People often ask me about my own process of following the golden thread. Most recently, I share about the last year of an internal process that led to leaving a career in ministry. This process was one of discernment to find the intersection of what Frederich Buechner refers to as one's deep gladness and the world's deep hunger. This was the meeting place, the sweet spot, the origin of call from the Holy One, the golden thread of authenticity and 'rightness' that I sought.
I cleared out space in my very busy life to be quiet each day, even if it was only for 15 minutes. I journaled at least three pages a day. I paid attention to the people, books, events, quotes and dreams that came my way. I exercised through walking, swimming or pilates. I made a commitment to engage creativity in some form each day, whether it was through cooking, painting, taking pictures with my iphone or cutting out images in magazines that caught my attention. In other words, I accessed the right side of my brain (non analytical side) as much as possible in order to rest my thinking and allow curiosity to emerge and gain traction.
There were three quotes that captured my heart for reasons I wasn't sure of but wrote them down anyway and kept them in a place to look at each day. The first is from poet Mary Oliver, given to me by my friend, Laura Simoes:
'The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.'
I came across the second message while reading Sabbath by Wayne Muller:
'The world aches for the generosity of well-rested people.'
And the third message is a quote I received in the mail on the materials for the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA (SSJE) on being a companion to others on a spiritual journey:
'When life is hard, what we need most is not always what we want. What we want is for life to be easy. What we want is for someone or something to come along and make it all go away. But what we need is tenderness. What we need is a companion for the journey.'
These thoughts resonated deeply with me. I lived with them, painted them, took them on hikes and into the swimming pool.
Slowly a new vision took hold and I realized I was following my golden thread--true and strong, vibrant and golden. The inner desires begged for outward changes in my personal and professional lives.
With the help of wise companions on the way, including my husband and sons and 'Women at the Well,' I made the decision to retire from full-time work and dedicate my life, energy and gifts to life coaching, creativity, retreat design/facilitation and spiritual direction--as I choose. My days are filled with spaciousness and ample rest. I now have the ability to respond to the world from a place of feeling well-rested and alive in ways I could not possibility imagine.
Perhaps you think that I have a measure of courage that you lack in order to have made this big choice in my life. I doubt it! I believe that each of us has access to unlimited wisdom and resilience--a golden thread--that is right there in front of us, waiting.
Whatever your next step is to find your true path, take it--whatever it is and however simple or nominal it seems to you. I'm here if you want to talk about it or share a comment about your path. All are welcome!