In the story of Sleeping Beauty, the 13th fairy (Maleficent in the Disney versions) was not invited to the christening party. Obviously this was poor planning on the part of the baby’s parents!
Maleficent is much like the goddess Chaos who was not invited to the wedding of the future parents of Achilles - also poor planning in that this omission set off a chain of events that lead to the Trojan war.
Not inviting Chaos (by whatever name you want to call her, including Eris, Discordia or Tiamat the Ancient Dragon Goddess of Creative Chaos), to your party or current Life Transition is also a bad idea. She will show up anyway, and she will cause much more trouble if she is snubbed.
In the month of August 2009, shortly before The Day My Life Changed Forever, I kept myself very busy with several parties to celebrate my 50th birthday and my 10 year wedding anniversary. I was desperately trying to bluff my way through these events and pretend all was well while ignoring Chaos who was tapping insistently at my door.
Until there was a literal knocking at my door by my former husband’s then mistress, and now wife.
In retrospect I would not change a thing about how this transformational transition transpired. A more gradual and gentle alteration of my life would not have served me anywhere near as well as the 9/11 implosion that Chaos provided for me.
I now realize that I had been taking many actions to subconsciously invite Chaos and was on some level of aware of her presence for a while (see Revenge of the Bee Goddess post). She was just waiting for the perfect time to step out of the shadows and work her magic.
After the initial shock wore off, I realized I needed to embrace her gifts; and this was my saving grace.
Chaos by her very nature cannot be controlled, but when we show her respect and consciously (albeit cautiously) invite her in, she will ultimately be more of an ally than an adversary. Resisting change (and the painful aspects that are represented by Chaos) never works for long and will make things much worse.
This is not to say that we should be courting her to run rampant in our lives. Obviously we need harmony (the goddess Harmonia is the opposite of Discordia), but when we can dance with both of them at the proper times, our evolution is less likely to be a violent revolution - unless we really need one!
|The Three Graces - Botticelli|
This August, I have invited Chaos and Harmonia to a very exclusive party in which I am gathering all of my inner council members and guides. We will feast on the overflowing abundance of goodies (a truly chaotic assortment) from my years of non-stop research. We will open presents (my inner gifts and authentic presence) and play with them. We will create an altar to honor that which is altering. We will design rituals and play games. And we will dance.
My intention in throwing this little metaphysical bash/business retreat is to do some networking and strategizing with my inner team (Chaos included) so that we can review our available resources and decide what is next.
With this actually means is that I am taking a month to avoid outer distractions and devote myself to focusing on the continuing evolution of Sparks & Leaps as well as starting to write a book.
If you are in the midst of a life transition, you might want to throw a little party of your own.
You could even invite real people such as friends, family, colleagues, community members and other allies to assist you in whatever change or project you most want to create. If you want ideas on how to do this in a powerful way to gracefully and playfully navigate a challenging circumstance, please contact me or go to the activities section of www.sparksandleaps.com.
Just don't forget to invite Chaos to the party! Write her a special invitation and set a place at the table. She can be an invaluable guest or a total buzz kill, depending on whether or not she's invited. And if she is already there, for Heaven's sake, get her a drink and something to eat!
Before I sign off, I want to return to the theme of Sleeping Beauty for a moment. The word “chaos” comes from “the gaping void at the beginning of creation… to yawn”. I love this definition, because there needs to be that yawning gap or time of inactivity (referred to as the Neutral Zone in the fabulous book - Transitions by William Bridges) between our old life and creating our new one.
August 15th marks the Greek Orthodox holiday of another sleeping beauty (The Dormition of the Theotokos), only
The Virgin Mary is taking an even longer nap than Aurora.
If there is something within you that is slumbering and needs to be awakened, or something that needs to take The Big Nap in order for a glorious rebirth, feel free to use this day as an excuse to play, feast or nap. Sometimes taking a little rest (preferably under 100 years!) is the best possible strategy.