Another Path

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We are always starting again, it seems.

Always a new path is seeming to appear just off the one we thought we were on. No signposts.

Is it a path? Or Is it a path wild animals took before us, a “game trail”, winding along a hillside seemingly aimlessly. Until you follow it and find it leads to water.

Of course it could also be a dead end. More than once I’ve taken both what I thought was a pathway just to find it stopped at a cliff. Other times I’ve followed the faintest of game trails, just to find the elusive animal leaped away, and the trail itself vanished so I had to retrace the steps back to the known.

Beginning this blog again is a new path. Obviously it’s been a while and I’ve been wandering in deep woods. Or so it seems from the absence of work here. Instead my path of these last few years was essentially hijacked, as so many of us learn, by the decline of elderly parents whose sudden needs are so overwhelming there is little time for one’s own path pursuits. I don’t say this unkindly; I say it realistically yet knowing that no parent intends to hijack their children’s path, nor do they want to have to. Walking with my mother’s on her path through a decade of dementia is one path totally unexpected to each of us. Trying to join my father on his path with cancer, till he decided to end treatment and resisted all company, was another. For them to coincide, to unify into one path under that complicated term “home hospice,” 45 years after their lives together untwined in divorce, is one of those things to muse on, if there’s any time to do so.

A lot of people are finding themselves on new paths suddenly as well. The invisible but deadly virus in the air around us has put the humans around the world on a new path   and one none of us expected really.

We shelter in place, any plans and paths we thought we were on vanished beneath our feet. We emerge in masks only to find the world around us has changed. Jobs are gone or may never come back. Careers we thought we had have veered off cliffs. We’ve spent time with families, if lucky, or learned to try to connect with them across a airwaves and wifi and in the worst case, were unable to see them as their path ended and ours was barred.

Yes we are all on a new path, one we didn’t expect, and for many of us, our life paths feel hijacked.

Take a moment here. The sun has come up again. The sky is beautiful no matter what is happening in it or where you are, from storms to sun, clouds and rain to striking blue.

This moment is the only step we need to know.

And that’s good because it’s the only one we’re certain of.

If you can see the sky and take a breath, you are on a path and it will lead somewhere.

It’s always been this way, but being shocked into living in this moment, even if it’s the only way to get through years of living moment to moment, day to day as we do near the end of our lives and as we do accompanying those we love to their final breaths, and as we do when faced with the unknown before us, we quickly realize path will take care of itself. For now.

We will find our way again soon.

It certainly will be a new world and a new path, as we all start anew, but we will find our path that brings us to being our heart-filled self, authentic and fierce in our purpose to live shining.

Take a moment again. Just for fun, doodle a path you’ve just discovered leading out your door and to a world you wish to see anew.

 

GPS for Gratitude

Have you ever done this?

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©elizabethdarby 2013

It’s a kind of simple game I have played since I was a little girl looking around a long-grassed mountain side for what to do or where to go next.  It’s a kind of GPS system for the soul.

The rules are simple: There’s just one.

Assume whatever you notice is really important, a clue left just for you, and that it is guidance for your ‘next step’ in the puzzle of your life-journey of Being You.

As you notice it, feel immense gratitude for the clue, the guidance, the direction, the encouragement, whatever it is. Like GPS, this thing you notice has found you and you have found it. It guides you and you feel, well, thankful, that you are directed right here and now into being On Task and On Purpose in this moment. …That’s it.

This little game can be ‘played’ anywhere . . . and even while waiting for planes four hours overdue in JFK when people-watching feels no longer the best reality TV around, as I found last week coming home from the UK. 

I’ve found physical clues are easier found in Nature than in confined spaces, though I”m always grateful for a discovery of a cafe offering great, giant cups of tea even in urban corridors. Thus, I learned when leaving my native nature spaces here in the Rocky Mountain West for the rest of the world, I could play this game with books and bookstores. The one rule remains. I look for a title that jumps out at me, saying ‘here I am; the answer and insight is here’ or I open one, two or three books at random that I’m carrying with me and see what is said and contemplate where the intersect. For, remember, three points define a line — of action, of direction, to next, to beyond, to using your gifts or a lifeline in a dark time.

(Warning: Don’t try this with newspapers or shallow magazines; the results can be profoundly disturbing!)

So, playing it today while avoiding 100 degree heat outside, I thought I’d share whatever GPS was offered. No, you and I don’t have the same puzzles of life-journey around us, but guidance can fit each of us in just the right place, if received with gratitude.  So here goes:

First, determine that whatever is relayed here is just the hint or guidance you might need right now; yes, it’s for you. Then simply feel a huge wave of thanks as you consider it.

And, No, this isn’t fortune cookie stuff for the more cynical or hurting among you thinking ‘um, right…’ at this moment (I know you’re there). This is a game of opening to GPS is a light-play for the magic that is for your very next step.

Here’s what I ‘opened’ to — and no doubt is for each of us in each of our journeys; see where the 3 ideas take you and connect for you:

We must awaken to the truth that essentially this world order in which we live is a spiritual order; that honesty, justice and love are the very foundations of all life, and they cannot be flaunted with impunity, for they are the moral and spiritual principles that underlie all human relationships…

Ernest Holmes, It’s Up to You

 

What does your fearsome Bogey look like? What’s the worst that could go wrong? Write it and draw it here. We all have doubts. We doubt our Selves, our abilities, our worthiness to actually create our work and feel joy, and we each have our unique pictures of what could go wrong. But once the doubts are out in front of us, we can take a good look at them in the light and assess how realistic each truly might be. . . .

me, from my book Here You Begin which is based on

 countless nights of talking with my daughters as they reached for their lives and dreams

 

Somewhere, deep inside of each of us, is the knowing which knows us, that mystery which seeks us, desires realization through us. What a defilement of our calling it is to live the lesser life. We may be frightened by the scope of such calling but it is even more frightening to have stayed stuck in a life of no consequence, of no contribution. Fear of the call is a good fear, for it reduces the other fears to their lesser claim on us. . . .

James Hollis, Creating a Life

Wow. Thank you, GPS!

When wondering what to do next to pursue the Call of my time here, it’s an instant reminder:

Walk in honesty, justice and love;

 

Regard the self-doubts and fears as needing

a ‘reality’ check

and maybe a little a cartoon-rendering;

 

Remember that there is something greater

pulling through you wanting expression:

It’s the reason you are here in your Life-Time

using your gifts, and shining your light from within You around.

 

What guidance is connected here for you? Did your GPS find you?

 

Helping hands always offered here, with gratitude.

Give Life a dizzying whirl today!

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby