By Rachel Wolfe
When you fall off your bike, it’s best you stay down.
There’s a philosophy to leading life that goes something like this, everything happens for a reason. I’d like to expound upon that with the idea that reason originated from something within. That is, while we live in a world that appears to be chaotic, there is a divine order in everything. Each happening is not isolated from one another and is, in essence, created by the conscious and mostly subconscious beliefs, ideas and dialogues we are having about our human experience.
Not long ago, I actually fell off my bike. More accurately, I flipped over the handlebars and kissed the asphalt with my bare head and bones. Of course this would happen when I wasn’t wearing a helmet, my own preaching to others biting me in the hip, the funny bone, shoulder, ribs and a pretty black eye.
The whole event brought a lot of things to the surface, things that I had been running from. The Universe, or my higher self, taking the opportunity to slow me down at such an opportune time. Let me tell you, it is far better to be brought down by your own doing than to ignore what’s begging for your attention and be brought down by outside forces. Anyone who has been hit by another car, been fired from a job or had their significant other walk away can tell you, those tend to burn a bit more.
Healing begins to happen when we bring things down a few notches. Detoxification is great; it’s like this wonderful thing that removes the distractions, whether they are toxins, excess noise or anything that detracts from experiencing each moment to it’s fullest. However, an over emphasis on elimination tends to detract from the process of repair. How can I be so sure? Quite simply, I’ve lived it, and flipping off my bike reminded me how badly those things demanding my attention, required understanding and healing.
Enter the animal totem or spirit animal, whatever you want to call it. Mine is a red-tailed hawk. The story is like many others who discover one of their totems. People have agreeably shared with me their similar experiences with dreams and life situations with hawks. Personally, I’m great with being open and accepting new ideas, but talking about certain things makes me feel a little silly after awhile. For one, we all have extraordinary things happen to us. Moreover, I deliberate on the idea of sharing everything and whether or not that detracts from the personal value those experiences have on us. It’s like the detoxification, excess outlet creates a habit of leaking our energy and experience to the world around us. A healthy amount of this is great, but balance is ultimately the key to retaining personal energy and contributing positively to the social dialogue of change.
For the record, I have been the one to be brought down by another car, a lost job, a significant other and by my own doing. Where I once loathed the slowing down these events invariably create, I am learning to love the view from down here or there. Wherever we are in life, up, down or sliding somewhere in between, there are many things we can see from these perspective. Seeing things from this vantage point with an empowered spin ups the likelihood of our taking advantage of the situation, instead of feeling like a victim.
In conclusion, this is life. Advise is given and can be taken to offer a certain level of protection, but nothing can come between what your spirit really desires and what you attempt to make happen. Without taking things to an entirely fatalistic position, just consider the next time life sends you, your version of a hawk or brings you down quite literally to the ground. There is a reason, and it’s never as scary or silly as it may initially seem. Our experiences run deep, grounding us, lift us up and offer flight from prior burdens and literally create the world around us. Physics would dictate my bones be broken, yet something kept me from taking this kind of hit. All speculation aside, I rose from the experience grateful magic happens in many forms and reminding me yet again, life is like a slide, you have to let go to enjoy the ride.
Rachel Wolfe is an artist living on the north shore of Chicago. When not behind a camera or writing, she can be found practicing and instructing yoga, enjoying nature, studying or working in the local college art gallery.