Here’s a sprout well budded out / the work of our Lord’s hand
Dear Friend and Reader:
We’re approaching one of the most impressive Full Moons of the year — the Scorpio Full Moon, which this year happens Saturday, May 5 at 11:35 pm EDT. Presently the Sun is at the sensitive balancing point of the season, located halfway between (Northern Hemisphere) spring equinox and summer solstice. This time of year is known as Beltane, though in our particular year, the Moon comes along and makes an exact opposition to the Sun. What we get is a peak in the solar cycle (the seasons) coinciding with a solar-lunar cycle (the Full Moon), which is unusual and which carries a lot of momentum with it. It’s also a Full Moon at perigee — the closest point to the Earth, so visually it’s going to be a big one.
Taurus and Scorpio are zodiac signs that specifically address the subject of resources, and the exchange of resources, whether you’re speaking of the planet itself, what humans exchange in commerce, through sex or in genetic material, and by extension, the economy that gathers around all of this activity.
We had a similar event on May 5, 2008, when there was a New Moon on Beltane, in the midst of a rather eventful year when we got a big reminder about our shared resources. At that time, there was something brewing that was quaintly referred to as the “subprime mortgage crisis.” A lot of banks, sucking cheap money out of the Federal Reserve Bank, had provided easy credit to many people who could not pay the mortgages back. The availability of cash was like throwing kerosene on the fire of American greed, and many people bought lavish homes though they could not afford them.
The lenders took millions of those bad mortgages, bundled them together and sold them as securities, that is to say, as “investments” made by other banks, companies and governments — but they were worth nothing. These entities were sitting on a cosmic-scale garbage dump of rotten paper — which meant that as a result, the entire economy was sitting on quicksand. Some institutions had half their total portfolio in these “products.”
This situation led to the bursting of the housing bubble — the absurd inflation of housing costs that seems to have been going on since the 1980s — followed by widespread liquidity problems that rippled throughout the global economy. The financial sector and indeed nearly every industry was reaping the benefits of its philosophy of globalism. We learned fast that what happened to one entity could affect any other entity.
The problems came to the surface undeniably on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, when Lehman Brothers announced a third-quarter loss of nearly $5 billion (in one fiscal quarter). By that Sunday, Lehman had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and what we now call the Great Recession was underway. Many banks were in crisis, over-leveraged and with no available cash to lend one another or anyone else. Trillions of dollars in bailouts, generated from debt charged to the citizens of the United States, were given to many financial institutions and AIG, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. This was the “financial 9-11” at the bitter end of the Cheney-Bush administration: the biggest bank robbery in history.
The astrological upshot is that there was a New Moon preceding this on May 5, 2008, with the Sun exactly at the midpoint of Taurus. I kept looking at that chart knowing it might be big, but I didn’t understand why. It seemed significant that there was a New Moon on Beltane, a holiday associated with honoring the only true material wealth, which is the abundance of the Earth.
Yet in the technical sense there’s something else significant about this point in the calendar. Events that occur with the Sun at the midpoint of any season create what is called an Aries Point effect, where there is often high-impact news of some kind that resonates on a deeply personal level with many people. The effect is not always instantaneous (though sometimes it is).
For background, the Aries Point is the first degree of Aries (the position of the Sun at the spring equinox), and by extension the first degrees of any of the cardinal signs (Cancer, Libra or Capricorn as well), which form a cross. Each time a new season begins, the Sun touches a point of the cross. These are called the quarter days, also known as equinoxes and solstices.
When you bisect those points, you land in the middle of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius). Those are called the cross-quarter days. They are sensitive spots which can energize the Aries Point, and point to events with far-reaching effects. Notably, almost all holidays are concentrated around the quarter days or the cross-quarter days.
This is where we are now. On Saturday, the Sun arrives in the same position as it was in 2008, four years to the day later. But just as the Sun reaches the midpoint of the season, the Moon comes along and makes an opposition to it (the Scorpio Full Moon).
