Have you ever had the experience of feeling that you were moving forward in life, only to fall back into an old pattern, or have an external event pull you backwards? My uncle recently lost his entire neighborhood in the Northern California fires. He told me, “There have been times in my life when I thought my life was in a bad place and not going to get better, only to come to a better place than I had ever been before.”
I call this the boomerang effect: the concept of pulling back, only to catapult forward to an even better place than before. We humans have a tendency to believe that our lives should move in one direction: forward. However, our growth is not linear. When we allow ourselves to dream and envision what we want for ourselves, we see a big picture, a metaview. As we climb the mountain of life, we take unexpected turns, explore new and interesting terrain, and come across challenges that we could not possibly have seen from afar. From a distance, we may not be able to see the cracks and crevices, the wild animals, the rivers to be crossed, and the rocks, boulders and valleys that we must traverse as we make our way to the next peak, and the next. As we stand at the top of a peak, we may not see that there is another peak in the distance, even higher up and more beautiful than where we currently are. When we are in a valley, we may not be able to see that there are any peaks left for us to climb. Sometimes what is required for us to move forward is to move sideways across the mountain, to move straight up, to stop and rest for a while, to enjoy the scenery, to tend to an injury, or to learn something new.
We may spend 2 years taking giant leaps forward, and then traverse back some of those same steps, only to move forward again. The truth is that when we are living the full and rich lives that we all desire, we cannot possibly account for the surprises, opportunities and challenges that cross our paths along the way. Furthermore, when we are living conscious lives, we cannot ignore the parts of ourselves that arise at different times, which desire to be seen, heard and healed in order for us to move forward as even more whole, and brighter versions of ourselves.
Sometimes our challenges are a conscious choice. You may decide to restart on a more fulfilling career path, move to a different city or heal old relationship patterns with other or with yourself. At other times, it is not a choice at all, in the case of natural disaster, the loss of a loved one, or health issues for example. In any event, being in agreement with our present circumstances allows for flow and ease, and the resistance to them hinders are ability to move forward. The boomerang effect is the concept that when we are consciously committed to our own personal development, and intentionally choosing the direction of our lives, we are actually always moving forward. As humans we seek to grow and to become the biggest, fullest and most creative expression of ourselves and of our souls.
No matter where you are on your climb, bring to mind the image of a boomerang: that you do not know what is just around the bend; sometimes we pull back, only to go to places of unimaginable joy, prosperity, success, or to experience ourselves in a different light.
I am reminded of this quote, “Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual… …To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed...” Elbert Hubbard