I was nineteen and in my first year at university.
This was the end of just another night.
The door of my little single room closed behind me and,
locked in the safety of its walls
I slumped, slowly
to the floor
It is not so difficult
to know what the heart wants.
It speaks more clearly
than we dare admit.
It was spring and I was standing on a path in the cemetery, mesmerised by a robin perched atop a gravestone, singing his song at full throttle.
I was close enough to see his little throat dance as the sweet notes left his beak and swirled out into the wild tangle of this place.
These words arrived in me after a meeting with a friend. These words are for you or anyone you know who might feel that they are not 'achieving' anything of great importance in this world.
We are all one, yes. I have seen and felt it in the core of my being. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind. As A Course In Miracles so beautifully puts it:
"The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea. It draws a circle, infinitely small, around a very little segment of Heaven [...]."
In the village where my parents live and where I grew up from around the age of fourteen, there's a big, big old house down by the sea, set back from the little lane via a long, winding driveway lined with trees.
I woke up one morning last week with a deep desire to cocoon myself somewhere warm. I booked myself a day pass at a local gym, which a friend had recommended for its pool, sauna and steam room. A large banner above one end of the pool read:"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."
Looking back, it seems like my entire life path was one long struggle of trying to find my purpose. As a little girl, I wanted to be an actress, a vet and an archaeologist. At school, the only thing I seemed to enjoy and be relatively good at was French, so off I went to university to study that, not knowing what else I would do.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how my relationship to wanting things in my life and creating them in the world has changed so radically. More and more I'm left open-mouthed at how ideas come from nowhere and emerge into physical form.Repeatedly, when I trace the process back from something showing up in my life to the initial desire, I'm seeing the exact same process reveal itself.
If you're interested in creating what you want in the world with ease, joy and a sense of the miraculous, I hope what I have to share with you today will spark some insights for you.
It was the middle of an afternoon and I'd sat down on my yoga mat to close my eyes for five minutes of stillness. No sooner had I closed my eyes than an image formed in my mind's eye. A weary looking little girl wandering by a stream, a heavy-looking backpack on her back.
2017 was the year my desire disappeared and came back different.
I was lying in bed, listening to a Rupert Spira recording before going to sleep, when something he said caused tears to bubble up through my eyes and seep in a warm, contented trickle down my cheeks.
There's so much I want to tell you about how I came to be listening to this song on repeat these past few weeks. It's a story about the sort of synchronicity that leaves you in wide-mouthed wonder at the way life works. But I think that's a story for another time. Today is really about one particular line of this song. A line that, if we all really took inside and nurtured and felt, would do a lot of good, I think.
A reader wrote to me last week:
"While I do want to be a leader, I definitely shy away from the spotlight so I look forward to seeing how different personalities can become leaders!"
I was so grateful to read this line because I know that what she's expressed here is a thought shared by many and it's something worth expanding on. It immediately got me thinking about leadership and what it looks like to be a leader.
From our expanded consciousness we're powerful change agents, peaceful warriors, messengers of love, and visionaries who have the courage and grounding to challenge the status quo, stand for something different and alter the conversation. We know that who we are today has nothing to do with who we can become.
We live in a society that's built almost entirely on external wanting and more often than not, our notions of success and what it means to live a good and happy life come from either people or messages 'out there'. We get confused, thinking that those things are actually what we want and we set off in a drive to get those things, live that sort of life or be that sort of person.
A colleague of mine was giving some talks at a local school. When he asked the seven year olds what they wanted to be when they grew up, they shouted out the whole range: I want to be a pilot. I want to be a doctor. I want to be a football player. I want to be a teacher. I want to be a scientist.
And when he asked them what might stop them from becoming or doing those things, a sea of blank faces stared back at him. Nothing to stop them. Nothing and no one.
To say I've been caught in my head a little more than usual lately would be one massive understatement. Mostly, I've been swimming around in my own brain juice questioning every little thing I could get my hands on. It happens sometimes.
We were standing in the kitchen of our holiday cottage on the Isle of Mull. My friend turned to me and asked:
"What would make your life even better?"
The tears that rose up were sudden and unexpected as I blubbed out in response, "Nothing. There isn't anything I want. Everything is perfect. Life is perfect. There isn't anything that could make this any better."
It came about when I started my blog back in 2012 which, at the time, was called Where Is Life? I wanted images to go with my posts, but hated all the generic stuff I was finding online. One day, I drew a stick girl who looked a bit like me, with a bow in her hair. After that, I started drawing stick girl images for all my blog posts. I enjoyed it. It gave me another creative outlet. It was lighthearted and fun.
I woke up on Saturday morning and plucked a book from the shelf in my bedroom. Une autre idée du bonheur, by French novelist Marc Levy.
I started reading Marc Levy's books years ago, back when I was still studying French. I'd found his first book, Et si c'était vrai (the one that later became the film Just Like Heaven) the perfect level for my French language skills at the time. It was challenging, but readable.
Follow the crowd.
Keep the job you hate.
Satisfy yourself with mediocrity.
2012, back in my 9-5 job, there was an undeniable felt sense deep inside that this wasn't it. Something inside me knew I wasn't created to be caged up in this way. And I don't just mean in the physical sense of the day in and day out of being seated in an office environment I loathed; I mean also all the ways in which one is required to conform - timings, behaviour, fashion, opinions etc.
Sometimes, entirely unexpectedly, someone new turns up in your life and you know during that first encounter that something important just shifted; that nothing is ever going to be quite the same.