The North Star: Polaris

On a cool clear night looking up at the sky, from a lounge chair on the deck, the constellations are dramatically brighter than normal. A feeling of total tranquility emerges with relaxation often found in nature’s beauty. The Big Dipper and its seven bright stars look painted in the sky. It is said that the ancient Greeks named the Big Dipper “Bear.” They saw the same sky I am joyfully visualizing in a different century. The Greeks have tales from their Gods Zeus and Hera about a squabble over the way Zeus was always philandering with other women, so his wife Hera propelled her into the sky where she remains to this day in the Heavens. Who can refute Hera’s power if one reflects that Ursa Major never sets below the horizon in mid-northern latitudes. Now the Native Americans knew bears did not have long tales like the Big Dipper, so they taught that tail latitudes were three hunters chasing the bear.

During the American Civil War history projects a vision of slaves escaping from the sub-human treatment as they followed the North Star to freedom. They told each other of the drinking gourd helping the underground railroad to find their way north. As history begins to subside in the thoughts a more meditative journey begins… We look for our personal North Star for guidance when we experience the disquietude of chaos in our lives. Our path points in the direction of our Polaris and the spiritual and emotional elements bringing us toward better quality of life. In our youth it was easy. We simply looked up to our parents and teachers who always gave us good direction and set us on a course. As adults it is more complex formulating our life purpose and searching for a constant to draw strength. Ultimately our strength comes from within. We are strong. We are capable of leadership. 

We are capable of accomplishing everything we want out of life. Do not doubt yourself. Your North Star is now your personalized path. Struggle will always precede great accomplishment. Through it all continue to move forward. Your place on earth is one of great importance. Whether we realize it or not we have all touched other people’s lives. Taking good care of our mind, body and spirit will allow us to live our lives with abundance and continue to touch others with love and radiate humble appreciation for all the gifts in life. Many of us desire change in our lives but are unsure how to proceed. Begin by affirming concepts that are essential, yet often forgotten or ignored. Relax and refocus. Appreciate what we have instead of dwelling on what we don’t. Remember that change is inevitable. Break with old patterns that hold us back from our potential. Prevent negative thoughts and people from controlling our lives. Remain calm through adversity. 

The guiding star directs us toward a more spiritual life filled with compassion, equanimity and love. Envision yourself as you would like to be, and do not give up that as your mission in life. 

Nora D’Ecclesis — published in Multicultural Mindfulness