The Journey Home

It’s all true.

Everything the lovers and dreamers said about following your heart, your north star, your bliss–it’s all true.  Every bit of it.  I’ve read all the books encouraging it; I’ve hoped and dreamed thIMG_1608at it was true; I was willing to believe it.  I just hadn’t seen it.  Until now.  There really is magic and mystery in following the path your soul longs to take.  Friends do appear to help you; the impossible becomes possible simply to speed your journey.  I have no idea how it works, but I am so very grateful that it does.

And yet, that is not quite true.  We all know that there is something magical and transformative about love.  And so why should it be any different when we fall in love with our path?  When you fall in love with where you are and what you are doing, all manner of things become possible.  You are transformed, and your life along with you.  So of course the lovers and dreamers were right all along.  Fall in love with your life, and miracles will surround you.

It took me a long time to find my path and fall in love with it.  If you are still seeking yours, I would say only this:  don’t give up.  Your journey is leading you to just where you need to go.  You may not realize it–I certainly didn’t, not for a very long time–but you are already on the road you are meant to take.  Every part of your life is part of the adventure.  Every part of it is, somehow, bringing you home.

The place where you are right now

God circled on a map for you.

Hafiz

Awakening

These pages are, as Emily Dickinson once said, my “letters to the world.”  But although Emily felt that her letters were to a world that “never wrote to me,” I feel instead that the world is constantly writing to me, with every flower that blooms, every breeze that touches my face, every moonrise and sunset.  With so many letters written across each moment, I want only to write back.  To answer in some way the messages of Love that surround me.

Do I always see the world this way?  Of course not.  My true self, or buddha-nature (“buddha” means “awakened one”), is often sleeping and forgetful.  I am often caught up in fear or desire, asleep to the beauty and abundance that surround me.  But each day, I try to remember.  Each day, I strive to wake up, even if only for a moment.

There is an old saying about enlightenment.  Reaching enlightenment is like throwing a ball into the air, over and over again.  It goes up; it comes down.  But one day, when you toss the ball into the air, it stays there.  The secret is only this:  keep tossing.  Each moment you wake up is a moment transformed.

Wishing you wakefulness,

Jennifer

Masks

We all live lives divided.  We have two people within us, each vying for control.  One is the person we think we should be, who says and does what is safe and expected.  The other is the person we long to be, the one who lives a life beyond our wildest dreams.  We fear we cannot ever be that person, so instead we fall back on what we usually do, on what we think we are supposed to do.

The person you long to be is who you really are.  Do you wish you were more adventurous, more daring, more outgoing?  Then that is your true self, and the side of you that turns away from risk is a mask.  Do you want to be creative, or strong, or nurturing?  You would not wish for it if it was not already inside you, fighting for your attention.

Does your true self feel far away, impossible to cultivate?  Begin with something small.  Start slowly; allow yourself to practice being who you were meant to be.  One of the happiest days of my life was when I decided to simply accept that I was who I wanted to be, that all the qualities I longed for were already mine.  I began by pretending that was true, by acting as if I was the person I most wanted to be.  The role fit like a glove.  I found that, once you begin, it is surprisingly easy to be who you really are.

The only trick is this–you cannot force yourself into a role you (or others) think you “should” play.  It will not fit; it will not make you feel happy, peaceful or free.  But when you play the role that is authentic to you, you find yourself growing into your dreams.

Loving Now

Would you be happy?  Then love where you are now.  Not later.  Not yesterday.  Not if only something was different.  Now, as it is, in all its imperfect perfection.

Wherever you are, however you feel, there is something to love.  And when you focus on that, rather than on what you think is wrong, you allow your awareness of love and beauty to grow.

When we focus on the love and beauty that is in front of us, we stop sending our energy into the past or future.  We do our part and let the Universe do the rest.  We accept the abundance.  We get out of the way.

The future is not under our control.  But in this moment, we have a choice.  We can appreciate what is, or we can push it away.  What will you choose?

Trust love.  Know that all you have is all you need, and that if what you want does not appear, it is because something better will.  The shadows of the past and future are not real, but this moment is.  This moment is sacred.  Choose to fill it with love.

