People often comment on how grateful I am and wonder how I’m able to find a bright side or higher purpose in everything that touches me. In both my personal and digital worlds, others reach out to me wanting to know how they can get this way too. I read their emails or listen to their stories (usually something about Life ‘happening’ to them).
And then I tell them this:
What we think and feel about Life and ourselves changes EVERYTHING.
As a young girl, I’d bounce from one end of our green Chevy’s backseat to the other, watching local neighborhoods whiz by. From the front seat, my young mother gave to me many stimulating reflections for my young mind to muse over:
Who walked the earth a long time ago before these roads were laid down? How many people’s lives hovered over this very spot of Earth we are now driving over? Who are all these people in these cars, where are they headed, what are their stories, are they nice, and are they happy? Did our ancestors look at these very same trees?
In high school, I wrote poems and short stories and started a lifelong practice of journal writing. Everywhere I went I studied others; wondering why they’d chosen those particular clothes that morning, or if they had people to love them when they returned home. I fascinated with the inter-connectedness of humankind, and why our placement along our cosmic timeline happened when it did; and why I came to be ME, when I could have been born to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and as someone else.
In my twenties, I started searching; aching for a higher something. And on cue, while I waited, LIFE happened along the way.
I gave life to my very groovy and beauty-full child. Gave closure then gratitude to a 13-year marriage that no longer served my higher purpose. Grew a new and pretty life with my young son. Fell deeper in love with my existence, and whole foods, and making smart choices.
I created a state-wide grassroots community alliance focused on positive living. Organized over 100 successful public workshops and events on healthy living that I’ve been told have transformed many people’s lives. Attended a ton of self-growth workshops and events. And taped dozens of post-it notes to my bathroom mirrors, closets, walls, computers, and kitchen cupboard doors that kept me propelled forward.
As I grew more meaningful on the inside (changing my diet, thoughts, values, behaviors), my outside world automatically began to realign too (by my habits and interests, the people I kept company with, and even painting some walls of my home a gorgeous flaming orange and bright sunshiny yellow).
When I lost sight of my own internal compass (these times were many), again and again, I kept relearning to trust the sail of my spiritual journey; knowing that if I kept doing what felt right, I would keep moving one step closer to where instinctively I was meant to be.
And so I followed the works of many spiritually enlightened and personal-transformational leaders. I spent time thinking spiritual awareness was hiding in a one of the religions, and fiddled with a few of them. I meditated and journaled and brought yoga into my world. I studied reincarnation and auras and mindfulness. I burned incense and candles and sage, all while waiting for some divine enchanting energy to swoop down from the sky and declare me enlightened. Announce my arrival. Offer my initiation. Hand to me my happiness.
Yet everything I had been so desperately waiting for, I eventually found inside of me. Where it had been all along.