by Stew Bittman, D.C.
My life has been overflowing with nostalgia lately. I guess it all started in March; right around the time Hillary (my wife) tried out and made it into the cast of a local production of "Hair". By the time the show actually went into performances, I could've understudied any role in it, and the songs brot me directly back to that wild and crazy time of so much hope and freedom and war and frustration. Those songs are finally beginning to leave my head, where they've been floating around constantly for 5 months. Then came Hillary's 50th birthday (I still have a few months to go), followed immediately by Ari's 18th birthday (ouch!), and, 2 days later, Father's Day, the 1st without my dad's presence on this earth plane. Within a week, I heard from 2 friends that I hadn't connected with since chiropractic school. Apparently this nostalgia energy is not isolated to me. Maybe there's a collective mid-life crisis going on or something. Anyway, this month also marked the 20th anniversary of my licensure as a chiropractor and, more significantly, the 15th anniversary of the moment when chiropractic principle became the beacon for my life's purpose and direction.
In all this traipsing I've been doing down memory lane I've noticed with some sadness that a lot of things don't seem to have changed at all. You could change a handful of names and words here and there in "Hair", for instance, and it would all still apply. The situation in chiropractic remains hairy as well. But in looking back I've also noticed great changes, both personally and professionally. (For one thing, I've gotten way less "professional"!) I've also noticed that a big part of me keeps working to pull me back to the present moment. And I've had help. This spring and summer, while on our frequent hikes, I've been literally surrounded by butterflies, sometimes dozens at a time. They've landed on me, danced around me; one even kissed me on the lips. And it seems like every time my mind enters nostalgia mode, a butterfly flies right at my face. Butterflies bring the message of transformation, I've heard, and they seem to be telling me that my own ongoing transformation depends on me being present, right here and right now. Indeed, it feels as if I'm currently going thru some of the biggest changes of my life (and again, it seems I am not alone here), and I need to stay awake. Nostalgia is fun, and may help sell a lot of compilation CDs, but this present moment contains both the seed and the fertile ground for transformation and growth.
This is all rather ironic since for the 1st time in my life, about 16 months ago, I would have told you that I was pretty satisfied with who I was. That I wasn't looking for much in the way of transformation. Well, my heart and soul and Innate apparently disagreed, and I've been challenged, tested and worked. As I look back, tho, I can see that it has all been perfect, that everything that's happened, "good" and "bad", was all exactly what I needed. I see that my transformation can never stop as long as I have a mission to serve. And back here in this present moment, I realize I am "suddenly" on the verge of manifesting a bunch of very exciting parts of the vision for myself that I've held these past 15 years. Parts that I could never quite figure out how to manifest on my own, and therefore doubted I ever would. Everything and everyone in my life now seem to be lined up to help me create my dreams. Thank you, God.
So, those of us who hold large visions for who we are and what we do, let's take heart. Simply holding those visions has moved us in that direction. Simply opening up to and allowing the transformation toward who we really are has accelerated the process. Simply becoming the change we've wished to see in the world has indeed changed the world. The truth of this transcends appearances. When will we actually see it? Well, Dick Santo once asked us how long it took a pot of water to boil. The answer is, in an instant. Getting to the point of boiling is the variable, and that duration depends on the source of heat. I know now that even when I doubted my ability to live my dreams there was some simmering going on; that there was still some fire under my pot coming from the divine heat Source within me. I know that the more I have transformed and moved from my head to my heart, the closer I have come to those dreams being realized, even when it didn't seem so. And that we are all vital players in each others' visions. Thank you all for contributing to all my wonderful nostalgic memories, and thank you even more for contributing to the love and beauty that exists right in this moment. And please, feel free to remind me of all this in a few months when my 50th comes around!
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Editors note: Stews birthday is on September 11th.
His chiropractic practice is located in South Lake Tahoe, California.