Encountering Turbulence

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.Ramsey Clark

A large part of human survival depends on individual’s ability to adapt to change. Some changes are easy to adapt to, the weather turns cold, put on a coat; the weather turns warm, take off the coat. And utter chaos rules at the other extreme. Order dissipates and there seems to be no firm place to stand, no center to our universe. In chaos theory, a strange attractor is a point-force that keeps the system unbalanced. Turbulence on our life-journey is just such a force. Much of the turbulence is beyond our control, like the weather, but some of the commotion and confusion comes from within our distinctive true nature. We have our own strange attractors, our own passions. And these are as important to our identity as conforming to so-called “norms”.

Our Authentic Self is born in the first month or so of life. Our consciousness arises from the fertile chaos of the spirit-land we once inhabited, and begins to take root in the soil of this reality we all share. The mind switches on and begins to make connections between experiences and objects in our surroundings. Our world is constructed using not only sensory inputs and language, but also many deeper innate abilities. These profound contributions to experience create turbulence around the logically constructed foundation of our identity. When we begin formal schooling, our minds adapt to the sequential logic of the “educational system”. Like any system there are rules, order, systematic progression through steps. When an individual follows the turbulence of too much imaginative thought, they are set back on the “right” path and reminded of their obligations to conform to the system.

Once we are quantifiably educated, we must harness our passions in order to accomplish employment tasks. The financial reward is supposed to be sufficient to overcome the need to express oneself. But the agitation of unexpressed inner longings unsettles the mind and taints life with the scent of discontent. So much vital energy is expended on work, the true meaning of life becomes lost within the whirling chaos of constantly silencing our authentic self. Stop reading and cast your mind back to your earliest memories. Try to slip past the barrier of grade school and kindergarten memories. Relax and imagine your sweet, little self enjoying quiet moments of play. What do you see yourself doing? Hold that image in your mind like a photograph. Bring yourself back to Now.

Gaze lovingly at your gentle, happy self. What part of that younger self remains? Calm the turbulent memories that you adapted to on the way to today. Congratulate yourself on your endurance. One of the most wonderful memories I have of my father as an old man, was of him holding our rabbit, blissfully stroking its fur. My kids and I lived next door to my Dad for many years. One day a long eared rabbit appeared in our backyard. We named him Buckminster (after Buckminster Fuller). My Dad quickly built a rabbit pen for Bucky. He told me when he was a little boy, he had some pet rabbits, and my mean-ass uncles turned them loose. So it was therapeutic for him to sit and gently hold the soft, plump rabbit. That simple act calms the turbulence that always whirled through my Dad. And he got to express the gentle side of his true self. He adapted to great change in his life, and turned his great talents to providing for us all. I will always treasure that peaceful image of my Dad’s complicated nature, given to me all because a funny bunny happened to appear in my backyard.

Published by everythingisbeachy

Read my books at: amazon.com/author/wheelerce Wheeler was a monthly magazine and weekly newspaper editor during the time he lived in China from 2007-2019. In China he worked for: Education Ministry, Tourism Ministry and Propaganda Ministry. In addition to his magazine and newspaper work, Wheeler edited and contributed to: multiple travel guides; numerous textbooks; several research and translation projects; and advertising copy for countless clients. As a university lecturer, Wheeler developed several university courses including Appreciation of Western Poetry and Introduction to Journalism. He taught Writing, Literature, Culture, Film, and other subjects. His success as a foreign teacher and editor led to Wheeler being awarded Teacher of the Year honors several times at two major universities. In addition to writing, Wheeler was an actor in China. He was on a television show; and the voice for Hangzhou Tourism as well as acting on stage. Wheeler's most unusual role was being the spokesman for a wallpaper adhesive company.

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