My life – although early dominated by alcohol, drugs, dysfunction, and familial abandonment - has been a series of “God moments” and “divine intervention.” Even at the age of 17 when I was at a crossroads deciding my "next step" after high school graduation, I recognized the power of something “big” working in my life. I couldn’t name it or even describe it. I look back and now know that a spark (or pilot light, if you will) was always on.
The journey started to grow in intensity in 1996 when I picked up “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch. The words resonated and made my body tremble. I couldn’t get enough. I became fixated on reading, praying, meditating, journaling, and worshiping with others. I was a sponge, so thirsty for knowledge and understanding.
The words resonated and made my body tremble.
I began to think about and even rely on spiritual tools and “God” during the rough times of life during the pursuing years – which manifested in a brutal divorce, addictive behavior by close family, broken relationships, and deaths of dear ones. But I was still learning. Truthfully, my human nature and subconscious patterns prevailed a lot of the time, particularly during the challenging circumstances.
I gutted my way through a lot of life – as a fiercely independent survivor and visionary type-A personality – with God often on the sidelines…but thankfully never gone.
A pinnacle turning point was in 2013 when I suffered a traumatic injury that put me down for 8 weeks. Yes, like many people, one of my most enlightening experiences came through physical suffering. God picked the most perfect time and hit me with a 2x4 to really accelerate my spiritual path. During my long recovery, I had time to pray and meditate for months. I truly “felt” and “became” love, vulnerability, faith, peace, and total joy. An amazing, life-changing, trauma for which I am eternally grateful.
During my long recovery, I had time to pray and meditate for months.
I returned to work, and once again, was immersed back into the hectic, noisy, and multi-tasking pace associated with a professional career, family, and community. Fear - in forms of anxiety, frustration, anger, doubt, overwhelm, judgment - often won out over my newfound peace and love. Regardless, I had changed and I realized that I could never step backwards on my spiritual path. The Light doesn’t go out, even though it may intermittently fade. Awareness sticks. I couldn’t deny or forget for long. Once Divine presence is experienced, one doesn’t settle for anything less for very long.
Fear - in forms of anxiety, frustration, anger, doubt, overwhelm, judgment - often won out over my newfound peace and love.
In my craving for that Divine peace I decided to retire in early 2016. My sole (soul) purpose was to dedicate my days to my Divinity. I had (still have) no endpoint. My indefinite purpose is to “be” with God. My days are spent basking in the rhythm of rest, prayer, meditation, and activities that I choose, whether it is a long walk, a long swim, gardening, reading, journaling, biking, hiking, or communing with friends. I notice chirping. I gaze at the moon. I go out of my way for a sunrise. I feel the cold, the rain, and the sun. I smell the dirt. I sit, sometimes for hours. And in that silence, I have no past. I have no future.
And I am so grateful.
So, my times of resistance are minimal these days, in comparison to my previous 32 years of rushing, rushing, rushing and pursuing a career, raising a family, and serving my community. It also helps that I consciously choose to avert my eyes to that which doesn’t feel good, such as Facebook (and other social media), news, and happenings I can’t control.
When those times of resistance do come – and sure, they still do because this IS a noisy, chaotic, and very contrasting world – I now have (take) time to pause and ask for Divine guidance to minimize the gap between my ego/ears and Source. I ask for Divine Presence. I ask to see this (now heavenly) world as Spirit sees it; to perceive without judgment. I lean into the resistance, feel the fear, and know that help is on the way. When I slip back into fear-based thinking, I no longer let it build and gain a momentum that becomes all-encompassing and overwhelming. I don’t beat myself up for slipping back. I remember that Source never left. I reach for the next best emotion and the next best thought, and Source lights the way. Always.
Sure, I realize that it is easy to be a monk on a mountaintop.
And I know that at some point I will return to a different life with more “concrete” goals.
But I will let God guide me to that service and vision.