text and photo © Jonathan Zap
To make a course correction you need to first establish your present trajectory. Stop and consider what you have spent time, energy, and money (a form of energy) on in the last day or week or other unit of time you can observe closely. The time and energies you have spent are the thrust of your trajectory. Based on the temporal and energetic momentum of the last unit of time, you have an idea where you might be heading. For example, do this exercise with your bodily health: Based on what you have put in your body, and the exercise you’ve done, etc. in the last day, week, or month — what sort of body should you expect to have if that way of eating/exercise, etc. continued indefinitely? Given that you will continue to age, if the way you’ve treated your body in the last 24 hours is unsustainable, then you need to make course corrections. Give the same type of analysis to finances, relationships and time expenditures. Remember that intentionality is revealed more by actions than words. Regardless of your stated intentions, your present trajectory is more accurately determined by what you actually did in the last unit of time. To change course you must take new actions. To focus only on words and statements of intention, would be like reading a proclamation of where you want your boat to go as you stand on the deck while no one is minding the sails, rigging and rudder. To make a major course correction, you need to draw up a new map and then immediately, immediately begin to take actions, to navigate in accord with the new map. Don’t expect smooth sailing. Expect storms trying to blow you off course.
To find the new course, ruthlessly examine your present trajectory — everything you spend time and energy on. What are you doing now that you won’t remember well on your deathbed? What are you doing now that you would not want everyone to know about? What are you doing now that does not set a good example for others, that would be a problem for society if everyone acted so? Making a real course correction usually involves pain and sacrifice, a loss of self-importance, a relinquishment of wanting in favor of a true calling. To make a substantial course correction means going against the flow. Your old trajectory has lots of momentum behind it. To change course means summoning will to take many new actions and to hold back from repeating old actions.
Finally, if you are lost in the woods, when is the best time to stop walking in the wrong direction? Should you wait till tomorrow morning, till the weekend, till the end of the school term? If you need a course correction, you need it now, you need to be the wise and alert navigator now, and nowever, for there will never be a time when you can safely fall asleep at the wheel. If you want to be the navigator of your life, you are asking for a relatively rare and privileged position. Most people are adrift in collective undertow; they are not captains of their own ships. If you want to actually be your own navigator, think again if you are up for the challenge, because this position is a 24/7/365 responsibility. To be the navigator means you are never off duty, and that you are ready to retriangulate your position and make continual course corrections through a journey that may last lifetimes.
Temporal Fencing and Life Fields
for muse-driven navigation:
The Path of the Numinous — Living and Working with the Creative Muse