High centering is a term I hadn't been familiar with, until tonight.
Imagine, you are negotiating a narrow craggy dirt tractor path, up a precipitous incline, barely wide enough for the vehicle in which find yourself, and suddenly both right side wheels and tires slide into a deep and in escapable rut. This "Path" is what Ralph and I have since affectionately referred to as "Winch Road". Then imagine, as you work to move the vehicle onward out of this morass the left side tires and wheels fall into another rut- leaving the car suspended with the center of the car resting on high ground and the tires on both sides dangling in the ruts to the left and right. You are now... High Centered.
It's 2 am, we are driving my dad's 1972 Ford Pinto in the rocky foothills east of Escondido. Of course, we have no tools, no flares, no first aid supplies, no food, no communications equipment, and no warm clothing. We are stuck at least 15 miles from... I have no idea. Haven't seen a human since we left town and all we have really is each other, determination to get home and a special 'Divine something else' that I wasn't to fully understand until much later.
Ralph, (my long time, childhood best friend), and I found ourselves in this predicament over and over and over again. Sometimes with our friend Tim and sometimes with our friend Laura, (we four were real troublemakers).
Now that I can look back over the years and survey our activities and actions, it almost seems as though, when we would go off on these excursions, the purpose was to go until we got stuck. We would inevitably determine how to engineer a solution, then work to manifest the solution and eventually succeed if even it took hours to do so, and it usually did. Often after one of our nightly forays into the wilderness we would dump Laura off on her doorstep at 3 or 4 in the morning and bolt out of there before receiving the wrath of her Dad.
Once stuck, and I mean stuck, high centered, no traction, no NOTHIN... and the decision was made that we were in-fact, no doubt, unequivocally, and indubitably stuck- the most amazing phenomenon would occur.
As I recall, \we would climb out of the Pinto, usually hysterically laughing, and immediately begin to survey the situation. You could almost hear the engineering wheels begin to whir, (read here- the God Brain, the Divine channel to infinite wisdom began to process and produce solutions). How do we free the chasis from the high center? How can we excavate the earth to fill the voids of the ruts and make a drive path for the tires of the car? How do we create a ramp on which to drive up or down slope? How do we create space to gain momentum to make that drive?
There is a beauty and elegance in the lessions I learned from these jaunts. Never ever was there any doubt about the outcome. I always knew we would get out/get home. It may take an hour. It may take two days. I may have to walk to a farmers house, (which we occasionally did), to call and let the folks know we were alright and would be home soon. We always knew we would get out even if we had to call a tow truck or call the National Guard... we would get home safely.
Once stuck, the rules of the game would have to change. None of this home by midnight stuff. But I knew that in a week, I would be looking back at this period and thinking wow what a mess- but I made it.
When we got out of the car and saw the predicament, we saw that we were high centered there was no whining, no pessimism about what if we had done something differently, no "Oh my God we're doomed - we'll never get out. Here we are stuck, irretrievably stuck 15 miles from nowhere, at 2 am, in the cold... we might as well just curl up and...", NO- - NOT ON OUR WATCH!!!
We simply figured out what needed to be done and got to work. The excavation crew started digging out and filling in the ruts, the traction crew began collecting brush to put under the tires for traction, the survey crew scouted the correct pathway and the entertainment brigade tuned the radio to the appropriate music. And soon, 20, 30, 90 150 minutes or three days later we started to test our work and move the car. Slowly she started to move and we nursed her out of the "stuck". Very excited about our victory we piled back in and either continued on our way deeper into the morass- or backtracked out toward highway 78 and headed home. Beat up, dirty, clothes ripped to shreds, bedraggled, exhausted, and yet elated at another victory and already manufacturing the story of this expedition and how we would tell it once we reached civilization.
There was never any discussion of failure. What would failure mean? Death? Just stay stuck and know that some future explorers would eventually find our bodies and the hulk of the Pinto? They'ed probably say, "Hmmm... they must have high centered and just given up- after all, no one can extract a Pinto after it's been high centered- poor kids"... Maybe we would just resign ourselves to being rescued by the National Guard, (occasionally a considered option)? No- Not ever!!!
Our lexicon did not contain any concept of failure. We knew we would find an end to our predicament and clearly we did- my sitting here writing this paragraph is testament to the fact that I did make it our of Winch Road alive.
No matter how stuck I am, (you are), once you survey the situation and see what needs to occur to get unstuck... you set in motion the plan to do just that. There is no mystery to what needs to be done. Let's not fool each other Ok. You've heard this 10 thousand times. There is no secret formula to get unstuck. You just climb out of the car and go to work. Listen- We got dirty, beat up and bloodied but we made it out every time. You do too... You know how I know that? Cause you're sitting here reading this article right now. You made it!
Now, as I look back at my experiences with Ralph and the others on Winch Road, the lessons are so clear. We were guided by and protected by providence. We didn't know it at the time but our faith and our confidence in ourselves came from a higher source. We thought we were just studying the situation then diving in to solve the crisis. We trusted our instincts. We trusted our skills and abilities. We trusted each other. And all the while... we were trusting the GOD in us, around us and as us. Each of us had an innate confidence in our God selves. We were demonstrating Unity principle number two, 'I am a child of God - I am of God'.
Not only this, but we were sending our thoughts out to the Divine source, detailing exactly how we would get "unstuck" successfully. We saw the method and the pathway to success. We envisioned it and talked about it. We were telling the universe the vision we were working toward. This is Unity Principle number three, 'Thoughts are things- your words have power'.
I've told the story of 'Winch Road' many times. Each time it gets better and better. The ruts get deeper, the danger to life and limb gets more intense and the stink from Tims feet becomes unbearable, (he took his boots off on one excursion and my eyes watered it was so bad). But the lessons learned become more deeply ingrained in my soul. I am a child of God
As are you.