We are once again in an election year. And, once again the world is on the brink of what we might politely call a financial threshold, though this time the problem seems to be centered in Europe. Spain just had its bond rating downgraded two notches from A to BBB+, and the Netherlands is on the brink of losing its AAA rating. Yannis Palaiologos, an author at Prospect.org, writes that, “This would lead to a rise in the cost of borrowing not only for the country but also for the EFSF, Europe’s rescue fund, which depends on guarantees from the dwindling number of AAA-rated Eurozone members for its high credit rating.”
On Sunday, France seems poised to elect a socialist president. This would mean someone in office who is not as friendly to German president Angela Merkel as Nicolas Sarkozy, the current president, has been. Sarkozy has in effect been allowing Germany to run the finances of Europe through the debt crisis.
On the same day there are parliamentary elections in Greece, expected to inject far-right and far-left influences into the political environment (some “sick puppies,” in the words of our Athens correspondent). This would break up the two-party system there and could alienate crisis-besieged Greece from the Eurozone.
Meanwhile in the United States, Republicans are campaigning on a platform of cuts to social programs, increased taxes on the poor and reductions in the size of the federal workforce, ostensibly to help the economy — but which are certain to have the opposite effect. They’re also waging war on women, immigrants and anyone whose sexual orientation differs from what they claim theirs to be. Given this, it’s really weird to hear predictions of a close race.
And, into this mix, we are adding the Full Moon right at the midpoint of the Sun’s transit through Taurus. This is of course influencing us in personal ways as well. Other astrology suggests that many people are making decisions about, or are in crisis over, their most intimate relationships. This has been brewing for a while, though much of what was swept under the rug is coming out, sometimes with passion, urgency and decisiveness.
Remember that we’re in the spring of 2012 — from here on out, the large-scale events increase in frequency, with the Uranus-Pluto square ever in the background, running high-voltage current through the Aries Point. We’re just weeks away from a series of eclipses and one month from the transit of Venus. Speaking of: Venus is an influence directly related to Taurus, to earthly resources, to wealth and to value. The transit of Venus on June 5 describes a kind of revaluation, or at the least a rather deep and sweeping re-evaluation.
Instead of using astrology to be predictive about these events (it’s tempting, and many will be tempted to be negative, basing their future predictions on what’s happened in the past) I think we need to be visionary. No matter what goes wrong on the planet, or what messed-up things people do, it’s people who solve the problems and people more connected to life who invent new ways of life. Eventually over time, there seems to be very slow progress. Yet we are now at a quantum point. The combined creative intentions of even a few people can be magnified by the rapidly rising energy — which brings me to trees.
The economy as we think of it is a study in exchange, but it seems to me that the real exchange on our planet involves trees. This is true in the biological sense of the word, and economic (most people live inside houses made from wood) though trees are sentient entities, many of them centuries (or millennia) old that ground profound information onto the planet.
Despite its reputation for frisky erotic play among neo-Pagans, Beltane is really a tree holiday. That’s the theme that many related holidays around the world at this time of year share — a celebration of trees. “This is Spring Growth Mother Earth Green Day,” says Donna Henes, author of Celestially Auspicious Occasions, who was my guestthis week on Planet Waves FM.
“The spring cross-quarter day is all about growth. Spring equinox is about birth, and the mid-spring cross quarter day is about the exuberant, vibrant, hormonal kind of growth. That’s the link between the tree and the sexual frenzy that we associate with the May Pole. It’s a celebration of the new green, the growth of life, of life on Earth and Mother Earth, the Creatrix. The tree is a universal symbol of life, from Buddha being born, receiving enlightenment and dying under the tree, and on and on.”
The tree is celebrated as an entity that reaches deep into the ground and at the same time reaches to the heavens. It is a bridge between Heaven and Earth, with its growth nourished both by the light of a star (the Sun) and the solid mass of the planet where it has its roots.
In Pagan times, this was celebrated many ways, including with the May Pole dance. The pole is of course made from the trunk of a tree that is draped in garlands, to which are attached long ribbons. The dance involves everyone holding one of the ribbons and then weaving the web of life, circling the pole in an obvious celebration of the phallus. But there’s a lot more going on as well.
