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 that 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.
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,
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.