Last night Zach started telling some stories of what I have always referred to as a phase I went through. But it stuck in my head beyond the conversation. And reading this morning, the message I received ran deep.
This phase I ran through had me jumping out of planes, traveling and camping by myself, hitchhiking, couchsurfing and more. Also did I mention I had given away 75% of my possessions and was living in a shed. To many people I was crazy. Telling the stories now, I receive that a lot. And a lot of disbelief.
Why did I do all of this?
Obedience. For the first time in my life I was really listening and living. And by listening I mean to my calling. I stopped listening to societal pressures and norms. And I started learning to be comfortable with God’s plan for me. He was showing me to stop living in fear. Because that’s what I was. A quiet, shy girl, trying so hard to be good and perfect. To be liked. I cared SO much what others people thought of me. And I let this guide my choices. I made choices out of place of fear, rather than a place of love. I went to college because I was told I had to, I was too smart not to. I was obsessed with losing weight and the perfect body. The numbers on the scale dictated my happiness and self-worth. God was leading me away from fear and into the light and into a space for love.
And then one day, I was sitting in the back of my parents shop in Avon reading, when a voice spoke to me. I was reading a section talking about simplifying and letting go. Of thinking of your things being attached to you like strings. All of a sudden I felt very heavy. And that voice came in loud and clear. It told me to get rid of things. To simplify. So I went home and ACTED. I packed up my stuff and gave away 75% of it. I was starting to plan building a cabin, when I shared my vision with my granny, she told me she had a shed the perfect size to try it out. Everyone thought I was nuts and kept telling me how hard it would be. But I didn’t listen to nay-sayers. I listened to that voice. And I never dwelled or thought it was going to be hard. I just did it.
Getting rid of my stuff allowed me to truly see in my life. Like I had been living with dust covered glasses. I learned quickly that value and wealth in life do not come from accumulation of money and things. I started seeing and loving people as they are. The practice of gratitude became essential to my life.
And I started listening to that voice. And I acted on it, without question.
What happened was a journey of unlearning. I broke walls and barriers of who I thought I was and started becoming who I was supposed to be. But most importantly God showed me how to stop living in so much fear. Because until I got on the plane headed to San Francisco by myself, contemplating if I could just get a plane ticket right back, I had not realized how paralyzed I was with fear. Living a half-life. Not really living in my purpose.
I was learning what true FAITH felt like. To leap, act, and not question is faith. Fully realizing that God has plans for me, but he always has my back too. Faith that he is taking me (and you) where you need to be. Placing people in your path. Placing opportunities in front of you, but still leaving you the will to choose. It is unyielding faith and a continual practice of shifting perspectives. Of looking at something that could be viewed as potentially negative or feeling sorry for yourself, you can choose to look at it positively. Have faith that something good is going to happen. There is ALWAYS a lesson to be learned, even if you don’t see it right away. Some day you will. I willingly moved into my shed and got comfortable living with less, a year before our business crashed and we lost it all. God had my back and prepared me for this, I was ready because I was obedient. And I believe too that it helped my parents cope because they had been with me through the process and led as an example.
Case in point about turning a negative perspective into a positive viewpoint:
When I was headed to Yosemite on my own, I misread the shuttle schedule. That left me stranded 18 miles from the park with 2 hours left before dark in the rain. Initially my conditioned reaction was to cry. But as I started to tear up and feel sorry for myself, I looked around. Wow. I was in the most beautiful place I had ever been. I could not be upset in such a gorgeous place (the first time I learned the healing of nature, I cannot be unhappy in Nature). So I stopped crying. And I became excited about what awaited me. And I stuck up my finger, crashing barriers of the fearful person I had always been. I NEVER had a thought about it. That I was going to meet some nut job or end up kidnapped in a basement. I only attracted good people. I KNEW I was being taken care of, so I was not afraid. And the girls who picked me up were not only super cool, but helpful. They were at the park and gave me an insiders perspective of where to go and what to see. One of the girls worked with bears as well. When I told her where I was staying she told me there was a friendly bear that hung out there sometimes. Her calling him friendly dispelled all my fears of bears for the whole trip. They lived outside the park, however, so I had to catch a second ride. A woman who slammed on her breaks and reversed to pick me up. A beautiful soul, who also happened to be death, because I was streaming gratitude and she didn’t understand a word I said. I wrote down where I stayed and we drove in contented silence (a big contrast to my first ride, when the girls wanted to talk and know all about me). She took me right to my campsite, and I have always thought of her as an angelic soul, who had perfect timing and a big open-minded heart.
I have always felt that there is a greater power out there. And I have always been intuitive. Plus I have always received guidance. Guidance in dreams or feelings. Often times warnings or an all-knowing feeling that will fill my body and stop me in my tracks.Like with knowing I needed to bake and start my own company. I can remember the place and memory exactly when the message came in loud and clear. Ever since I have been acting and working towards it. Always making sure to listen and stay on the course.
Even in the middle of feeling like your life is crashing down, you can change how your perspective (trust me I have). Have faith. Listen. Be obedient. And be patient. God’s timing is perfect, even (especially) if it doesn’t match our current need. He will provide. Be patient and have faith. Having unwavering faith, being comfortable with the unknown and walking in the light takes courage. Be courageous