Why didn’t the world end?
Perhaps the more appropriate question is: what is it in our modern culture that expects and even needs things to happen instantaneously?
From fast food and instant relief cold medicine, to automatic car transmissions, instant popcorn, Netflix instant streaming and pop-up alerts on the iPhone; we live in a culture that expects everything to be instantaneous.
Technology has enabled us to experience things with such rapid speed that we seldom notice—and if we do notice, we struggle to tolerate—the time it takes to get from Point A to Point B. The journey has become nothing more than annoying, empty time to be filled by checking your Facebook newsfeed or getting in a quick game of Angry Birds on your phone.
Because we can turn on a light switch, and go from dark to light in—bam!—negligible time, we forget that the sun rises over the course of an hour or two. Because we can hop on a plane, take a Xanax and wake up on the other side of the world, we forget how far we’ve traveled and the tremendous journey we would have had to endure had we gone it on foot, horseback, car or boat.
But, when we sit and think about it, we all know that things in the natural world aren’t instant. Winter doesn’t become summer in a day. We don’t grow or age, become bald or wise in a week or even a year. Enlightenment cannot come in the form of a pill and true knowledge cannot be acquired by an overnight cram session before an exam.
It is simply against the nature of our planet to go from black to white without passing through a long spectrum of gray.
But all things do change, always. Change is inevitable. Change is nature. Life is always moving towards death; summer to winter and winter to summer. Nature works is cycles and rhythms.
There are those that mark the solstices with celebration and there are many more who do not. Still, just about everyone (who lives far enough from the equator) will look up at the sky a month or two after the winter solstice and notice that the sun is setting later now; there has been a shift. But even though the days are longer, we all know summer is still months away.
So as our world moves through cycles and eras, why is our focus on “the end of the world”? Did it happen? Why didn’t it happen? Is it going to happen? When will it happen?
Instead of looking for the next prediction or focusing on “the end,” why not focus on today?
As with the rising sun, and the journey from birth toward death, the secrets are in the between. It’s not about the world ending or not ending. It’s about the world every day, today.
So, let go of the auspicious dates and the hype. Notice today. Now. What’s happening now and how are you a part of it?
Do you observe the subtleties, the shifts from orange to pink as the sun sets? Remember that over the course of a lifetime, each day is a subtlety.
So as our world shifts and changes, do you walk consciously through your days? Do you contribute to what is good and true?
Caitlin is an embodied therapist, certified in Phoenix Rising yoga therapy. In her life, and in her work, Caitlin is committed to noticing what’s happening now, and to supporting others on their journey to awareness and healing. Caitlin is a dancer, a writer and an embodied spirit. She is a linguist of the body and of the mind. She is a student of women’s ceremonial arts and spirituality. She lives in Boulder, Colo. For more about Caitlin’s work, visit www.radiantinside.com.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assistant Ed. Rebecca Schwarz