First The Vision, Then The Work

When we experience the acute high of an  inspired moment – rapturous love, new birth, gaining acceptance or recognition, winning an award, or having a flash of insight, resolve or inspiration that radically changes our course – we undergo a release of energy and euphoria, and consequent hormones, that we wish could last for as long as we’re alive on Earth.

It doesn’t.

It doesn’t because there’s a will to exercise and work to do and the euphoria of the moment doesn’t drive the will, it only fuels the vision of tomorrow with an explosion of potentiality. In this burst we experience what is possible through feeling and vision and we lose distinction between what is possible and what is actual (because in actuality there is no distinction).

Experiencing a sexual orgasm, for example, is wonderful. The explosion of pleasure flooding our body, the arching back, clenched eyes, the release of moans of delight – we sum it up as a desire so delicious and singular that we build industries around it.

However, the orgasm, no matter how wonderful, how long or how many, is necessarily momentary because there is work do – on the relationship, the kitchen, the children, our dreams, our job, with one another, and with ourselves. There is a work to be done, every day, and nothing holds up a mirror to us like being in relationship and doing the work. There is the never-ending work to be carried out in order to to nurture a new life, a new day, a new child, a new family, a new possibility of being and knowing – self, Self, the other, the One and All.

And everything is included, nothing is left out.

Executing the work through consistent action and patience can become a kind of meditation, a way of connecting with the creative, sustaining power on our journey of self-expression and gaining insights and discoveries via routine and habit. We can transform any routine, any daily work of any kind by applying a higher ethos and discover principles and patterns at play that form the myth and poetry of our lives. Discoveries made possible by submitting the will to form and structure, patient action and habit, cannot otherwise be made known.

And if they remain unknown to us, so do we. The greatest learning is of ourselves, and the deepest knowing of the life we live and the life we are happens as a continuum, as a tedium of work and ritual punctuated here and there, if at all, with occurrences and moments, that, like the initial inspiration, offer cosmic shots of (re)clarifying power and vision.

The work is our daily confirmation of our commitment to realizing the vision we hold in our mind as our reality. Committed, we choose the work and engage the work with an understanding that the work is molding us, shaping us, our personality and character, purifying us as fire purifies gold. We discover that something is working us more than we are working it in this trust-building, trust-deepening intimacy where no one is over or under another….for there is not another in this dynamic, only the one.

The work at times will feel heavy, boring, tedious, and taxing. The work scrapes and skins us, pushes us and provokes us, tries and trips us. And if all we see, if all we feel, if all we focus on is the heavy, trying, taxing monotony of the work then it will feel that much more heavy, trying, and taxing.

However, if we engage the trying, taxing work while holding on to the vision of our desire, our dream, our destiny – with faith that it already exists which we confirm by operating FROM THE VISION – we will draw from the initial inspiration bucket by bucket, returning to the well for another drink of water when our journey and our day feel scorching, bone-dry, and unlivable.

To hold to our vision is to keep in view our purpose for doing what we do. It’s an unbreakable tether keeping us on our journey, feeding it with the power of faith and vision. The times will come when all we have is our faith and vision – dimly, barely – and nothing else. There will be times when we fall, we fail, we break our word, we go against our beliefs, we disappoint others, feel critical of others and disappointed by them, and ultimately feel completely alone in an indifferent universe judged hostile by our shadows.

And in those moments when we find ourselves in the tomb, when we’ve lost our way and all seems doomed and the dreams we had now stare and snicker at us and all our working and seeking and praying and wanting have produced no evidence, no proof, no fruits or signs of our completion, fulfillment, or success and when all we’ve believed and thought to be true have come to absolutely nothing….that’s when we call up that hidden reserve we never knew we had, whether of faith or will or courage or determination.

We call it up without even knowing we’re calling anything up because we feel we have nothing left, it appears we have nothing going for us, and it looks like all is lost. We call it up even as we submit to the tomb. At least, by still doing so, even as we are consumed in the tomb we go out still holding to the vision and the blessing, still claiming it because we know it still lives even if we don’t.

This is where the tomb becomes the womb, like the chrysalis and the cocoon.

This is where inspiration breathes deepest.

This is where transformation is complete.

It’s complete when we find ourselves surrounded only by the shadows of our fears and failures, and still we hold to the light within that burned brightly in moments – as our inspired dreams and visions where we saw a world impacted by our presence, our gifts, and our ideas – and dimly in others as our last vacant breath of despair and resignation that our dream is no more.

How many times have we heard of someone who seemingly reached their limit only to find energy from a hidden reserve within them, a reserve they didn’t know they had.

We all have that. We all have something within us that seeks full expression, something waiting to burst forth with the energy of a thousand suns….and emerge slowly like the silent dawn. It is the fuel of a new vision, a higher vision, a truer vision, YOUR VISION, to initiate the will and unleash the sustaining, driving power so that you, I, we, take a possibility and make it a living, breathing reality.

First the vision, then the work.



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