Living in the Place Between Elation and Despair

dsc01119Over the past few weeks, I sacrificed myself to constantly undulating experience.

It was not the Zen recognition that I am one with the great waves of the sea, rolling in and rolling out in a constant dancing pattern to eternity. I was making no metaphors to help me realize I bear my own ocean of breath that is forever washing in and out of my faithful lungs.

No, I was letting myself be thrown into the air, high on untethered adrenaline and then allowing myself to get lost in the panic of the free fall back to earth (or the water, to drag that metaphor a bit further).

In a bid for financial security (the buzz word actually is meant to be “abundance”), I actually offered up any sort of peaceful control I might have had over my routines of sleep and recollection, focused work and unselfish love.

Ok, I am being a bit dramatic here, I know. Part of that is probably rooted in that I have written oh-so-little of late that I am just reveling in my ability to weave tangled webs of succulent, hyperbolic words. I guess I am just rejoicing that I caught myself before I really got lost. I came back to this space before all of my dear readers gave up on me. I’m ready to return to my novel before I decided to drop out of my writing group as a failed creative scribe.

But for all that I protest (too much…), I was still living during the last few weeks. I may have strayed from the plan I had intended for myself, and I may have been swinging madly between elation and despair, but it was still all an expression of some part of me. After all, John Lennon told us that “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

dsc01122_2I was riding extremes, but isn’t that what living is, at least some of the time? It may not be the ideal – I am definitely excited to return to a more orderly lifestyle that supports dedicated contemplation rather than a fixation on “prosperity” – but sometimes I think we have to resign ourselves to riding the fluctuations of being and give ourselves over to that process.

All this is a way to tell myself that I forgive her for the wild ride. I need to remember that I must continue to take risks and trust that even if things do not end anything like I had planned, I am the stronger for having dared to stretch myself in a new direction.

Am I being a relativist, concocting lessons well learned so that I won’t have to feel so silly for temporarily being the mouthpiece for a company that was not what it purported to be?

Or am I wisely making the best out of a detour, reading it as an opportunity to understand and learn compassion for people who are driven by fears about money and wealth that are otherwise foreign to me? It is so easy to act from insecurity, to make choices based on fear of loss, of downward mobility.

I am blessed to have had this brief chance to see how these fears have played out in my own life and were able to take precedence over my true calling as a writer and a healer.

My dear ones, I will no belabor this awakening too much, but it was such an unexpected gift, this widened perspective. I guess the wonder potion that is Zrii still keeps giving even when its business prospects seem to have gone bust…

And so, these extremes of life… How can you catch a ride on these powerful forces to learn what you can and what you must? And then, how can you most gracefully step off the wild ride?

10 thoughts on “Living in the Place Between Elation and Despair

  1. brandi February 8, 2009 / 10:22 pm

    ha! yeah it’s that whole graceful part that trips me up.

    do I learn something from the wild rides? absolutley?

    do I enjoy them? hell no…lol.

    do I strive to find a way to ride them more gracefull? dear god, if you find the answer to this please let me know. I’ll pay you a bajillion dollars…lol

    • girlwhocriedepiphany February 9, 2009 / 7:48 am

      That’s it, Brandi! I’ll find the secret to grace in a bottle and know all of my financial worries will be solved when you give me a bajillion dollars for it! Here’s to grace and wildness and learning along the way!

      My Sweet Brigitte, You are right about that… Hmm, I was playing with the words more than I was hearing what I might have been actually saying, perhaps. To “step off the ride” is to no longer be alive, in some senses, but to make the metaphor less about mortal truths and more about succumbing to temporary fits of foolishness and unproductive flights of fancy (there I am playing with words again – have you ever heard of a productive flight of fancy? I was meant to get off this overachiever road…). Maybe it is much less about stepping off than it is about stepping from the madness into a state of grace. The ride continues, but gone are the white knuckles and the sleepless nights. Yes, stepping gracefully into a state of grace, I like that. xo

  2. Bridget February 8, 2009 / 11:51 pm

    “And so, these extremes of life… How can you catch a ride on these powerful forces to learn what you can and what you must? And then, how can you most gracefully step off the wild ride?”

