Fir needles crunched beneath my feet, and the faintest whiff of their sharp, sweet aroma wafted through the summer air. My feet felt solid and good, coming down one after another along this narrow trail. My breathing deepened as the trail began to climb, I glanced up at the screech of a birdcall.
For those few seconds I felt connected, present to the wilderness surrounding me. Then, immediately my mind floated off, racing into the past. The same old whining stories began to reverberate in my brain.
What am I doing with my life? Should I move? Where? How can I possibly to do it without any money? When I get back we’re going to hit the same old walls, but we won’t really argue we’ll just reach for the wine. And then we’ll feel better. And then I’ll feel worse. There’s no opportunities for me in that town. But where can I go. How can I possibly make it on my own? Why aren’t I more proactive in building my business? Why haven’t I done more yet? Why aren’t I there yet? What’s wrong with me?
The circular train of thought was familiar, not in a comfortable way, more like a frustrating way. But still, there’s a measure of comfort in familiarity.
I’d circle and circle, knowing something had to change, but feeling totally blocked on how I could make it happen. In the usual pattern my mind would then flit away and light on something new – maybe a friend’s problem, or a party I’d be attending that weekend. And I’d run away from the pain.
Today something different happened.
As I wound around a bend in the path, waxy rhododendron leaves brushing my arms, a voice spoke up so loudly I nearly wheeled around to see if another hiker had come up behind me.
“If you’re going to make a change the time is now. The city you will visit tomorrow is where you’re meant to go.”
I’d spent the night at one of my favorite retreats nestled in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Since I was making the 8-hour drive to Oregon to attend a conference I’d decided to spend the 4th of July here at one of my favorite spots on the planet.
“Well, I don’t know,” I told the voice. “I can check it out, but it seems like a long shot. I hardly know anybody here in Oregon. And how would I make money?”
In my previous escape fantasies I’d imagined perhaps a temporary move to a closer city where I’d be offered a well-paying and satisfying job.
However, despite trolling Craig’s List and telling a few friends of my interest, the golden opportunity had not yet materialized.
“You can sit around a wait for life to happen to you,” the Voice responded. “And another 10 years might go by in a fog of gin & tonics. NOW is the time. If you wait it will get harder to leave, not easier. One of you might get very sick. Something could come up that will hold you there.”
“But… I can’t just take off right away! I have to figure things out. I don’t have enough savings.”
“You have that cash. Use that. The next step will show up.”
The $2500 or so that I’d saved up did not seem like it could carry me through a move to a new city. But, wait – maybe I had a little more than that?
“But, what about my daughter? She just moved back to our town. I can’t just leave now,” I continued to object.
“What sort of way to live do you want to model for her? Do you want to show her how to ‘settle’ and play it safe and comfortable? Or do you want her to see you stepping up to your dreams, living in courage?”
One by one, this Voice disintegrated each objection that popped up in my mind. My steps faltered and I found myself on my knees on that trail, tears pouring from my eyes.
Although I consider myself intuitive, I’d NEVER received such clear and directed guidance!
I fumbled in my pack and pulled out my tiny moleskin notebook. As the tears continued to roll down my cheeks, I began to scrawl the insights that were coming. I knew I needed some sort of physical evidence to take back, to hold my feet to the fire. It would be so easy to slip back into the familiar and oddly comfortable sense of discontent and that ‘someday…’
That same bird called out once again and I watched it circle the brilliant blue sky. My feet found their way down the trail once more. I scrambled over a downed tree limb, running my fingers over the damp bark, breathing in the musty, earthy scent.
It felt like home.
A few weeks later I piled a carefully selected assortment of belongings into my car and drove away from the life I’d once loved, but now knew must end. Many more tears had fallen as I said my goodbyes, and gave away possessions. For the first time in my life I walked in a direction that did not please others.
My heart pounded as I pulled onto the highway and headed north. I had no idea what lay ahead.
What I did know was that when I’d finally softened, ceased the objections and accepted my guidance, things had fallen into place with an ease that astonished me. I did have a bit more than $2500 stashed away I discovered. A friend offered me her couch until I could find a room. Others reached out, and I realized I knew more people than I thought in Oregon.
That day I embarked on a Hero’s Journey, and now, two years in, I’m still riding the waves of that journey.
But not once have I regretted listening to the powerful Voice of guidance that spoke to me in the woods that day. My heart blew open right then, and this journey has led me to teachers, to new friends, to amazing opportunities.
And, most importantly, surrendering to my Guidance has allowed me to continue to experience an inner knowing that I could never have guessed was possible in my previous life.
I now have no doubt that we all are supported! All we have to do is listen.
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