
That moment is here
May we embrace it
May we surrender to it
May this new year
With outrageous blessings
May you discover
In each of your days
May your fondest dreams
Such that you pause…
And ask yourself,
“Is this Heaven?”
A still, small voice
“Yes, it is.”
We live in the information age.
This can be a blessing and a curse all at the same time.
While we have access to humankind’s cumulative knowledge at our fingertips, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of data that constantly streams across our computer screens, televisions, radios and smart phones.
We inherit the information of a billion souls, yet lose touch with the connection to our own.
Too often we are overstimulated by the nonstop cacophony of information that our miraculous technology delivers.
Eons of generations before us naturally had access to extended periods of silence. Especially as night fell and there was no electricity to power the devices that not only inform us, but distract us from the wellspring of guidance and wisdom that dwells within.
More than any previous generation, we have lost touch with silence.
It becomes more difficult to hear that still, small voice that guides, informs and inspires.
All the more reason to consciously, regularly choose to allow silence in our lives.
Go off grid.
Rediscover the silence and the darkness.
There are life changing secrets being whispered to you.
“And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun.” – John Lennon
Christmas is wondrous – for those filled with joy.
Christmas is delightful – for those living in the moment.
Christmas is inconvenient – for those feeling overwhelmed.
Christmas is sad – for those missing loved ones.
Christmas is depressing – for those feeling hopeless.
Christmas is so many things to so many people.
The celebration of holy birth of the Savior
The opportunity to gather with family and friends
The exchange of gifts
Christmas egg nog
Christmas tamales (hey, I live in San Antonio)
But shouldn’t Christmas be more personal?
What if Christmas had an even deeper personal meaning in your life, your story, your journey?
Since the late-Eighties, I have studied the works of the late mythologist Joseph Campbell, who spent his life studying the world’s religions and folklore.
One of his key teachings was that during a holiday such as Christmas, we should internalize the story into our own lives.
Not just celebrate the holiday.
But live it.
Thus, since the Christmas miracle involves the birth of the divine into the flesh and the physical world, why not allow the birth of the divine into our bodies, our hearts, our souls?
On this Christmas
and every day…
May you feel, allow and increase the holiness that already exists inside of you and all around you.
And may you know
That every day
Is a miracle.
Joe Cocker has passed away just before Christmas.
He wasn’t Elvis or Michael Jackson or John Lennon.
He wasn’t a superstar. But he was a star, nonetheless.
In my life, he was a transcendent musical force.
His voice and his music have been a part of my personal soundtrack since I begged my older sister Beth to take me to see his “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” documentary in 1971.
I was 10 and my sister was 16. She was going on a date to see the movie. Of course, she didn’t want to take her little brother on the date. Who would?
But I lobbied, begged, and cajoled Beth to take me on her date with Charlie Johnson ( 44 years later, I still remember his name ).
And because she’s never refused anything of her little brother, she took me along to see the movie at the Central Park Fox Theatre in San Antonio. I’m sure her date was thrilled to have me tagging along.
Sitting in the dark theatre, I was mesmerized by the film. Joe Cocker’s passionate, borderline spastic performance blew my 10-year-old mind.
I was hooked.
I got my hands on the “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” LP and listened to it again and again.
Joe Cocker’s heart, his soul, his beautifully unorthodox voice told me…
That if you sing from your heart, your message will resonate with those who should hear it.
We all have a song to sing.
Whether you’re actually singing or metaphorically singing.
If your voice is authentic, people will connect with it.
That’s my takeaway from Joe Cocker…
Sing your song, sing from your heart and the right people will get you.
Rest in Peace, Joe Cocker.
You made magic on Earth, Space Captain.
Do you feel it?
The moment darkness reaches its apex
And the bitter cold evokes your grief
While warmth, light and summer sun
The longer you live
And the seasons change
This frigid darkness
Is merely a fleeting precursor
To the return of the light
Through orbiting spheres
And the dance of all creation
Again and again and again
After countless cold, dark winters
On this Winter Solstice
You choose to embrace the darkness
Knowing that this moment
To the light you need
We live in a spiritual universe, or we don’t.
Either something wondrous, transcendent and mystical lies beyond the veil of apparent reality, or there is nothing other than this fleeting, ephemeral existence.
You get to choose.
Yet we hedge our bets.
We hope that there is a higher realm, but we’ve got to work our jobs, pay our bills and meet our responsibilities.
And more often than not, we become lost in the Māyā.
Māyā is the ancient Sanskrit term for illusion.
Illusion has been with us since the dawn of time. It beckons us to distraction.
What is real?
What really matters?
What was the greatest moment of your life?
Right now, recall the greatest peak experience of your life.
It certainly wasn’t a thought.
It was steeped in feeling. Not in thought.
Thought is necessary.
But feeling is magic.
The best experiences are feelings.
Listen closely to your feelings.
Listen to that still, small voice inside you.
You will discover the fountain of your personal wisdom.
It whispers hints of where your treasure lies.