The Glorious Albatross

“As we tenaciously work the sails, the ropes and the rudder of our sailing boat struggling against the Antarctic storm, a glorious albatross approaches our battered vessel using that same wind to totally unfold itself to magnificence.” - Rodrigo Jordan, Drake Passage, January 2008

Life is unpredictable.

One moment, you’re walking your dog, having coffee with an old friend, or drifting to sleep on a flight; the next moment, turbulence hits. A loved one calls you to tell you they have a terminal illness; a masked gunman accosts you and your friend on the street; the plane enters an electric storm, the lights flash, the oxygen masks drop, and the pilot announces engine failure.

All systems go into red alert. Suddenly, you and your precious stability are under attack. Your eyes spring open and it’s fight or flight.

In this moment, if you’re not dead yet, then you have a choice. Adrenaline turns time to molasses; in the moments before outward action is required, there’s a chance to resolve what you’ll do with your circumstances: ride them or run from them.

Instead of struggling against the wind’s attack, you can be the glorious albatross and use the same wind to “totally unfold yourself to magnificence.” You can stare the attack in the face, open your heart, and reframe the attack as an opportunity.

An opportunity to accept the natural unpredictability of life events.

An opportunity to remember how small you are in the context of nature.

An opportunity to reframe your adversarial attacker as an engaged partner.

An opportunity to turn your mirrors into windows.

An opportunity to convert headwinds into tailwinds, to spread your wings and fly.

An opportunity to wake up from wake up from delusion, release from false dependencies, and rendezvous with reality.

An opportunity to live your inner Darwin, to unleash your inner fire.


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