A Pathless Path
Have you ever been living comfortably, in a way that makes lots of “sense,” then suddenly found yourself inexplicably compelled to turn off this seemingly certain, comfortable path toward a murky unknown?
I have done this. Repeatedly. In hindsight, I marvel that I followed those deeply felt, illogical impulses that my rational mind could not comprehend.
What compels any of us to leap toward the irrational, heedless of fear?
In following these deep impulses in myself, then witnessing the magic that unfolds as a result, I’ve come to see these intuitive “hits” that emerge beyond rational explanation as calls from the soul…divine directives.
They emerge like golden, internal threads that must be followed, to fulfill what seems like a deep, almost hidden purpose in this lifetime. They seem to be intersections between physical reality and the stuff of mythology, legend and dreams.
My journey thus far is a circuitous path of countless, inexplicable leaps of faith—in terms of relationship, geographic location, creative expression, making a living. More and more, I find these divine callings take me further afield from what makes sense or what’s in-line with societal norms. Increasingly, they ask me to relinquish something that is familiar in exchange for a way of being that is increasingly more wondrous, satisfying, joyful and loving than I’d imagined.
I’m not alone. Increasingly, I encounter people compelled to turn away from long-held societal norms and take roads less traveled. More of us are inspired to surrender familiar, seemingly safe ways of being, to risk the comfort of perceived certainty for the freedom and mystery that are our birthrights.
Although it turns out this journey is not at all easy. Taking a leap in response to the soul’s call is just the beginning. The bigger challenge comes when our subsequent steps are not clear…or when steps aren’t there at all—when there is, for a time, nothing to be done!
When the fear-driven, habitual self tells us we’re lazy or crazy to wait for the quiet and unpredictable call of soul, many would prefer to take any action than to take no action at all. Our predominant culture equates slowness and patience with weakness. Our bias for bold action may have actually aided us to take a soul-inspired leap in the first place, since courageous action can make us feel heroic.
So after taking this brave action, waiting for soul’s next directive can make us feel meek and frighteningly vulnerable.
But soul is of a higher order than fear.
Patience. Stillness. Silence. Deep listening. Receptivity. These qualities not prized in our public arena are the virtues needed to daringly face the anxiety and discomfort that comes with following soul’s call. To stay with the strong emotions we encounter when we feel vulnerable, passive, and exposed is to be a hero in our own lives.
Our fear-driven, egoic impulses may be responsible for our survival as a species thus far, but the tides of Life are turning. Our continued evolution seems dependent on our ability to hear and respond to calls of soul. It seems that our bridge to the future will be built through recognizing, acknowledging, and cultivating the distinctly “feminine” qualities of our shared humanity—the quiet, receptive strength that we humans have consistently mowed down with our imbalanced and distorted “masculine” energy that’s run the show for millennia.
This is a radical shift. Understandably terrifying.
While there is much comfort in knowing we are not alone, each of us must find our own courage to become increasingly receptive…especially when it’s not convenient or comfortable. We must each develop our own capacity to pause, to listen deeply and not abandon our deep, essential nature in the face of our fear.
Who knows how our world might transform if enough of us learn to claim the fullness of our being—finding strength and humility to use our masculine qualities of agency and action to serve the collective and deeply feminine mystery of Life. Something miraculous is bound to emerge…something we can’t possibly orchestrate or predict.