People think that following their path is a matter of finding the darn thing and then it will spool out in front of them and all they’ll have to do is walk it.  The focus is on the finding because somehow those wily paths in life are like Buggs Bunny and we’re Elmer Fudd.  So funny and yet so frustrating and we never seem to get there and we’re the butt of all the jokes.  So let’s just assume for a moment that we’re not Elmer and we’ve actually found the path.  Whew!  Ok, hard part over. Now every will go smooth and all the work is done right?

Fractal-Mobius-Dragon-IFS-10Um…suuuuurrrre….let me know how that works out for you.  🙂 The use of “path” as a metaphor for life can be a bit misleading.  It implies that things are rather linear-ish and that they are leading in a certain direction, that they are already laid out for us, and we’re on a road trip taking in the scenery on our way from here to there.  While that might be true for some, it leaves out aspects of the process which are really fundamental and can cause people to get themselves into a twist for no reason.  I like to think of this process less as a path than as a fractal.  You know, the design where the picture is made up of smaller version of the same picture and no matter how close you look or how miniature you go it’s still the same picture over and over and over?  Being on the path or being on target to do and be who you intended in this life or even going beyond that means the changes happen not just in one aspect of life.  For example: you change careers because this new work calls to your soul and makes you happy.  In doing so you find that you aren’t interested in interacting with friends in the same way and some friends fall away while new ones show up.  Your relationship with your significant other starts to shift and you realize it isn’t just because of the time commitments or change in daily routine but because you are changing so how can your relationship not? So your relationship with your family changes and on and on.

When you change one aspect of the fractal the others shift to harmonize with it.  Because the fractal is the same picture over and over.  Where you had a dysfunctional family relationship and dysfunction at work and a functioning dysfunctional relationship with your spouse, now you’ve shifted out of dysfunction with the job, which causes you to shift things with your spouse because you can’t continue that way and the next thing you know you’re changing all kinds of dysfunctional situations in your life.  This might not happen right way, in fact it usually doesn’t.  Most often it happens as an unfolding over time, organically and in all directions, like a flower unfolding petals.  Sometimes there is a major event that starts the ball rolling or sometimes its a slow build to a major shift that becomes inevitable.

But one thing is for certain, life will be difficult if not disastrous and traumatic if you try and keep this from happening or try to keep one area of your life in a different shape than the rest.  Not that you can’t do it, but it takes almost all of your energy to maintain it. That’s one of the many blessings of giving up the façade and living your own way or “path.” It may not look like anyone else’s or be to anyone else’s taste, but when the big picture and the small pictures, all the way down to the tiny are all the same, are all authentically you, then you are free to experience life instead of manage it.