Grammy and Dancing with Potential
by Corinne Eisenman, healing 1 teacher
Spring is the season of new life, of expansion and growth. Potential is everywhere. This particular spring has had an added contradiction—it's also been a time of life ending in my world. My grandma passed away in March, six days before her 99th birthday. She was an extraordinary woman. I am blessed to have had her wise, cheeky company for all of my 49 years. We had a special connection, and I'm still imagining what my landscape will be like without her.
When I was writing her eulogy, I included a section I thought of as a distilled version of Grammy's life philosophy: "Live. Your. Life. Say ‘yes!’ when the opportunity arises. Have faith. Keep a suitcase packed. Say what matters to you, and listen to what matters to others. Watch for garage sales. Eat ice cream . . . ." and the list went on.
It's the first two lines that have been reverberating in my being—Live. Your. Life. Say "yes!" when the opportunity arises. What if we all met potential with that perspective? What if I did? How would my world be different? Grammy always had a bag packed. She said she was ready to go, just waiting for an invitation. And go she did—she said "yes!" to a lifetime of invitations and opportunities. Not that it was all smooth sailing—her father died in the war before she was born, and she lost her only son when he was a young man—but somehow she was able to create a rich, full life for just shy of a hundred years.
Soon after my grandma's death, I was assisting in healing 6. Through the lens of class, I saw that my grandma had walked hand in hand with potential for much of her life. In many ways, she was meeting and even creating the landscape she lived in. One of my favorite stories about her is that she learned to fly an airplane in the 1930s, long before it was common for women to do so. She saw a possibility and said “yes!” She was always ready for an adventure or for learning something new.
At the same time, I realized there were places she didn't look, places that weren't visible to her. We all have those: places that are below the surface for us, that we may not even realize are influencing our choices, including how we meet potential. As a woman growing up and raising a family when she did, some of her choices probably seemed less like choices and more like the given landscape. She, like all of us, was influenced by the world around her and her experiences in it.
As the ripples of my Grammy's passing and healing 6 intersected, I was struck by how much potential there is, always, and by how we each interact with it in our own way, through the lens of our own awareness. What question do we ask when we are imagining what's next, or what we might create in the world? The question is both the doorway in, and the limiting factor.
I think one of my grandma's questions was, "When will the invitation or opportunity arise for me to be able to create this?” She was ready to say yes, and did quite often, and she created opportunities herself at times, but I think she sometimes saw, subconsciously, the invitation or the opportunity as needing to come from the external.
I think I've absorbed that question deeply into my being along with so many other nuances from my grandma. "When will the invitation or opportunity arise for me to be able to create this?" I've had a rich, full life, too, and I still love that idea of saying "yes!" when the opportunity arises and "yes!" to invitations—there's a lot of possibility there. And, now I'm wondering what it would be like to expand the question to include, "What opportunity can I create in order to meet my desire?” What if I met invitations from Creation on the external, and also created them from my internal, as well?
Of course, I do this on some level all the time, as we all do, but I'm excited to bring my awareness to this doorway, this question, in a fresh way. Awareness changes everything—it creates more choice, more potential, for both success and for failure. It then requires more faith, more trust to lean into the desire, to lean into the risk of claiming that you want something that may not yet be offered. More faith to hear the Call and acknowledge it as exquisitely compelling and urgent, and then to choose to move toward it. That is dancing with potential.
As this season of possibility unfolds in the landscape both around me and within me, I'm embracing these amended words of wisdom from my grandma—"Live. Your. Life. Say "yes!" when opportunity arises. If you find yourself waiting rather than creating in answer to the Call, ask a different question. Say yes to invitations, and remember to invite yourself into the circle, too. Have faith . . . ." I have faith that we can all learn to fly, like my Grammy did in so many ways, to defy the gravity of logic or convention, and to create the life that is Calling to be lived.