Everything Begins Within

Years ago, alone on a long car trip, I mused about my ideal partner.  I saw someone compassionate and kind, easy with himself and able to put others at ease as well.  I saw someone gentle, open to new ideas, able to enjoy the simple moments of life and to help others do the same.  And then, in a flash, I realized–I wasn’t fantasizing about a love affair.  I was seeing a vision of who I wanted to be.

In both our daydreams and our waking lives, we often project onto others both our hopes and our fears.  We are annoyed by qualities we fear we possess; we long for people who embody the type of person we want to be.  But because no relationship can ever replace the one you have with yourself, you cannot find without what you have not found within.

Once we realize that, and learn to cultivate within ourselves the qualities we admire in others, we find that we are the ones we have been waiting for.  And that others who have those same qualities are drawn to us effortlessly, naturally, reflecting back to us the person we are, the person we have become.

You don’t need anyone to complete you; you are already complete.  Everything you long for, everything you long to be, is already a part of you, waiting for you to realize it.  I once played a game with family and friends, asking each one what quality they most wished they possessed.  Without exception, every single person answered with something that they not only already had, but had in abundance.  One, the soul of kindness and patience, wanted to be more kind and patient.  Another, always organized to the last detail, wanted to be more organized.  The life of the party wanted to be friendlier.  I said I wanted to be calmer, serene no matter the circumstances; everyone laughed.

Let your friends and partners be your playmates, sources of joy and strength in your life, but remember that everything you long for already exists within your own soul.  Once you do, you cannot help but find it everywhere you look.

Following The Turquoise Path

It was the windiest day I’ve ever seen.  I was driving through Winslow, Arizona with my mother, sister and aunt.  This was not a usual windstorm–the wind was so powerful that the air was thick with dust, trees were bent over and the interstate was shut down.  We were stuck, in a town that seemed to offer nothing but wind.  Businesses were boarded up, gas stations abandoned.  What was once a thriving railway stop was now empty, all but deserted.

We were tired, hungry and thirsty.  The wind buffeted the sides of the car so fiercely that staying where we were did not feel safe.  Yet we did not know where to go.  That was when I saw a sign, an arrow pointing towards “The Turquoise Room.”

Most of the town’s restaurants and shops appeared to be closed; there was no way to know that this one would be any different.  But I have always loved the shades of blue and green, turquoise most of all.  These colors call to me, sing to me.  So I asked my mother, who was driving, to follow the sign.  It led us to a beautiful old hotel, housing a restaurant and bar called the Turquoise Room.  It was a place of beauty within the windstorm.  A place of peace.  We settled in, and were served food and drinks just before the electricity died.  As we enjoyed our meal by candlelight, a friendly waiter told us about another route we could take to Sedona, one through the mountains, out of the wind.

Intuition speaks to each of us differently, in ways unique to who we are and what we love.  In ways that only we can hear.  But when you learn to listen, when you learn to follow, you will find yourself led to exactly where you need to be.

May you find your own turquoise path.  May it lead you to joy.

Dawn

Morning opens a door with help for those who don’t ask for any.

~Rumi

There comes a day when you know you are ready.  When you are tired of playing with the concepts of love, trust and beauty; when you are tired of experimenting with all the different forms of meditation and philosophy.  You know it is time to trust, to give, to shine.  You are tired of waiting for a sudden flash of inspiration and enlightenment.  You are ready to live in joy and peace.  Wherever you are, however you feel, whatever your life looks like, you are ready to see the beauty in it and in yourself.

You have tasted freedom before.  You have felt moments of peace, of connection, of meaning.  You have hoped, dreamed and prayed, and you are ready for more.

Any day can be the day when you decide to be who you really are.  Any day can be the birth of your true self.  At any moment, you can look around and find beauty, feel peace, know love.  Make this moment that moment.  Choose to be free.  As often as you need to; as often as you want to.  Any moment may be the dawn of a new day.  Any moment may signal the start of something new, something wonderful.  At any moment, you can fall into yourself and find what you have been seeking.

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