The Catholics adopted the May Pole celebration into Holy Cross Day, celebrated May 3, a Catholic version where they turn the tree into a cross (the Catholics have versions of all the Pagan holidays), which is a bigger deal in South America. “Throughout Latin America, they celebrate it as Cruzelacu, in midspring, which is a nature appreciation holiday. A cross is decorated as the May Pole would be, with ribbons and flowers, and sometimes flags, jewelry and dresses,” said Henes.
In the 1640s, there was an act of the British Parliament banning the May Pole. The law assailed the “heathenish, vanity, generally abused to superstition and wickedness” of the dance. The Restoration brought back May Poles, and there was a huge one erected in The Strand in 1661, which required the strength of 12 soldiers under the personal supervision of King James II. This was a 134-foot cedar pole. Then in 1717, it was moved to Wanstead Park in Essex, where it became part of the support of Sir Isaac Newton’s telescope.
“It was still serving the original symbolism of the tree, which is rooted in the ground and reaching into the heavens,” said Henes.
In contemporary Brazil, May Day is celebrated by designating a particularly powerful tree and decorating it with white flags.
The Liberty tree is a common symbol for several North American tribes. In the late 1800s a movement began to unite the tribes and present a common front to expel the white man. They created a ritual called the Ghost Dance where they circled around what they called the World Tree.
There’s also a Jewish holiday called Tu B’Shvat, which celebrates the birthday of the trees. In contemporary times, funds are raised and trees are purchased and planted. It’s a national tree-planting holiday in Israel, which has a national obsession with re-planting the desert.
On the other side of the world, there is a Chinese festival called Ching Ming, or the Bright and Clear Festival, where graves are cleaned and trees are planted near the resting places of the ancestors.
Finally, there’s a worldwide holiday that you hardly hear about any more called Arbor Day. On the first Arbor Day, held in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.
That’s a good thing — trees do nothing but support life on Earth. They are integral to the biosphere. Without them, life on Earth would not only collapse — we would all be a lot dumber than we already are. Researching the biological themes, I spent some time on the North Carolina State University website yesterday and this is some of what I learned.
One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people. At the same time, a tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and can sequester one ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.
Forests supply over 50% of freshwater flow in the lower 48 states. According to USDA Forest Service estimates, some 180 million people — more than half of the United States’ population — depend on forests for their drinking water.
In addition to providing oxygen and water, trees keep the air breathable. Over one year, an acre of forest can consume the amount of carbon dioxide created by driving a car 26,000 miles, about twice the annual mileage for an average driver. An acre is pretty large. It’s a good thing that in the U.S., forests cover 749 million acres. That’s nearly 33% of the nation’s land. When the United States was first settled, they covered 46% of the nation’s total land area.
We would be in a symbiotic relationship with trees, were we not chopping them down so fast. Symbiotic means both parties to the equation benefit from the relationship — and trees do benefit from our presence and offer themselves to us for many purposes. At the moment, we seem to be getting most of the benefits of trees, but we also seem to be missing a larger point.
There’s a dimension to trees that some people have encountered and others have devoted their lives to. One such person is Elisa Novick, who you may have already encountered in a recent edition of Planet Waves FM. Elisa reminds me of an other-worldly cosmic entity that I might have met in a science fiction novel, except that she’s a real person working as a healer on the planet. Here is how she tells the story of her first meeting with a tree in a forest in upstate New York, not far from where I live.
“Walking down a mossy forest path, I was met by a powerful wave of love emanating from a magnificent oak. So began a fascinating multidimensional odyssey spanning 10 years, as a small patch of forest became my happiest place in the universe and a place for healing and awakening for many,” Elisa wrote in an email to me yesterday.
“Each tree has a unique personality and gifts to bestow. Trees hold keys for the survival and thriving of the Earth. They created the conditions for us to live on this planet and can do so again if we ally with them.
“Learn to receive their healing love and converse with them and support them in their mission. Let’s not assume that if our ears can’t hear, that there is nothing spoken. Attunement is the next language of communication — with people, plants, animals, and the cosmos.
