A beat of my heart
You are my soul
I am your Life
Image: “Moon Goddess” by Julia Lehman
A beat of my heart
You are my soul
I am your Life
Image: “Moon Goddess” by Julia Lehman
When I decided to change my life, the goal was not only to change who I am today but to change who I was yesterday.
I know that sounds a little sketchy, but follow me for a minute.
One of my brothers and I once had an argument about what color a particular car my dad owned was. I said red, he said blue.
That’s a pretty big difference and yet…
You’d be doing me a favor if you finished reading the article HERE.
I left Mobile with a smile late in the afternoon yesterday after a last reshuffling of plans and unpacking/repacking of the car.
The original plan, based entirely on cautious habits acquired over the years, was to bring everything with me in case things didn’t work out.
I’ve gotten very good at eliminating all but the essentials. When I left ND to come here I left a fully furnished, down to silverware, toilet paper, and made bed house behind.
This time something had changed. I found myself wanting to load up everything and that wasn’t going to happen because it seems that when the wiring harness in my SUV melted down a few months ago it took out my trailer lights and I wasn’t about to risk another meltdown by attempting to repair them, which meant I couldn’t rent a U-Haul.
There was no way I was going to take everything with and that bothered me.
It wasn’t until a friend stopped by to send me off with a hug and a smoothie (Thank you, Professor!) and began pointing out things that I shouldn’t bother bringing with that it all began to make sense.
I was attempting to pack up something that is impossible to get into a box or a bag and I could spend the rest of my life trying to squeeze it into every available space I could find and never get it all in because its is larger than a $20 blanket or a rug I picked up from the curb:
I’ve spent so many years without a home that I forgot what it felt like. I even developed this inner philosophy that said wherever I go I’m always going home because the only sense of home I had for so long was the one I carried with me.
Over the last dozen years every time I’ve headed off to a job in the oilfield it eventually lead to another. Then another. And another. Until I ended up alone and isolated.
These things I’ve felt over the last week, the things that have kept me up at night, that frustrated and irritated, aren’t there because I feel alone.
I am not alone.
I have made strong friendships and have the support of people who love me as much as I love them.
The feeling isn’t that of being alone but of becoming alone, again, which is something that scares the crap out of me and keeps me up at night.
I had forgotten what it feels like to belong somewhere. I never would have guessed that place would be Mobile, Alabama and maybe it won’t be forever, but there it is, home.
So I unpacked everything and moved it all to the attic of the mansion I rent rooms in, much to the delight of the owners who were so honestly relieved and happy to know I would be coming back that they hurried to help me.
I left later in the day than I wanted but made it to Missouri around midnight.
When I looked in the back of my little Rodeo I saw that I brought so few things I had room to arrange a makeshift bed. I walked Brown Dog, the best traveling partner I could ever ask for, offered gratitude to the powers that be, shifted a few things to make enough room to stretch out in, then lay down and slept better than I have in days.
The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle my life looks like most of the time are falling gently, and hurriedly, into place.
My trip North was cancelled at the last minute when the Universe stepped in and loudly said “NO!” in the form or local opportunities I could not pass on and while this caused (and still is causing) some financial strain it was the right thing to do.
At this moment I am boiling in my air conditioner free farm truck at a blazing 60 miles per hour with two of four windows open on my way to Atlanta. I’d open all four but two of them don’t respond to my wishes. I may have a talk with them later.
I will be attending a State Farm certification class and taking the exam on Friday. This alone was worth staying for but when I get back I have a day off before going to a FEMA flood certification class. With these two major certifications along with the score of other training, certifications, and licenses I have picked up over the last several months, I place myself a head above the very large crowd of people vying for positions as claims adjusters.
Maybe I haven’t mentioned my plan 🙂
I am done driving truck. Period. My goal is to turn to writing full time but trucking ties up too much of my time. So will adjusting when I’m in the field. But I’m only going to do catastroph work. Helping people rebuild their homes and their lives doesn’t disagree with me at all and the pay is good enough that I won’t need to work all year. The rest of the time I will devote to furthering my writing with the end goal of this stage as becoming a full time writer.
This stage. I don’t know what comes after this but I’m looking forward to finding out.
So here’s me, boiling in my car with 2/60 AC (2 windows down/60mph) and staticky music playing through ancient speakers and instead of wondering if my car will actually make the trip or if I’ll have money to cover rent or food or being worried that none of this will pay off or about the loose ends and things I have in storage in North Dakota, I am grateful simply for the opportunity and the fact that the Divine speaks so clearly to me and has never once let me down or led me astray.
The rest is just life.
Note: Please don’t be James, don’t blog and drive.
