“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.” Douglas Adams
Is your life the life you envisioned ten or twenty years ago? How have your dreams and ambitions changed? Are you at peace with the life you have now?
I had a lovely evening of conversation with good friends the other night. All three of them had academic careers in colleges and universities and could share stories of this time with each other. There was a time when I had aspired to such a life and had taken a position in the middle of Nebraska thinking that would give me the experience I would need to move on.
Dealing With Life Can Be Challenging
Very quickly, the cold in Nebraska caused on-going joint pain that made it impossible for me to stay. I moved to Denver where there were more opportunities and I found part-time work at several studios and colleges. However, the full-time position I desired never developed. For years, this was a source of disappointment and grief. Why was I not good enough?
In talking later with one of my friends about that night’s conversation, he complimented me on how courageous I was to continue following my dream to teach dance even when I lacked the security of a stable position. As I thought back on those years, I never thought I was courageous. I just did what I had to do to keep teaching dance because I loved it so much. I followed the journey where it took me, and I’ve never been sorry I did.
Life’s Surprises May Open New Opportunities
When life doesn’t take us where we want to go, we can see it as our failure or blame it on others, or we can assume that what we thought we should be doing isn’t what we should be doing if we look at the situation from another perspective. Life’s unpleasant surprises may actually open us to opportunities that will benefit us more than the ones we chose.
A Spiritual Perspective Comes From the Heart
When we see our journey through life from a spiritual perspective, how we need to live may be quite different from what we imagined. After a difficult time teaching in New Mexico high schools, unable to find the next job, I turned again to writing, and soon it became clear that was what I was supposed to be doing. Eventually this path led to publishing my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness and fulfillment of my dream to be a writer and to inspire others to use the challenging experiences of their lives to learn and grow.
Clearly, in this life, my heart has taken me in a direction different from the one my head wants me to follow. Perhaps the lesson I most needed to learn was not how to have the security of a stable job, but to learn to have courage and follow my heart. What if all the things that have happened that seemed negative were only lessons that had to be learned to arrive at a better place?
So often in this society, we have been taught that the things we have or the position we have defines our level of success. We focus on the outer and feel we are failures if we don’t have those things, but our humanity is not measured by things. It is measured by our ability to love, share, and find a deep and peaceful connection within that makes us aware that we are all One.
We Can Find Joy Being In The Moment
This morning, about ten turkeys nibbled across my lawn—some adults and some the youngsters that were born in the spring. I was thrilled to see them again, and I realized how little it takes to make me happy now. I am in the moment more, connected to the nature around me, and on most days I take the time to listen to the birds or notice a new flower blooming. The simplest thing brings me joy.
When I think about the past, I remember so many times when nothing made me happy, when I resisted changes I didn’t want and judged myself and others constantly with my perfectionist-programmed mind. Although dancing taught me the beauty of being in the moment, it took me much longer to discover the value of being in the moment in my daily life and going with the flow of life.
If my life had been the perfect life I envisioned, would I have learned what I most needed to learn? Who knows? But what I know is that I’ve learned about courage and perseverance and this journey taught me to trust the flow of life. Earlier, I could never have imagined feeling the peace and confidence I feel now. I am grateful for whatever it took to bring me to this place, for I have found so much of what I need by following my journey’s circuitous route.
Follow The Journey Wherever It Leads
We are living in a time when we must be creative to survive. As any artist, composer or choreographer knows, you may begin the art work with a specific idea of how it will look or sound, but when you begin creating it, it will have a mind of its own and may easily lead you down a different path. Our lives are like that. We may follow our intentions, but our entire universe is changing. Holding on to the way things were will not serve us well. We must trust that the journey will lead us where we need to go.
What are the surprises you have experienced in your journey lately? Please comment.
© 2013 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
Related Articles: Accepting Life’s Challenges with Gratitude, 5 Ways to Masterfully Navigate Life’s Challenges, Wayne Dyer/How God Tells You It’s Time for a Change
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