    I think the questions are – can you even step off the wild ride, and are we supposed to?

    I have no answer, but I’m not sure… maybe it’s about just trying to be graceful on the waves, to surf them really – something I have not learned to do.

    What do you think?


  3. Danny Lucas February 9, 2009 / 1:01 am

    Today is Sunday February 8, 2009 and somewhere in this post is a place called Zrii. Never heard of them. Few will hear of them in the future.

    A press release was issued in Salt Lake City on Friday February 6, 2009….roughly 48 hours ago on Zrii.

    The top dog Farley and all the zoo boys below are parting company over massive debt accrued.

    Farley was Top Dog at…”Fruit of the Loom” in the 1990’s and took the company off-shore, to avoid paying taxes to the US Governemnt.
    He took Fruit of the Loom into massive debt (sound familiar to Zrii-ites?) and was fired.

    The story is here:

    The top distributors hate his guts. The company is in disarray. I would suspect Ponzi like Madoff charges to come out of the woodwork in the future.
    It is a sad tale.
    There is no free lunch.

    Marketing is most difficult and most rewarding at once. The two are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually rewarding. Few people make the reward.

    I am constantly called to sell supplements, Mannetech (heals everything and nothing simultaneously), and 30 other marketing schemes. A little online research generally reveals ancient truths… comes from honest work.
    You trade away part of your life to obtain an exchange of medium that lets you obtain other things in life…. like food, shelter, and clothing.
    (The system is undergoing a global breakdown of late and it would be wise to accrue the ability to barter soon).

    We had been friends for years. But it had been a long, long time since we saw them. It was a 5 hour ride east to say hello.

    One day, they called an announced they were going through our area, could we meet Friday?
    It was an ecstatic YES reply.

    They looked happy, talked of their young marriage, child, future. We updated our hopes and dreams. They had driven from two hours south and now had five hours to go.
    Though a short visit, it was exhiliarating to bring old friends forward.

    Later the following week, a call came saying they were going through town and could we meet next Friday too? It had been such a grand get together, that an instantaneous YES blurted out.
    Meetings were taking them away on these 7 hour, one-way journeys.
    We gabbed and laughed anew, but there was an odd feeling that we had NOT met for years and now, TWICE in two weeks.

    The following Friday the same scenario happened with the call and going through town, etc.
    We met in my home.
    That night, they told me that they had been blessed with a wonderful business opportunity and it was making a difference in their lives. They felt they had a duty to share the opportunity with friends, to increase the income for those folks too.
    And then he said the word —Amway, and how they go to meetings on Fridays.

    My heart sank.
    Were ANY of these three visits to see US? Was it all a “feel good three times then announce a goal” system?

    The reason my heart sank was these were good friends. And from that moment, I would never know the truth of our friendship. Would I be needed as a friend or as a multilayer level person for wealth?

    The true wealth…. friendship…..
    cost nothing but truth and time.
    We had had very little time together over the years due to distance. But the conversation always took up where we left off, even years between.
    Trust is a derivative of truth.
    Now, the truth was, I felt part of a marketing plan. Decades have gone by and I have never seen them even once since that night.
    It was my choice to say so long and part company. There would be no need for Friday stops each week, or ever again.

    There is a fine line in marketing.
    Primarily, you must have an honest product, and the best quality.
    Coupled with integrity, everyone wins. Few companies meet that requirement, though all claim it.

    You cannot put a price on your friends.
    Good marketing skills at some point, require you approach strangers as you have tapped all friends (and likely got a “no” or a reluctant buyer).
    Pampered Chef.
    Home Interiors.
    Health Suppliments of every type.
    Investment schemes that can’t lose.

    Some companies are viable; others a scam. If you go this route, they teach you how to sell friends and family.
    Start with strangers and stay with strangers. If strangers find no value, they do not buy and eventually you leave. But you keep your friends and family.

    The loss of that friendship hurts to this day. But in the course of three Fridays, I learned the true value of my worth to these people.

    Perhaps another time, I will write of a resounding success, as I chose marketing with a company by my choice, and never once approached anyone I knew ahead of the first call.

