Saturday, August 28, 2010


© 2010 by Joyce Mason

This is the third in a series of posts that discuss the relationship between humans and the Bigger Plan. In Karmic Relationships: The Great Flow Charters in the Sky, I addressed my ideas about how reincarnation works and the complexity of getting multiple characters together to work out sometimes rather convoluted scenarios to balance the ledger on past-unfinished business. This is literal if you believe in reincarnation. But in our many lives within a life, thanks to fast-paced modern society, these principles can sometimes refer to meet-ups in different eras of the same lifetime.

Next, in Dis-appointment, I presented a concept of a divine calendar that doesn’t always match with ours and sometimes blessedly removes us from danger. It can be the equivalent of being Touched by an Angel, who diverts you from a romance or job that might end in an emotional car wreck. You might wonder if God Knows What She’s Doing at the time. You are often not happy with the detour.

Now I want to address another aspect of our relationship to the divine, when it comes to direction, time and timing. It involves incubation, the time needed for a project or relationship to “cook” before it’s ready to emerge from its egg as a Baby Whatever It’s Going to Be. As you can see by the look on the face of this chick, getting there isn’t always half the fun!

Set Goals, But Sit in Silence Listening for Changes in Direction

Here’s where East/West, yin/yang, and a complementary blending of the best of both worlds is ideal for optimal manifestations. I’m all for being goal oriented, including making commitments such as, “I will publish my book by October 1, 2010.” However, to take only a target date into consideration and the sheer dint of your will is true folly. There can be a myriad of reasons why something might need further incubation … and if you listen closely to the whispers of the divine all around you, you’ll know when further gestation is necessary.

For instance, the example in the paragraph above refers literally to my poetry book in the middle of production. I kept dragging my feet; I couldn’t figure out why. I decided one poem had to be pulled, even though it’s one of the most powerful, because I felt the language was too sexually explicit. When most of these poems were written in the 1970s, there was a lot looser cultural norm about language. I’m just not comfortable with it now, even though I’d read it to my best friends in private.

When I couldn’t light a fire under myself to finish this nearly done task—still—I waited around to find out what else I had to fix. That’s when I realized that there had to be a poem about Garry, my dear friend and hairdresser that I wrote about in Bartenders, Beauticians and Baristas. I did that. If that doesn’t clear the logjam, I’ll wait awhile longer and ask for help in my dreams and meditations.

Settled Mud

We often joke when we’re not clear about something, “It’s as clear as mud.” A wise man asks good questions. Ask yourself in any incubating project or situation the questions in the classic Chinese text, the Tao Te Ching, attributed to the sage author Lao Tzu:

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until right action arises by itself? ~Tao Te Ching

Here’s where the Western mind dulls and our eyes glaze over. We are so unused to the concept of sitting with something until the time is right. (In the case of literal incubation, that would be sitting on.) In my placeholder post announcing the launch of Stitched Verse, my new poetry blog, I quoted a more modern literary version of this idea from Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land: “Waiting is fullness.”

Unfortunately, many things in life don’t have a predictable gestation cycle like the one leading to human birth, which seldom varies from nine months. Human gestation carries signs of progress, like an ever-enlarging belly. Then, one day, close to the nine-month mark, the water breaks and the hour is imminent. Especially in the more subtle areas of life like relationships or creative projects, there are no meat thermometers declaring them cooked or timers that go off and say, it’s done—ready to go. Send the baby out into the world.

Department of the Interior

Here’s where we have to rely on inner barometers, self-knowledge, and the ability to be both gentle and tough with ourselves. Are you dragging your feet because of some fear? If yes, find it and address it. While that’s often easier said than done, it’s totally do-able. If you can’t identify your stumbling block alone, that’s what friends—and sometimes counselors—are for.

If that’s not it, something may be alerting you to intuitive timing factors. My dearest friend often tells me I have an impeccable sense of timing. This is wrapped up closely with my sizable intuition and often runs counter to what I really want to do in my busy Western mind.

Another example: In 1996 after creating a pilgrimage of people from around the world to Greece for an astrological event, I was at the peak of my career as an astrologer. Everything was going my way. I was becoming well known for my astrological specialty, my part-time practice was thriving to the point that I could see its becoming full-time, if I chose …

… but God/dess would not have it. I was given clear inner direction to put astrology on the back burner at the peak of the wave.

Little did I know then that later in the year, I’d reconnect with my childhood sweetheart and begin a relationship that would lead to marriage—plus all the complexities of merging two very single people in one place, one of them from several states away. Even though I wasn’t the one to relocate, my life was topsy- turvy with making these transitions for several years. Once more, divine direction was right direction.

“Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They’re Hatched”

I have always gotten a bang out of this saying, which reminds us that not all seeds make it to fruition; no matter how much we want to assume it’s so. You might start with five eggs, but maybe only three will hatch.

So it is with our ideas, projects, relationships and all other creations. A natural weeding process occurs in nature. The strongest survive. The same goes for the metaphorical seedlings and eggs in our lives.

As humans on a spiritual journey, we are often left to Inquire Within on whether we should continue to incubate certain creations. I think the biggest hurdle is learning to trust that inner wisdom and sage direction that comes from inside us.

Once I started looking back (hot flashbacks), I could see the clear track record of better outcomes through following these signs. Whatever way you perceive the Ultimate Creativity, God/dess is a good egg. After all, s/he hatched every one of us. We made the cut. The rest is Up to us.


Photo Credit: Lonely chicken hatching © Ekaterinas


LB said...

Good post, Joyce! Reading this reminded me of the I Ching’s hexagram #5, Hsu – “Calculated Waiting”, which cautions us to exercise wisdom and restraint when faced with complex (or even dangerous) situations, while remaining true to our vision. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time, so it’s good to be reminded . . . particularly with Mercury retrograde.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks, LB--and great addition of the I Ching hexagram, "Calculated Waiting." Maybe that's why I've tended for a long time to call it Murky Retro. It's about waiting for that mud to clear, as in the Lao Tzu quote! :)

As always, your feedback is helpful and much appreciated.