I stood outside in the cold January 2001 air, watching flames devour my home and office.
As the wooden beams and all our possessions crackled under the heat, I took a deep breath.
“It’s just stuff…only stuff. Let it go.”
Fires, natural disasters, layoffs, failed businesses, loss of loved ones. We all experience devastation in our lives and with that devastation, a choice—be consumed with mourning over what we’ve lost or honor that loss by moving forward with a renewed focus on what really matters.
As more and more of us are being called to align our passion, vision, and intention with action, we discover immeasurable meaning and profitable contributions to the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, and Profit.
When I rebuilt my life and my business, I found that having to reinvent everything (yet again) sharpened my edge and reawakened the visionary inside me, my inner voice that had been weighed down under piles of papers and the distractions and tangents they represented.
Now those piles were ash, and my mind was lightened, my voice free.
The Greek legend of King Sisyphus of Corinth has always intrigued me, for I felt a kindred spirit but I didn’t know why. I had long declared that I was not going to end up spending eternity like Sisyphus just rolling a boulder up a mountain, then having gravity cause it to slip back to the bottom just as it reaches the pinnacle.
Time and again I revisit the old story of Sisyphus and take another hard look in my own life’s rear-view mirror. What I have learned has enabled me to more fully grasp the deeper meaning of this myth and its relationship to the Ageless Way.
Though he violated natural law by duping death (thus offsetting life’s balance and, in so doing, showing immense hubris), ultimately none of us can escape the ongoing cycles of our struggles and existence. He learned, as I have, and we all must, that in order to survive and thrive it is essential to honor and find our flow within these cycles, rather than violating them.
So, what is the only solution for Sisyphus, and us? To find meaning and beauty in those natural cycles of up and down. To create our new Ageless story.
Every time Sisyphus gets his rock to the top of the mountain, he has a moment of transcendence and triumph in sending the message forevermore: “I have the resilience and fortitude to keep rising and never be kept down! I’ll get up again and again. And even if only one time, I just might roll it over the edge and be freed.”
The Sisyphus myth teaches us all to decipher and find discernment between just repeating something over and over and “re-cycling,” the latter of which allows us to find new perspective and evolve more artfully and sustainably.
We, too, need to learn to find significance and joy in our sacred cycles…even if that means returning to trudge up the mountain again and again. Now the eternal struggle story works for me. It has merit because it has meaning and purpose.