“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” ~Quote from “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Ran
It hurts, it hurts badly…my back that is. Apparently I was a little rough on my body over the last 30-some years and now I am paying for it. It’s hard to say what caused my spinal alignment issues. I am
I had a recent appointment with my bodyworker (who will remain nameless because he is already in high demand.) He informed me that my spine was twisted and I had several vertebras and ribs out of place, including my C1 vertebra (the Atlas.) I cannot even begin to explain what it feels like to have someone put that little guy back in place. But since the appointment, I have been thinking a lot about the “atlas.”
In anatomy, the atlas (C1) is the most superior vertebra of the spine. This vertebra forms the joint that connects the skull and the spine. It is named after Atlas in Greek mythology because it supports the globe of the head. When the atlas is out of alignment, your whole world is literally out of whack.
I was intrigued that the name of a body part stems from Greek mythology, so I decided to do some research. Atlas was one of the second-generation Titans. He personified the quality of endurance. It is said that he led a rebellion against Zeus and was therefore condemned to bear the heavens upon his shoulders. Others believe that he was appointed guardian of the pillars, which held the earth and sky asunder.
This pictorial depiction of Atlas also peaked my interest. As he bears the weight of the world, he clearly feels pain in his back (as would anyone.) The serpent is also an interesting addition. I didn’t research the actual meaning of the snake, but to me it represents kundalini. Kundalini is described within Eastern traditions as “an indwelling spiritual energy that can be awakened in order to purify the subtle system and ultimately bestow to a state of Divine Union.” The Yoga Upanishad describe Kundalini as “lying coiled at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened.” I do believe that we do all have this energy sleeping inside of us. It is just a matter if we decide to wake up and let our true energy ignite. To me, Atlas’ kundalini is fully awake due to his direct connection to the heavens.
In no way do I compare myself to a Greek Titan, but I do relate to the idea of bearing the weight of the heavens on my shoulders. I feel a connection to a voice deep inside me. This voice (or my intuition) has guided me on a pretty crazy journey thus far. However, it has also led me to the realization that my life purpose is to be of service. I realize this is a broad statement, but numerous people have told me that I am a “healer.” My initial response was, “WTF?! A healer? What does that even mean?” However, over time I have come to realize that this is my calling. I am meant to help others heal…physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is just who I am and what I am meant to do.
But here is the problem…where do I begin? How do I help others? How do I become a non-traditional healer and still be able to pay my rent? I have been on this path since 2010, but some days I feel further away from fulfilling my purpose and doing my life’s work. I just need a map to tell me which way to go! Which ironically brings me back to the word “atlas.” According to the dictionary, an atlas is “a book of maps or charts.”
As I find myself at another crossroads, I keep thinking that a map would be really nice (even if it was written in German.) But where is the fun in knowing what lies ahead, right?!
I think my biggest fear is that I will wake up one day and think “what if”, “if only” or “I wish I had.” I don’t want to live for one-day. I want to live right now, in this moment. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with a friend right before I left New Zealand. I was sitting on the step scribbling in my journal and he asked what I was writing. I excitedly replied that I was writing a list of all the things I want to do or accomplish one day. He looked at me with a judgmental (yet encouraging) facial expression and then told me to not live my life for "one day." It’s too easy to push your dreams and desires off and keep saying “one day I will…”. Live in the moment. Do it today!
That conversation has stuck with me. Yet, here I am again...saying one day I will start my own business…one day I will do what I love… One day I will “be a healer.” I have come to the realization that all of these things won’t just happen. I have to take small steps to get there. And with the state of the union (my back), smalls steps are all that I can take right now. So if you’re still reading, I encourage each and everyone of you to take that first step. Follow that first step with other small actions steps toward reaching your goals, fulfilling your purpose and living the life you have only dreamed of. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey as well.
So I will leave you with this…
“I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.” ~Ayn Ran