“My hope is that if more people understand that trees can be sentient and have healing and spiritual abilities beyond anything we have imagined, we will nourish those that are still alive and replant our bountiful forests. Not only the other half of our lungs, they may be the other half of our hearts.”
Elisa has the ability to communicate with entities that don’t use what we consider the normal senses. Here is what an oak tree in that forest said to her:
“In another world we were lovers, you and I, in dimensions too difficult to describe, but all things come around and we are brought together for a reason when it is correct and useful. Now this planet is dissolving in pollution and all are suffering to some extent. But there is always renewal available. You have renewed our context here on this planet by your thoughts and good wishes and we wish to stay now; though we have scouts foraging for another wilderness to ‘set up shop’.
“We are always prepared, as your Scouts say. Funny that you should mention contingency plans at your breakfast today. But in this spiritual realm, there are no contingency plans, no plans, just the unfolding of a reality that is long known, but never planned. How can I say that this is true? Or how to be fortunate enough to be enlightened/privy to this information? The known comes forth as it reveals itself out of the Great Plan, but it is never planned ahead of time; just revealed in its true glory, fully formed. Then it develops by choice, will, playful endeavor; curiosity; happiness. It is creativity in this making, Universal, powerful urges move through all, causing creativity to flourish in response, like leaves to the sun and wind forces. We move, too, we trees, as we are called by the greater plan, but have many choices and happiness rules the moment as to when and where we plop ourselves down and give of our happiness to the Earth or other spaces.”
A maple tree said:
“Many of your species have noticed that we (trees) are not doing as well as we used to; our leaves are dying from your poisons and our roots are also feeling the pinch. The water is no longer fully wholesome from soil or sky and we don’t like noise that is unnatural and vibrates our roots badly. But we continue to pour forth love and healing chemicals and go about our nature/natural lives in pursuit of a ‘higher ground’, a place wherein we become greater selves. Our development spiritually and consciously is all-important. As we develop, we develop new abilities and can bring forth great wonders energetically and also to the physical manifestation.
“Call us forth. Please don’t deny yourselves this ability to call forth nature’s finest consciousness, its abilities to heal itself and the world. This garden planet is unique in its resources for higher consciousness and verdant growth possiblities. It provides great stamina and strength to its species and has an integration unlike any found. It can sustain great damage and heal itself, but it cannot sustain continued or even sporadic damaging; conscious and unconscious.
“So be well my friends. Come forth in your glory and you will find us waiting in glory to welcome you and live in harmony and grace (yes we know grace; we form it every day); we exude this natural grace. Solemnity is not part of that, but laughter, playfulness, ease and lightness of being; we are creative and naturally curious and we love the Christ consciousness coming through every pore of this planet’s existence. It is what the planet is made of after all. You must broaden your idea of what it is; your ideas are so narrow and limited. Widen and enlarge your awareness and you will find Me (Christ) in every cell of every plant and every stone and every being that exists, animal, dolphin, whale, etc.”
You can read more of these messages in this PDF that Elisa has prepared for Planet Waves readers.
The author Hermann Hesse seemed to be onto the inner life of trees as well. “Trees are sanctuaries,” he wrote in his book Wandering. “Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
“A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought. I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust…I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labour is holy. Out of this trust I live.”