I will be swallowed by
the things that threaten
I’ve worked so hard
not to be
that in accomplishing my
I will be left
with the mistakes I’ve made
along the way
that in attempting to
something I will never be
I will become
just a shell
filled with good intentions
that I will
and make their life
in my attempts
to make it better
that in attaining
by accident alone
all that I strive
I will lose the chance
to reach higher
all that I may ever be
and in that dark place
a place I’ve come to know
I find solace
if I reach for it in faith
in the depths
a peace that envelops
with the utterance of
a single word
spoken with firm conviction
who I am
meant to be
I’m supposed to be
going exactly where I need to be
I close my eyes and let go
all will be well
Video: “If I was a Warrior” by Trevor Hall
In order that I may understand the path to peace:
Let me be able, upright, and authentic, impeccable with my word, gentle and caring.
Let me be content and easily satisfied, without pride.
Let me cultivate a boundless, limitless, unconditional love and compassion for all beings and all things in the world.
Let my prayer be:
“May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far,
Born or unborn; may all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.”
That soul you carry, the one that can feel as heavy as a crate of stones or light enough to lift you to the stars.
The part of you that you ignore when it pleads for attention with pain.
That calls out to you and opens your heart to the exquisite heights of love.
That makes you dance and cry and sing and laugh without effort. Without thought.
It is a part of the living energy of the Universe itself which flows through and connects all things.
That soul is who you really are.
Not the physical being that experiences those things.
Not the thoughts that drive or replay those experiences.
Not the memories.
You are the life within this temporary vessel that is a gift of a million sensations and thoughts and emotions and that life is part of the very universe.
A part of God.
You are Divine.
Image: “In Search of the Divine -Shiva and Shakti” by Pooja Bhapkar
Divine Mother, Sacred Creator, you who guide us with pain and joy and fill our souls with love, our bodies with life, and our minds with dreams, I offer myself to you, freely, and ask that you guide me now and always, in whatever manner you choose.
Teach me by your loving embrace or your firm hand. Guide me when I go off course, reprimand me when I need it, envelop me in your compassion when I ask for it, love me as I love you, and if in your infinite wisdom you see fit to send me tumbling from my chosen path then light a new one and tenderly or firmly set my feet upon it and show me the way as I know you always do.
Teach me to love deeper, laugh harder, cry truer, express clearer, to live more in union with our shared intentions and to become more fully the person you have planned for me to be.
I am yours and I am ever grateful.
Image: “Spectrum” by Ludovic Cordelieres
“People are hypocrites” she proclaims. “No one lives the life they want.”
I have said those same words myself, or something similar, though it probably contained expletives and self pity.
How do I tell her what I have learned in a single online conversation? How do I tell her that there was a time in my life that I shared that view? How do I explain that my change of view was both instantaneous and took many years?
I had the four bedroom house on an acre of land with a six car garage, a cabin on a private lake, a boat, motorcycles, off road 4×4, a recording studio in my basement, my own construction company, everything I thought I needed to be happy, and in a moment of human failure I lost everything.
Even though it initially brought with it a physical, as well was emotional, pain it also brought a proclamation of “FREEDOM!”, shouted in big screen fashion, it took many more years to understand that none of the stuff I gathered and lost over the years ever really mattered.
At the time of the “loss” it felt like I had been robbed of my entire world. Like I was condemned. Cursed.
Now, looking back with unclouded eyes, I can see that I was most miserable when I had everything I thought I wanted.
It took many miles to discover that what I was missing couldn’t be found on a piece of land or in a store or online or was anything I could carry in my pocket or drive or use in any way.
What I was missing was found inside and I found it only by enduring, surviving, and exploring with gratitude the journey that my life became.
I discovered is that the journey itself is life.
Not the prescribed “this will make you happy” copywriting on a box of sugar sweetened cereal or the dictated image of perfection programmed by hours in front of a screen that insisted I couldn’t be happy unless I owned the latest fashion or drove the newest car or smelled a certain way or walked a certain way or looked a certain way or spoke a certain way.
The struggles and joys and passions and pains and heartbreaks are each but a single step along the paths of our lives.
Today my journey brings me back to the acquisition of “stuff”, but not in the way it did back then. Today my intentions guide both my needs and desires as they apply to others. They tell me that the life I have led these past years, paying off old debt, finding myself and being true to that Self, exposing my underbelly to the entire world, ready to feast on it, without fear, was necessary. Essential.
Each step I have made has led me here to this place of love and gratitude.
Now, in complete surrender to, and acceptance of, a grace that I work to prove my worth of receiving, I push forward with plans left by the roadside long ago.
Plans to live. Fully. One step at a time.
Because life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.
It can be terrifying and difficult to find ourselves in a place we don’t want to be. We can feel like somehow we deserve to be where we are. That we will ever fail because somehow we’re unworthy of those things we want.
But where we are now is just a place we are passing by along the journey that is our life. It is not our destination and these stops and bypasses are the things that lead us to where we want to be. Where we will be.
Continue the journey with hope. Find gratitude where you can. Because no matter where you are, the path you are on will always lead you home.