Last year I wrote these words to express my desire to bridge the gap that is often found when pursuing a vocation.
Spirit and action,
soul and work,
heart and calling.
When I hold these words against the idea of success being disruptive like a storm it helps me put “success” in its rightful place. The headiness of feeling successful can forget the storm that is created around it. For example Steve Jobs is often used as an example of success but he was usually surrounded by a storm that disrupted anything else in his path. With people like Jobs we are attracted to the energy but forget the balance that is required to ensure that our spirits remain connected.
I think that for me life has a rhythm of success and stillness. The storm is exciting and hopefully as I get a bit older I will be more prepared for what comes and a allow it to be little less disruptive to myself and those around me. But, I have also come to appreciate the stillness that lies on the other side of the storm. This stillness brings with it the ability to listen and hear in the midst of raucous activity.
Storms are loud, bright and exciting. They bring an energy to the landscape. They also have a destructive shadow. Success is very similar. It can feel like the earth is centred around my activity and what I say is important. For some this can be attractive and exciting but there is also a shadow that belongs to the bright light of success. The shadow of uncertainty cannot be avoided as success is pursued. It must be kept in its rightful place if we are able to attempt anything with any hope of completion.
The antithesis of success is failure that is often born out of uncertainty. It has its own energy that can seek to drag us into despair. Yet without it and the other shadows that are a part of life the hope of transformation is not possible.
Success thundered with a surprising clap,
Its echoes are heard far and wide,
Each clap announcing the storm that is arriving,
Declaring to all the need to get ready,
The smell of the approaching opportunity,
Brings an aroma of dusty failures wetted.
Success is a storm that shatters the calm,
Gusting with its self importance,
Uprooting all that lies before it,
Casting aside anything that is not firmly rooted,
Life is focussed on success and its stormy gusts,
It brings brilliant flashes of opportunity,
Surrounded by the darkness of uncertainty.
Success is followed by reality and its steady rhythm,
After the storm is the quiet sound of gentle rain,
The storm’s path reflected in disrupted life,
But, from the storm new life reaches out,
Emerging into a new day and with it a fresh smell,
That looks forward to the calm of steady progress,
Until the next thunderous clap warns again,
That opportunity is approaching once more.