That moment of complete clarity in life does not come often, but when it does, it is profound. Usually appearing as a deep intuitive knowing, this moment of clarity is not to be ignored. If we do ignore our knowing, it is often to our detriment; it is to miss opportunities and sometime happiness and fulfillment.
What is interesting about is that the most difficult times are the days, months and sometimes years before the moment. We can feel a lack of clarity or a longing for something different. We might experience anxiety or depression, a restlessness or discontent. And once in a while, we travel through life oblivious to that inner longing until we come face to face with our need to change.
But what many moments of clarity have in common is that afterwards, we often experience a great calm and contentment. There is a knowing that this is my path. Not that the times ahead are devoid of obstacles, but the path is clear.
Tina’s is such a story. It is born out of tears, but as you will see, in many ways, her decision was already made for her by her Eternal Spirit. She simply listened.
The Voice of a Calling by Tina
For most of my life, my intellect was my pathway to bettering myself and the world around me. As a wildlife biologist, I pursued knowledge and an understanding of how life works. I was the perpetual student, seeking teachers who would stimulate my mind and jobs that would allow me to explore ideas. But over a number of years, and unbeknownst to me, my soul was preparing me for something else.
It all started when my mother-in-law asked me to help her teach two courses at her church that focused on goddess spirituality. It certainly was “different,” I thought, but perhaps it would also be fun and interesting. And so throughout the two years we taught the courses, I learned about Spirit and forces beyond science and the intellect, that help guide and direct us.
Although certainly not an expert in the topic, I found that I loved the work and was fascinated by the concepts.
Around this same time, a church I attended hosted an indoor labyrinth walk. I learned that we come to the labyrinth with a question and as we walk the path of the labyrinth, we let go of figuring out or intellectualizing an answer and simply allow an answer to arise from within. I walked the labyrinth once and asked a simple, personal question. By the end of the walk, I was surprised and happy that I knew my answer.
This first walk was a sweet and calming experience, one that gave me the confidence to use the labyrinth to get out of the structure of my rational mind and into an intuitive place that I couldn’t otherwise access.
About a year later, I had a more important question. I was having difficulty choosing between two jobs in my field but in different parts of the country. As usual, my rational left brain was in charge, but she wasn’t giving me the kind of guidance I was searching for.
One day, I was listing the pro and cons of both jobs and stopped in front of my bulletin board in the kitchen and noticed that a “Spirited Women” labyrinth walk would start in 45 minutes. Grabbing my car keys, I left for the church.
As I entered the labyrinth, I said to myself, “Great Mother, which of these jobs should I pursue?” Six steps in, I clearly heard: “Your job in the world is women’s spirituality and you better get on with it. It doesn’t matter what you do for a salary.”
I started shaking with fear and I broke out in a sweat. And then I started to cry. It seemed as if a lifetime of tears poured out of me.
And then the doubts crept in. “No,” I said. “Not me. I’m a biologist, not a spiritual leader.” I questioned where this “instruction” was coming from . . . I questioned everything about my future . . . I had worked hard to get to where I was as a biologist. Did this mean I had to give it up? None of the scenarios I had created for myself as I entered the labyrinth that night included women’s spirituality as a possibility.
And yet . . . something from the deepest part of me knew this message was real. And now I had a choice. I could choose to follow this path or I could choose to ignore it. In the end, it was a message I could not ignore. I knew what my path was. I just didn’t yet understand how it would manifest.
Over the next five years, my path opened: I talked to my friend Donna about my experience, and before I knew it, she and I started teaching goddess honoring classes. We wove together storytelling, music, dance, singing, writing and ritual.
I then came across a Master’s program in Women’s Spirituality in San Francisco that integrated academics and spirituality. After talking to the Director of the program, I applied and was accepted. As part of my program I wrote a curriculum on building self-confidence in young girls using goddess stories. And within a few years, my friend Donna and I used some of this curriculum to write a book for young girls, Ophelia’s Oracle, that was published in 2009. I am now a Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, a storyteller and an author and lead numerous labyrinth walks with groups of men and women.
Through it all, I’ve learned how to listen to my Inner Guidance. Her messages speak to me over and over. I could have chosen not to listen, not to pay attention to that voice within. But I’m glad I did. It has changed my life and brought me to a place where I can use both my intellect and spiritual practice to teach and honor myself and others.
I have truly found the work of my Soul.
Following and stepping into her life’s work took time, patience and commitment. Tina waited years to find the people and programs that were just right for her. However, the transition time was more than worth it, for she knew her life direction; she understood her purpose. Her inner guidance awakened her to the life she was meant to live.
And so I Invite You to allow yourself to remember. Perhaps you need to go back a few years or decades, but bring into your consciousness a moment, an event, an encounter, sometime in your life in which you felt you just knew something was right for you. Even if you didn’t act upon the feeling, allow yourself to feel into that moment—perhaps the indecisiveness, a fear, the excitement.
Now, feel into what it will be like next time you experience this feeling and to say YES. As you go forward in the months to come, allow this YES to guide you.
Thank you for reading Tina’s story; please feel free to share your reaction. And if you have an experience you would like to share email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No need to write your story out, just email me and I’ll set up a call with you.