“To understand that there are no distinctions of any real importance in the affairs of men, that there is only one time and one place and one person and one truth. And that we are all contained in that time and place and person, and that the truth contains us all.”
Ali was a mystic poet of power teaching us that the liberty we seek takes flight when we commit to our strengths and transform our limiting views. In wise reflection, we flush the chambers of our hearts. The force of our presence depends on our longing for freedom from habits that constrict the best of us. When we take time to consider our capacity to influence change and find a means to dedicate ourselves, there are tremendous opportunities that require our entire body and mind, and allow us to become totally immersed and enlivened. This is when we float like a butterfly.
Cassius Clay became Muhammed Ali knowing that a powerful transformation occurs through the surrender of self. It’s no accident that he chose the path of Islam as it signifies ‘to submit to the will of God.’ For you, this may mean giving yourself up into an inner understanding, God, Ishvara, Buddha, the Great Spirit or the elements of nature. Choose what inspires your humility, sparks your curiosity and takes you whole. Then you create meaning with an all encompassing focus on something greater than yourself that releases you from angst and opens you to wonder.
Arjuna, the hero-seeker of the great Indian epic The Mahabharata, learned that the battlefield does not exist outside of us. Victory is in unifying the equal and opposite forces of action and surrender. In deep work, we draw together emotion and intention to the point of acceptance. Beyond name, form and expectations, your uncompromising self dissolves; the surrender is in the sweat, the tears, the lump in your throat, the suppleness of your limbs, lucid insights and willingness to love. Strength and softness, courage and innocence, struggle and rebirth, they are not divergent, but inseparable companions of our wholeness. ~ss
As Ali suggested in one of the world’s briefest poems, “me, we” – connection is in us.