    In the Indiana Jones movie series, one of the last had Harrison Ford along with his dad, Sean Connery. The plot was obtaining the Fountain of Youth elixer. High tense insanity placed them both close to the elixer, but unbeliveably dangerous hurdles had to be run to obtain the water.

    The enemy shot dad (Connery) in the stomach and told Indiana (Ford) that he could save his father if he returned with the elusive “Youth” drink.
    THAT’S incentive.

    Indiana jumped the hoops and hurdles and faced death each second until he reached the Holy Grail room. There, before him, were thousands of chalices of liquid. A simple swallow from any but the real thing lead to instant death. Dad was dying, time was pressure, the chance of picking the ONE chalice almost futile.

    Indiana scoped the room and focused. Finally, he picked one up and took a swallow! He would die—or be able to save his dad with this chalice of liquid. One swallow and he smiled. He was ALIVE!

    A mystic guru appeared at that moment and proclaimed to Indiana Jones:
    “YOU have chosen….wisely”.

    [The scene and line was later used in a Pepsi campaign] 🙂

    Indiana swooped back, poured it on dad’s bullet hole and the wound healed immediately.

    Marisa Epiphany,
    “You have chosen—wisely”.

    May all your dreams come true!

    • girlwhocriedepiphany February 9, 2009 / 11:03 am

      Dear Danny,
      I love that Indiana Jones scene, especially since he is wise enough to choose the simple carpenter’s cup. He looks past all that glitters and is made of false gold and realizes that it was simplicity that guided the life of Christ, not all that pomp that was eventually draped over one man’s blessed life. And so your story is doubly valued because it is about focusing on what matters, not on the trappings of “abundance” that we confuse with true happiness and the pursuit of our Truth.
      A few weeks ago I never would have been ready for your story, but now it is exactly what I need to support me in this decision. It makes me a little nauseated that I considered “leveraging” my friendships and thank the gods that I listened to that little voice that said “wait, don’t ask those long lost friends yet, wait.” I thought I was giving myself time to perfect my “presentation”; in truth, those were the voices of my guides saving me from a destructive path.
      Getting back here and sharing wisdom with people like you is already showing me that my dreams are already truer than I would have believe. Thanks & blessings, Marisa

  4. Judith Rich February 9, 2009 / 4:54 am

    Hi there,

    I’m so glad I checked your blog tonight. I had to laugh when I saw the title. I’m writing on a somewhat similar theme.

    I just put the finishing touches on my blog for the HuffPo next week and it’s called “When the Shift Hits the Fan”. I hope you’ll come and visit on Weds., my new posting day.

    Your line “resign ourselves to ride on the fluctuations of being” really grabbed me. I really love your writing style. It’s so transparent! One can almost see how your mind works. Fluid and delicious!

    Glad you’re back to writing. I’ll stop by again.

    All the best,
    Judith Rich

    • girlwhocriedepiphany February 9, 2009 / 1:52 pm

      Dear Judith, It is so wonderful to have you here. As you read, I got a little derailed for a bit and that took me from this world, both as a writer and a reader. I look forward to your upcoming post and love they synchronicities that flow to show us how certain ideas are presented and available to us all, if only we can open our minds and hearts to them.

      Dear Tess, So good to be back. I love that image, it lets me go back to the place within that makes me realize that I too have people to catch me – as long as I stop running from myself and what is important. I didn’t catch myself for a few weeks, it is true, but I am so damn happy to have a hold of me again!

      Thanks and blessings to you both,

  5. Tess February 9, 2009 / 7:06 am

    Reading these words I was reminded of when I was little and my dad used to throw me up in the air a foot or so then catch me. The fun, the fear, the giggling! Only it sounds like you weren’t always around to catch yourself. Or some such metaphor.
    Welcome back!

  6. Graciel February 9, 2009 / 7:39 pm

    Another lovely story about finding one’s inner truth and balance. The spiritual path is not for the faint of heart. Humility and self responsibility are required.

    You’re doing beautifully, Marisa. Give yourself a round of applause. You are more shiny than ever. 🙂


    • girlwhocriedepiphany February 10, 2009 / 8:00 am

      Dear Graciel, Thank you so much for your kind support, Graciel! So glad that we found each other on Facebook! xo M

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