Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Floods. Oh my. This morning, gale force winds whipped through my yard, downing a tree, and knocking out the power. In the face of nature’s power, human achievement can be rendered meaningless in less than thirty seconds. I suddenly felt so tiny, so….powerless. I remembered George Carlin’s monologue railing against environmentalists. “And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. ….The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!”
And yet, I recycle. I turn off the lights. I bring my own shopping bag tothe supermarket. Am I really helping the earth? All I know is that I’m probably not hurting it. Unless of course, as Mr. Carlin also suggested, (tongue firmly in cheek) maybe the earth needs plastic.
And although there are folks who are trying to seed clouds, and conspiracy theorists whisper about the chem trails that are manipulating our weather patterns, fact is, there is no greater power on earth than Mother Nature. No president, Ayatollah, or Donald Trump has greater power than a Category 5 hurricane. All the money and guns in the world can do nothing against a tornado.
But I can still be powerful. By having dominion over myself. Each person is a kingdom (or a republic), with disparate needs, conflicting points of view and a common aim: to thrive. We can develop a power far greater than anything given from the outside. Moshe Feldenkrais, in his book The Potent Self, said, “Within the boundary of our body and in a restricted space and period of time around it, we are the most important part of the universe, but outside these limits we are of no importance or significance whatsoever…..Recognizing our insignificance, the unimportance of what we think, do, or cannot do, we find ourselves in full mastery of ourselves to the potential limit of our ability.” Andrew Dawson, a Feldenkrais teacher from England, recently gave a TED talk that explores just the possibility between the thumb and the fingers. To listen to the needs of the nervous system, to reconcile the conflicts between the thoughts and the emotions, to nurture and support the development of physical well-being, to actually see the landscape of the self and make the right choices; now that would be power indeed.
See you on the floor,