WHICH IS IT – BATMAN OR SUPERMAN?
As I write this morning, I am sitting in The Field (a name inspired by a Rumi proverb), a café/restaurant in Sedona, AZ, my second favorite place in the world, next to Brooklyn, NY. This coffee shop sits on N. State Highway 89A, the main road in this tourist town of approximately 19 square miles, nestled in the beautiful red rocks where John Wayne filmed his cowboy movies, mid-century.
Sedona, founded in 1902 and named after Sedona Schnebly, is a two-and-one-half hour drive north from Phoenix. There is a lushness about this town even though it is a desert: its flowering cacti; elevation of 4,500 feet; a big sky with very few clouds; the monsoons in July and August. The vortexes, found amidst the red rocks, have an intense flow of energy which assists in meditating, and the veil of separation between our earthly dimension and other dimensions is thin! On my first trip to Sedona in the Spring of 2002, I was blown away by the effects of this energy, which is like an UNENDING good feeling similar to the zone of a successful yoga class finale. The difference is that the Sedona energy encourages emotional issues to emerge for understanding, clarification and healing. Whoa!!! It isn’t easy…
On my arriving flight I sat next to Susan, aka July, a woman who learned to bend metal with her concentrated focus. She said the metal softened like butter under this force. (She kept the bent, metal bar on her desk to remind herself of this accomplishment) WHAM!! POW!! Batman comes to mind until I realize that it is Superman who ‘bends steel with his bare hands.’ I am reminded of the prelude to the mid-century, Superman TV program which featured George Reeves, the second actor to play the role:
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive;
Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound –
Look up in the sky. It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s superman!
Superman bent steel, and fought for ‘truth, justice and the American way.’
Growing up, I looked to others – sometimes superheroes – to protect or save me from harm. They were endowed with special abilities which we could admire and wish to possess. (I still feel like a kid when watching Andrew Garfield’s Spider-man scale buildings, and Christian Bale’s Batman race around Gotham in his Batmobile. Recently, Halle Berry portrayed the power of Batwoman These figures offer a way for us to feel powerful through the exploits of comic book characters as though we feel incapable or ill equipped to face, ourselves, what is feared.
At the beginning of “The Journey Home,” (www.Kryon.com) Michael, the protagonist, is frightened by the presence of something or someone following him. I read the book twice and felt scared, too, as Michael sets out on his journey. With the help of his guides, he learns the most important survival skills – courage, faith, self defense, and more -- to face his dreaded fears. This is one of my favorite books because Michael represents all of us. He inspires us to walk through fear. Nelson Mandela has said that when he is afraid, he acts boldly.
Boldness can take many forms. As we prepare to take action, it is no easy task to interpret the many nuances in the challenges which Universe presents. Kryon says that there is a spiritual solution to each situation; that we know the answer, but have forgotten it – thus the challenge of life as we know it: to remember!!!
In challenges, sometimes I choose assertion; other times I say nothing as silence can speak loudly. Action can take many forms. I think of Mahatma Gandhi, who with his ‘passive resistance’ moved India to independence from English rule. Nelson Mandela’s ideals under fire led him to spend 27 years of a life sentence in a South African prison. (Talk about courage) Later, this led to an end to apartheid. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and stirred a social revolution in the American South. Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King organized peaceful demonstrations which led to changes in our laws around racial segregation and discrimination. Eleanor Roosevelt (I would call her an early feminist) was bold and out-spoken: she told us to “scare yourself at least once every day.” Her words help me when I prepare to do something that frightens me. John F. Kennedy said “ask not what your country can do for you –ask what you can do for your country.”
Gandhi, Kennedy, King, Mandela, Parks and Roosevelt inspire by their actions. They are flesh and blood people – not fictional beings – who accomplished great things through their passion, intention and focus.
I am describing all of this to remind us to look within for our strength because incredible power lies here. Susan told me that during her metal-bending process, as soon as she started to think about what she was doing, she lost the ability to bend the rod. The feat is accomplished by a connection beyond our ‘thinking’ mind where we harness our connection to an energy which is amazingly powerful. We are much more than our thoughts -- a reminder that we have so much ability to explore.
Let us return to the beginning -- it is neither Batman nor Superman…but the boldness of the self loving us…the WE…the I AM... In the direction of love and compassion we are connected to all that is…where we co-create and find empowerment. “May the force be with you.” -- Yoda to Luke Skywalker (Star Wars Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, 1980)