Friday, May 4, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #902 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions
If your birthday is anywhere in the neighborhood, your solar charts suggest that you’re close to the point of resolving an impasse. This is unlikely to look like the members of a collective bargaining process emerging from the room and holding a press conference. Rather, you are resolving something within yourself, which is good because you need to shift your energy to an even deeper series of changes that’s approaching. For a long time you’ve lived with a split in your reasoning process, your values or your goals. This split has manifested in the outer world in many frustrating ways, and your psyche now has built up significant momentum toward letting that whole scenario go. Most of what you’re encountering in the immediate sense is what I can only describe as the fear of yourself. That could be annoying, considering that you’re the one person you have to live with every day. Taureans are often described as possessive. Here is a clue as to how you can let go of this particular fear: just remember, you cannot possess yourself.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You seem to have turned a corner this week, after much thought and some agonizing. You were dealing with a situation that went deeper than was obvious on the surface, which was related to a matter of deep healing. You worked out a lot, yet the one question still lingering from that scenario is: what have you learned about how you do endings? And what does that say about how you approach beginnings? And have you been able to identify the connection between the two? One question that your charts are offering involves what you do when you reach an impasse or a mental block of some kind. How do you handle that sensation? The second question involves what you do when you think you lack confidence, or more to the point, when you’ve convinced yourself that you do. Confidence is about having faith, and that is not an option — your only option is where you choose to invest it.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Take a practical approach to any situation or challenge in your life, particularly if you reach a point where you don’t know quite what to do. What appears to be an obstacle is not just an opportunity; it’s also the approach to a breakthrough point. While this is not merely a ‘trick of the mind’, how you think about matters profoundly influences how you perceive them, as well as how they develop. I suggest you be wary of any situation that involves a tease, seems out of reach or unavailable (an asteroid called Tantalus showing up vividly in your charts right now). I am not suggesting you avoid or run from any circumstance fitting that description, rather that you apply consciousness and the power of choice. Desire is a beautiful thing, though this is the time to ask yourself whether what you desire will bring you happiness, and if not, what you might choose to further that worthy cause.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Loyalty is only worthwhile to a point. The thing to ask yourself is, in being loyal to someone else, are you betraying yourself? This could be about anyone, though your charts suggest that the situation involves an authority figure, or a parental figure, of some kind. Consider this question carefully, because it illustrates a distinction that’s often blurred or even obscured entirely in the global crisis of self-esteem. I suggest you question the matter of authority, to begin with. If someone has this distinction, how did they get it? Did you grant them any power, did they take it, or was it in the fine print of the relationship agreement? It’s not too late to get out your magnifying glass and read the text carefully. And you’re right on time to make sure that even when you encounter or engage with someone who seems to be more powerful, or in a high station in life, you maintain your position as a fully-fledged human being — but only if you say so.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This weekend’s Scorpio Full Moon is an invitation to new adventures. The thing about adventures is that they’re not predictable, and there’s often a mix of experiences — though as you’ve learned in the past, it’s silly to let that stop you. It seems like one challenge you’re facing involves acknowledging what is past, and allowing it to be so. Any factor of ‘this cannot be’ or ‘I cannot have this’ is very likely the result of your reaching backwards, rather than embracing the future with an open heart and an open mind. There is also a fear factor involved, or rather what more accurately looks like the fear of fear. Said another way, negative expectations always work against you. While it’s a good idea to ground your positive expectations in something solid, the negative ones serve no useful purpose. They do reveal something useful about your relationship to history, or what may turn out to be ancient history.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Emotional fulfillment really is the challenge here in the Western world. Nearly every external influence we encounter is designed to stoke desire, often to the point where we don’t know what to do with ourselves once one of those desires is met by what might satiate it. I suggest you figure out what to do, if you’re wondering, or if you find yourself pursuing one ‘need’ after the next. Your solar chart illustrates the image of a life that, if not perfect, has many of the necessary elements for contentment. What you might need to do is assemble the ingredients in a mindful way, or at least notice their presence. Often the experience of reaching for more is about reaching for something in the past, which in truth you cannot touch. Yet what surrounds you now is a bold comment on what is possible. Compared to the state of affairs many other places on the planet, you are doing very well. The more open you are to receiving, the more you will feel that.