Yesterday I experienced my first earthquake in California. It was about 7:10 am, I had been up since my alarm at 4:30. I was just finishing off an email to friends in Uganda about our upcoming book when my building began shifting.
Right underneath my neighborhood is the Hayward Fault. It decided to shake a few things up with a 4.0 quake. Some friends laughed, posting hashtags like #won’tgetupforlessthana5. Me, not so much.
As we shifted back and forth about 4 times, I could distinctly hear the joists groaning and small chunks of plaster and concrete popping loose in the walls of my building. Built in 1918, it seemed to know how to give and shift just enough to remain stable.
In those moments I felt my heart stop and my senses become incredibly alert. As we shifted to and fro, in what felt like a foot each way, I immediately looked at two things: my cat and the window.
My first instinct told me to protect my cat. She perked up from dozing, ears back, eyes wide, looking around with concern. When things seem odd, she looks to me for how I am reacting to a situation. It’s a surefire signal telling her whether she needs to run and hide. Since I don’t tend to panic in major situations, she was back to dozing within a minute.
My second instinct was to look outside to the earth. For me the earth is a place of respite, renewal, and alignment. Yes, the irony that the earth was shaking and unsettled doesn’t escape me. Still, I looked to it for comfort and guidance.
Once my heart regained its natural rhythm and I had done a quick walk through my unit to make sure things were okay, I stopped and laughed.
The earth, a symbol of strength and resilience, had something to say that morning. In a matter of seconds it reminded me of the instability in the world and my world, and it tested my physical and literal foundations.
The earth isn’t so different from me. Or you. It appears to be strong and resilient, but it is riddled with faults and cracks and weaknesses. It is tested and used and hurt, and it still bounces back to some form. The question becomes whether the new state is stronger or more fragmented than before.
Faults in the earth are places of destruction and opportunity.
Faults are beautiful places to begin exploring where growth needs to happen. You don’t have faults without opportunity. And often opportunity means you have to release something that isn’t working.
Seeds morph in to plants by allowing external shells to rip apart for roots to burst through. Your dreams become reality when you allow space and time, which often means you give up or give away things.
An internet search on faults provided the following line: Energy release associated with rapid movement on active faults is the cause of most earthquakes. (Source)
Energy release. Rapid movement. Activity.
This is exactly what has been happening in my life. My slow and steady progress has recently had some amazing leaps and bounds. Energy is being released in greater doses, which is testing my true motivation and resilience. My own inner faults are being tried and tested. I’m destroying and creating.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the dog days of summer, just before the harvest energy of the fall. This is a time of pushing forward new ideas so we can maximize the rest of 2015.
I’m pushing. I know I’m not alone. So I wonder:
What new energy are you bringing forth in to your life?
Where are things moving faster than you expected? Slower?
Is the pace something you embrace with your entire being – mind, body, soul?
If not, are there parts of you holding other energy? Fear, worry, stress, anger, etc.?
Because faults are opportunities for growth, what could you do to approach these areas with curiosity and play?
I’d love to hear from you below.
PS – I’m now taking earthquake prep seriously. It’s a great reminder never to assume you’re safe.