The Powerfully Unpredictable Waterfall That Is Nodus Tollens

This may sound like Confessions From a Former Professional Mood Swinger, but Dear Lord … are you aware of what’s happening?

Not to me, dear ones. Out there. On July 31, there’s a Full Moon (it’s blue but you don’t have to be!), and Venus, Uranus, Vesta, South Node, Chiron, Neptune, Ceres and Pluto are all Retrograde, according to one of my spiritual pals.

(Wow. Tis true. I checked.)

Three words: Don’t Freak Out.

All this retro-ing is good for review, however. Let’s face it: The world as we know is shifting—for the better me thinks. (Despite what the media may be telling us.) Trust me—and I know that sounds weird since I may sound completely out of my mind being blond and Polish and mood swingy and all at once, but …)—we are on the precipice of delicious good.

Here’s the thing: A vast amount of us may feel as if we have been placed on a cosmic see-saw this summer. For me, at times, the breeze blowing across my face on the way “up” has felt just glorious—new ideas, new insights, new, new, new. However, on the way back down it has been a mixed bag of emotions—butterflies in my tummy every time I receive a vivid reminder that one era of my life is over and that I have officially stepped into uncharted territory without any real road map other than—what’s this?—Trust?


I suppose that’s a fine roadmap to have and if you’re going to keep asking The Universe for signs and the only one it keeps giving you begins with the letter T than, well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it all out.


How many of us are being asked to do just that, lately?  Perhaps you, too, like many others, including myself, are in a state of transition.

Last month, taking the baton the Universe handed me, I left everything and everyone I knew back on the Mainland and landed on Maui. When I say everything, I do, in fact, meaneverything—career, home, life as I knew it. My belongings now fit into a dozen boxes and have taken up temporary residence in a storage shed somewhere in Northern California. I left “corporate media” on the 20th anniversary of my mid-life crisis—which I launched long ago to get out of the way (alas, it lingered)—and woke up in Maui. And so, for the past 30 days, I have been meditating more, journaling more, meeting new people, and overseeing a young olive orchard in the bucolic Maui upcountry portal called Kula.

As I previously wrote, tending to the olives affords me an opportunity to slow down—more than I have slowed down before—and pay attention (in a new way). The olive trees are good teachers, after all. They take years to grow and come into fruition so it’s not as if one day you wake up and suddenly—boom, bam, there be olives on the trees! Eureka!  No, Mother Nature knows what the heck She is doing. She can take her time. And so, I monitor the trees every morning and night. Like a sheep dog on a prairie, I watch—and, me being me, I send off a blessing to the grove every now and then. Why not? Good juju is good juju.

As a result, in just a short amount of time, I have realized that the life I had prior to coming here was often filled with a never-ending swirl of “doing.” In the past two decades, I penned five books—two which are published—oversaw creative direction of a newspaper for 14 years, wrote articles about Hollywood for magazines, covered red carpet Hollywood events, took three to four Bikram yoga classes a week, breathed in, out, and God knows where else, and taught a series of fitness classes, dripping in perspiration to arrive somewhere every step of the way (more or less). So now, as I reflect back on that era, I realize two major things. 1) That I rarely took the time to fully integrate all that I had accomplished and all that happened to me and the people around me—you know, as in, honor it. And 2) That somewhere in there, I lost the Me that was having fun being a creative person and began to crave the acceptance and recognition from the outside world (more). I was, in effect, waiting for the outside world to tell me: “Oh my God, Greg … you’ve arrived! At last. Welcome! Here’s a coupon for 20 percent off on the finest chocolate! Gosh… we sure dig you!”

Funny thing is, whenever “the world” did “validate,” me, I rarely allowed it to fully sink in.

And that’s the downright funky thing about that “I WANT” pattern. It has a voracious appetite and just keeps wanting—MORE.

We are often told that acceptance and love are an inside job, but are are rarely told that in the process of true self-acceptance and self-love we must confront our shadow side, which, let’s face it, is not often glamorous. (Or so we think.) For me, the shadow is the place where Fear, Doubt, Worry and Shame, to note but four, seem to have been having one hell of a house party. My occasional (fine … lingering) resistance to facing them has forced my mood to swing with reckless abandon (at times, but not all the time, I swear!) But I have come to believe that there is something lush and wonderful to be had if we simply allow ourselves to just sit in our own shadow. By allowing ourselves to face what is most frightening, it loses its strong current.

Basically, you go from “Oh S**t!” to “Oh Shift!”

I came across this sign recently and I loved it:



My entire Maui adventure, while remarkable and stellar, has had some strangeness. When you are asked to give up being the You you were being so that another kind of You can emerge, this thing called the Ego starts screaming: “Really? You’ve got to be kidding me with this? Can’t we just go back to our regularly scheduled programming?”

I suppose we can, but would it spark real inner growth?

On the very same day I found the sign above, a friend of mine tagged me on Facebook. She had posted a List of Obscure Sorrows. There were 23 of them in there. To which I thought: “Huh, only 23?”

(What can I say? I am a writer, I mood swing and my habit of always wanting more nearly gets the best of me.)

That said, one term on the list stood out: Nodus Tollen.  It is the realization that “the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages that you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapter you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose you own adventure.”

Well … that was just the right kind of spiritual Viagra I needed.

So here’s a shout out to anybody who might be in the midst of their own Nodus Tollen: You are not along. Embrace it. Because …

… the alternative may not be pretty.

I sense we are all being given opportunities to ask ourselves a very important question: How can I best serve?

Yeah. That.

Onward we go …

More soon …


One thought on “The Powerfully Unpredictable Waterfall That Is Nodus Tollens

  1. Pingback: Why There is Victory in Vulnerability | knowplacelikehomeonline

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