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’ve been cautious about expressing what you want, and about acting on it too boldly — and until now that has been a wise policy. You might say that your desires have been fermenting below the surface of your consciousness, as you’ve worked out the calculus of what amounts to commitment. For most, wanting something, someone or an experience is more like a whim. Your desire nature moves your whole being, and that is what’s happening now. You may have the sensation that you’ve been aggressive about what you want, though I suggest this really isn’t true; for quite a long time you’ve been involved in trying to figure out what direction to go, and giving yourself permission to make a decision. Let that decision guide you; let it be a point of orientation. This will set many things in motion, and eventually you may notice that what you want is moving toward you. It will change in the process: be open to that when you finally meet up with whatever it is.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The thought process of someone close to you seems to be encountering you as an obstacle. Being an accommodating person, this is not an easy situation for you to be in, though you know that you have to hold a limit or set a boundary, and you’re conducting yourself in a way that is arguably mature and grounded. Remember, though, that you’re a work in progress — and just how much progress that implies is something you will discover soon enough. Meanwhile, when someone approaches you with an idea, please be open minded. You don’t have to respond like a parent talking to a child; you can take a more playful or experimental approach. Imagine that you live in a vastly larger world, among more people with whom you are truly in affinity. Imagine if you really lived the truth that anything is possible. Then, you might recognize that any idea could potentially be a brilliant idea.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — In order to be in a relationship with someone, it’s necessary to be at peace with who they are, which covers many levels of existence. It’s also necessary to be at peace with what their existence reveals about you, which is another way of saying being comfortable in your own skin. That said, I would propose that you be careful and aware in any situation where you have a long list of misgivings. The solution to everything is not to fix it or work it out or make it better. Sometimes the solution is to recognize that there’s an incompatibility, and use that as your new starting point. And, sometimes you will actually find yourself in a situation where you can know that there is a connection that can develop. Remember, though, that the first step is to get over your own insecurities, which I know is a tall order on this particular planet at this particular time. Yet events this weekend seem custom-designed to help you do just that — and then make a decision about where you really stand.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Set your course toward something more than survival, or enduring a less-than-perfect situation. In fact you do endure and you do make the most of your circumstances, though the time has arrived to take a more generous approach to existence. I would call your attention to a possible feeling or notion that a particular realm of emotional contact is somehow off limits to you. By that I mean emotional on the erotic side of the spectrum, where the deepest exchange is possible. There are many factors that could lead to this fear, though none of them actually limit you: the only things that do are your own unacknowledged beliefs. When you discover one of those beliefs, which might poke its head up for a fleeting moment, take a good look at it and ask yourself what it is. Then make up your mind about whether it’s true. The past may be the most dependable predictor of the future, but if you make that a way of life, nothing will ever change.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — How do you respond when others act like they are totally insecure? It’s tricky enough to even notice when this is happening. People display their neuroses in all kinds of creative ways, sometimes as bravado, sometimes as approach-avoid behavior, and sometimes as inconsistency. Often to figure out what’s going on below the surface, it’s necessary to be truly discerning, which means to see past your own subtle fears. It’s even safe to assume that people are going to be coming from an unstable or uncertain place, expecting the world to count them out of the game. The more encouraging you are, the more willing they will be to reveal their vulnerability, and thus take a step into authenticity with you. You can, with no damage to yourself, define one of your primary roles as being supportive of the ideas and plans of others — even if it’s moral support you’re offering. This will take a lot of pressure off of your social environment.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Unfortunately, the term ‘unconditional love’ rarely means what it purports to say. It represents an ideal, and we may indeed get there — but for now, I suggest that you be fully aware of, and honest about, any conditions you have on any of the intimate situations in your life. This is not about being mean or controlling; it’s about being real with yourself, which is the one and only prerequisite to being real with others. Understanding your conditions means understanding your values. There is a direct connection between the two concepts; one is the outer expression of the other. By bringing these things to the surface of your awareness, you will be able to make better decisions — and you seem to be considering an important one now. Here is one specific theme to add to that equation: are you hesitating because a risk you took in the past did not work out? What is your relationship to this whole business of taking chances?
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You may feel a standoff coming, though that’s not necessary if you keep your focus, speak your truth and refuse to allow fear to guide your actions. With those few objectives as your point of origin, there’s little that can stop you from doing what you want, harming no one and with a clear conscience. You may experience the events of the next week or so as a test of your integrity. Or you may be treated to an adventure that’s the reward of the work you’ve done going back many months — a phase of true achievement. One thing your charts indicate is that you’re discovering what it’s like to be met with energy similar to your own, whether in personal relationships or creative collaborations. Said another way, your charts are developing into an extended point of contact with the world around you, which holds the opportunity for you to express your potential in ways that are truly meaningful.