The first was a chance to be an extra in a Welsh TV series, and earn £75. (How friggin cool is that?! And I don’t even speak Welsh!!)
The second was an offer to have a one hour 1-2-1 conversation with Liz Dialto (a real kick-ass woman I admire and enjoy connecting with virtually) with no set price-tag. I could pay what I wanted.
In both cases, my heart and soul said YES! Within a split second, my head had a million questions… Is it worth my time? What will I wear? Is my schedule clear? How much can I pay? What will we talk about? Does she really mean, pay ANYTHING? Like even £10? Are these the RIGHT decisions to make?
And guess what, I missed out on both. Other’s jumped right away and within hours, both opportunities were gone.
So yesterday, when I felt my soul calling me to go outside, enjoy the sun, get some fresh air and move my body, I did. I skipped out on church, cleaning my house, and other things on the to-do list and headed for the hills.
There is this awesome castle near us with some well-marked walking paths through the surrounding countryside that I love walking through. This time however, the thought of walking somewhere I’ve been wasn’t inspiring. Instead I was called to the unknown…. the brink of the Black Mountains, where it’s open country-side without sign-posts. You get to make it up as you go along… following sheep tracks, scrambling up and down rocky outcrops, wading through marshland, and occasionally stumbling across what some consider to be a path.
Talk about excitement and adventure!
And possibly just plain dumb without a GPS, compass, charged cellphone or a map. Too bad, it was Follow-My-Soul’s-Desire Day.
I have a pretty good sense of direction and there were plenty of visible landmarks so I wasn’t too worried. But aside from that, I had an immense amount of peace in the certainty that I was following my soul.
For the past year, I’ve looked at these mountains with a desire to climb to the top. My head has taken over the whole time: ‘It’s dangerous. I shouldn’t go alone. It’s a waste of gas money to make the drive.’ (Possibly all true btw.)
And for a whole year, everytime I look at these mountains there has been a longing that hasn’t been satiated and it’s impacted how I view where we live. ‘The great outdoors aren’t accessible enough. There aren’t other people around who like to climb mountains.’ All these made-up limitations just because I wasn’t following my heart, soul, gut, instinct…. Whatever you want to call it.
After Friday’s lesson, screw it. I was going on my own.
I almost chickened out. I pulled into the familiar parking lot of the castle and debated with myself whether to take the road less travelled or the one I’d been down before.
Thankfully my logical mind got a beat-down.
Instead I drove to unfamiliar territory, left my car parked in a random lay-by, and headed up the hills. I had no idea where I was going, only following this desire to explore.
After getting up the first hill, I could see the top of the next one wasn’t too far, and the desire to climb it was even stronger. But still no visible path. The only certainty was that one foot in front of the other would get me to the top.
It was exhilarating and scary at the same time. And of course all the questions of …. How would I get back? Would the weather change? Is the top really the top or would I have to keep going to really get to the top?
Geez your mind can really mess with you!
2 hours later I was there. It was amazing. A 360 panoramic view of the surrounding valleys, mountains and sea.
I was so excited to get there I started laughing (which is rare for me without others around.)
And then I cried. (Which I never do.)
The emotion inside of me as a result of reaching the top without any guidance other than following my soul, was so strong I couldn’t keep it in. And as amazing as it was that I had made it to the top, the greater emotion was the metaphor for life and where I’m at.
It was like a sign from God that the way through life is meant to be just following our soul’s desire. Forget the pros and cons. Just go where your heart goes. And you’ll get to that place where everything flows (possibly even the tears 🙂 ).
When you do this, you’re alive! Like really living, and experiencing! And all the limitations that you put on yourself and others disappear as you step towards what’s calling you.
But here’s the clincher… the way to follow your soul is without a map. Let your instincts, intuition, etc guide you. That is where the power is.
Because if I had followed all the sheep tracks, I’d end up where the sheep wanted to go, not me. And if I’d followed a map, I’d be too busy reading the map to notice the rainbow colored swamp grass, and I wouldn’t have the confirmation that everything I need to get to the top is within me.
That’s not to say I didn’t follow some tracks from time to time. It definitely made it easier. But when my soul called me to go a different way, I did. And that was the fun part 🙂
I’m sharing this because it feels like a turning point for me. It’s my own personal experience with learning what everyone else says about doing it your way, being authentically you, following your bliss, etc. I’ve heard it all before, but now I know it.
You will have to know it from doing it yourself as well. I’m just another person offering you a path. You are welcome to follow mine if it offers you a bit of a respite. In the end though, make sure you follow yours.