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

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.

Cracked

There was once a crack in the mirror of a powerful and beautiful queen.  When she looked into the glass, seeking confirmation of her beauty, she saw instead the image of another:  Snow White.  Because of the crack in the mirror–a crack in her own soul–she did not understand what she saw.  She did not realize that what we see in others is a reflection of ourselves.

We doubt our power when we forget to use it.  We doubt our beauty when we look for it outside of ourselves.  And so the queen believed that her youth and beauty were gone to another, and determined to kill the young Snow White.  But Snow White was the image the queen saw when she looked into the glass–how could she kill Snow White without killing a part of herself?

As for Snow White, the queen’s pursuit sent her on a journey of discovery.  She began as a victim, alone and hunted through a dark forest, and emerged a queen in her own right, sure of her own strength and power.  Two faces in the glass; two journeys of discovery.  Both are two sides of the same coin.  We all have power and beauty within us.  When we see the gifts of others as a part of our own light, our power and beauty grow.  When we see others as separate, as a threat, an enemy to be destroyed, we can only destroy ourselves.

We are surrounded by mirrors, constantly reminded of who we are and what we have within us.  The beauty you see in others is a reflection of the beauty that is within you.  The power you see in others is a reflection of the power that lies within you.  The whole world is your mirror.  Instead of asking who is the fairest of them all, ask instead to understand that the fairest is the one who sees beauty in others as well as in his or herself.

Of Dragons & Sirens

Peace is not freedom from pain, but transcendence.

Pain can be an invitation, a call to adventure, an opportunity to forgive and to heal.  No one lives free from pain; no one can help but cause pain.  We all must, at times, play the muse to another’s story, whether we intend to or not.  Think of them–the evil stepmothers, the dragons, the sirens.  They are the ones who send the call, who propel the heroes and heroines into the realm of adventure and possibility.  They are the ones who open the door to the bright, messy world we call life.  They are the fire of change.  Why fear playing the part of fire?

Play your part as openly and truthfully as you know how, choose love over fear and be quick to forgive.

Echoes

In this fleeting moment
What extravagant respite
As blooming surf speaks its
Mystical passage across
The undreamed depths.
- from Laguna Beach

Echoes of the future, echoes of the past, meet here, in the present.  What better home could you have?  What will you create next, along with the Universe?  What game will you play?  How will you love?  How will you dance?  What will you grow into, and what stories will you tell about it?

Wake up, and all things are possible.  Love is endless.  We are divine and free.  In this moment, hold eternity and know its name:  Love.

It is not a mystic’s dream or a poet’s wit to say that all can be found in this moment.  What is this moment but the meeting ground of past and present?  They greet one another like old friends, easy in each other’s company.  In this moment lie all the secrets of the world–of all worlds.  But know this:  you are not the unraveller of secrets.  You are the secret.  This is why there can never be an end to mystery.  You know in your heart that, as with all good secrets, the joy lies in the search, the adventure, the discovery.  What lies at the end of your searching is, whatever else it might be, an ending.  And for heroes, storytellers and dreamers, those are always better left unhurried.

What Women Want

There is a story that answers the oldest of questions:  what do women want?

A young and handsome knight of Camelot, named Gawain, set out to find the answer to save King Arthur from losing his throne.  It sounds perilous–an entire kingdom dependent on determining what women want.  But for a true knight, all things are possible.  Answers always present themselves to those who honestly seek them.

For Sir Gawain, the answer presented itself in the guise of an old woman.  She appeared in the forest, withered by age and sickness, and asked him for food.  Being a kind as well as noble knight, Gawain made a place for her by the warm fire and gave her his food and drink.  In gratitude, she told Gawain that she knew of his quest and would give him the answer he sought, if he would take her back to Camelot and make her his wife.

This was a harsh fate for a strong, handsome young man, the prize of the court and the favorite of all the beautiful young ladies.  But Arthur’s kingdom was at stake, and so Gawain could do nothing but agree.

Upon his promise to marry her, she told him the secret of what all women want–to have their own way.  But the story does not end there.

Gawain and his promised bride returned to Camelot, and the entire court grieved at seeing the young man bound to a haggard old woman, wise though she might be.  But the wedding was duly planned and celebrated in lavish style, and that night Gawain joined his new bride in their wedding chamber.

When the court had retired and the couple were alone, a miraculous thing occurred–the wise woman was surrounded by glowing light, and then her form shifted and changed into that of a stunning young beauty with flowing blonde hair and cornflower blue eyes.

“I was cursed by an evil magician,” the lady said, “and forced to walk the world as an old woman before my time, until and unless a knight of Arthur’s court would make me his wife.  But I am afraid the curse is not completely broken, and a choice is before you, my husband.  You must choose–would you have me be beautiful by day, when all the court could see me, or at night, when we are alone together in our bedchamber?  What, my husband, would you desire?”

“I cannot decide,” Gawain declared, after a moment’s thought.  “You must choose what is more pleasing to you.”

“And now,” cried his lady, “the curse is well and truly broken, and I am free to appear as my true self at all hours of the day, for you have given me what all women wish for–the ability to have my own way.”

It is not only women, of course, who long to have their own way.  For what does it mean, to have one’s own way, but to be one’s true and authentic self, at all times and in all places?  This is the gift of love that breaks all curses, and sets us free.

The Only Way Out Is Through

To hold to our center through all the changes brought by tide or time.  To feel at ease in all places, with all people, with all parts of ourselves.  At what price comes such freedom?

There are no maps, and no reason to create one.  Create instead a song to dance to, that will serve as a reminder of light when the way seems dark.  Then weave the wind into starlight.

Every leaf and branch twirls with love for us.  Or is it our love for them, stirring the wind itself to life?  Which came first, and does it matter?  Is there any difference at all?  Love leads itself home, by any path presented to it.

We search for places the wind cannot go, not realizing that such places cannot exist, and that if they did they would be more hollow than graveyards.

The only way out is through.

What adventure will you follow today?  How will you journey?  Will you fall into yourself and let joy have you, or will you strive and strain and try?  Don’t.  Oh, please, don’t.  If you feel that you are alone in a dark room, it is only because you have closed your eyes.  Open them.

In the center of our lives there is a star, the light of love itself, our only true guide and always a gentle, patient one.  It does not rule or command us, but it goes where the way is darkest, the pain is deepest, to heal through the power of gentleness, teaching us to transform our lives and worlds with an open heart.

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