My mother loved school and wanted to be a teacher. She was one of 13 children and quit school to help support her family at a very young age. When I was contemplating what to study in college, she encouraged me to go into education. I didn't exactly know what I wanted to do so I followed her dream. Being a teacher would've been an easier path for me, but it wasn't MY path. I was a 25 year old teacher when I first started questioning my life's purpose. I left the profession before having my son and continued to contemplate what was next for me. My life led me to study Chinese Medicine. The decision was most definitely NOT what was "expected" of me. However, I was strongly pulled in that direction and I felt I had no choice but to follow that call. I am forever grateful for that training and how I see illness and disease and medicine and healing. And yet, there is more for me that my heart seeks to discover.
I came upon an excerpt of the poem, "To an English friend in Africa" by Ben Okri this particular part caught my attention:
"Live while you are alive
Learn the way of silence and wisdom
Learn to act, learn a new speech
Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit
Learn to be free yourself from all things that have moulded you
And which limit your secret and undiscovered road."
We are all born with a unique path for our lives. Through choices we make for ourselves or for the expectations of others, we veer off the path and it is our job to get back on our intended path. Our life is about returning to our center, our hearts, our home base. I trust that this is the key to living an enlightened, awakened and whole life. Author of "The Alchemist" Paolo Coehlo once said that our heart tells us what it wants and it keeps whispering to us as long as it feels we are listening, but once the heart realizes that we have stopped listening, it will stop asking. I remember thinking that this was a sad way to go about livng our lives. I started to wonder what my heart was trying to tell me. The thought of becoming a sad, old woman who wasted her talents and gifts because she was afraid of what other people might think was not appealing.
At the time I had this revelation, I was living in a place with no real friends, my professional path was suffering, my mother was sick and living half a country away. To say I was feeling lost would be a complete understatement. I began to take steps that would lead me more deeply to my purpose, to my highest calling. It has not always been easy, but it's true.
"Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone." Shannon L. Adler
If you have made it this far, thank you for hanging in there. Perhaps you are finding yourself wondering about your own heart's yearnings and you are ready for the excavation exercise. I call it this because for most of us, a fair amount of digging is required before we get to a place that feels vulnerable and unprotected yet warm and expansive. Trusting that what we are feeling is real and true and being curious about what we may uncover as we discover the call of your heart.
Be prepared to see signs pop up around you encouraging you that you are on the right path. A story on the evening news will grab your attention, a bumper sticker on the pickup truck in front of you will spark something inside of you. Keep following those breadcrumbs that will lead you to what your heart is hungry for. Nurture that feeling with love, attention and kindness. Try to leave judgment at the door. You will be challenged by your ego, your family, friends and workmates, but remember, nobody else knows what is in your heart. I am here to help.