Friday, November 4, 2016

Embracing the Dark Cloud

It is easy to spot it when a dark cloud hangs over people. Their energy level drops; they become robotic in what they say and do. Spontaneity is elusive in a world where people just respond to external triggers with few degrees of freedom. I have seen the dark cloud prevailing in folks around big transitions. Most people are afraid in these situations. They don't appreciate that change is neither good nor bad, it is just different. So they shut down in response to their fear when they should be as enthusiastic about that day at hand as every day. Unfortunately we are wired that way. Fear and depression shuts down our vision and makes us robotic, whereas joy and happiness makes us loving and creative instead.

I have little advice to give how to respond to this situation of darkness and change. Maybe we spiritual travelers can bring some cheer and color to an otherwise monotone situation. Maybe we take the hint and go somewhere where our services are more appreciated, or just maybe we need to stand up to the prevailing dark forces. Life always tells us what to do. There is no right or wrong, there is only the path you are encouraged to travel.

The one thing we should never be afraid of though is change. Success or failure; assertiveness or retreat; either way the change will work for us. That is the promise of the WAY. Maybe the dark cloud lingers for a long time, like it happened in Hitler-Germany, or in the Cold War period, but these days I would bet that change will happen quickly. We simply have progressed too much to go back to the dark old days. But we also need these twilight episodes to remind ourselves about what's at stake and to demonstrate how much we have changed. Leaving "old skin" behind always feels a bit jerky. 

I remember a time when I sat in a conference room with a colleague and some clients in the later innings of the global financial crisis, and outside there was the most magnificent sunset imaginable. The sky was red as if it was bleeding. Change came in the aftermath. Some friends lost their jobs, others prospered in the aftermath of the crisis. It was around that time that my colleague came up with the expression "twilight zone". The colorful sky scenario signaled the transition at hand. Let's see what kind of transition we will experience this time around. I certainly don't profess to know anything about it but would venture the guess that the blue skies will return before we know it.

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