I’m ashamed to say I didn’t hear about Kony 2012 until Oprah’s Next Chapter. Then I found out about filmmaker Jason Russell’s sharp rise to million YouTube viewers fame and steep drop to a nervous breakdown hell. I’m not going to go into the details here. For that, you can see clips from the original video below.
What I can say is that hearing his story moved me in a significant way. And although I haven’t ever went on a public tirade or garnered a million viewers, I can relate.
Because there is a part of us that deeply desires to make a difference. There is a vast calling within us to fix the injustices of the world. And I believe there is a hidden sense of guilt that passes over us every time we watch the news, pass a homeless person or hear about a tragedy. If given free reign and voice to express our passions, how far would we go to control it? Would it consume us?
We never think about that when pursuing our dreams.
We think about getting there. We drool over the life we’ve been painting in our minds. We pull our energies to focus on what needs to get done. We don’t think about how we will deal with it when it comes.
I think we can learn a lot about Russell’s journey.
To prepare for the life we want, to brace for the wave of pulsating energy coming our way to get us to our dreams, we need to take time now to breathe. We need to surrender to the moment we’re in right now. We need to taste the salt from the ocean as much as we inhale its beauty in our memories.
When the wave comes we can surrender or become engulfed in it. Russell’s story teaches us that the only way to survive the impact is to be present, still and strong in who we are right now. On a small scale, it can teach us how we cope with life. It is the difference between allowing your breath to heal you and wash away your thoughts versus allowing it to obsessively take over your mind. You can relinquish your control over what is or you can use your energy to fight it.
In the end, if every challenge is a teacher, then allow this moment, this current challenge to be the quiz before the big test.
Right now, stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and feel the you that sits in your body. Be present in the knowledge that you are more than the things that you do, the dreams you accomplish and the success you have. You are that and everything else. Be still and acknowledge your perfect existence in an imperfect world. In doing this, you will practice shutting down the egoic mind to hear your true self.
Yes we all need to go to work, to write, to create, to tend to our children, to take care of our lives. But within the busyness of life there is peace. Let Russell’s story remind us that presence and stillness are just as important as achieving and making a difference. When life gets too hectic, remember restoration, rejuvenation and rest are always just a breath away…