Ever since I was little, I felt it. There was an inner feeling of knowing what path to choose even when it was the most difficult. I remember trying to explain it to someone as a young girl. I told them that we always know what is right, the answer is within us. I don’t remember how old I was.
This is how I’ve led my life. Amongst all the noise I’ve listened to what I felt. There were times when it comforted me like when I was robbed. The man held me by my neck, told me he had a gun, and I experienced a calm, alert, feeling that everything would be okay. I listened. No one was harmed and from that day on I never opened the door again unless I knew who was on the other side. I also taught that lesson to my children and students.
There was the time I was pregnant and alone with hardly any resources to care for myself. I was young with no college education, an embarrassment to most of my family. I was told to do what I wanted which was code for it was okay to get an abortion. Despite all the reasons for not keeping my child, I knew I was. I felt it. Thank goodness I listened.
Then there was the time I stood on an empty lot and gazed at the trees and the water and felt it again. This was the spot where I wanted to build a house for my family. Sixteen years later I still gaze at the canal and feel the same peace.
The feeling, the one below all the chatter of my mind that lists all the reasons I should or shouldn’t do something when I connect to it it guides me to the right path. Trust is required because often times it’s like leaping without a net. Scary! It hides deep within and whispers like a single voice surrounded by a shouting crowd. I meditate in order to focus on the whisper.
Lately, with more time on my hands than I’ve known since my teens I find myself waiting sometimes patiently sometimes not so patiently for that voice to guide me again. What’s next? Writing will always be a part of life, but I must live life outside of my office in order to write about it.
I found myself making a list of all the things I enjoy doing, the things that bring me a sense of completeness. I checked off the ones that I did on a daily or weekly basis like writing and running. Then I realized that there were many items on the list I hadn’t done in a long time like going for a walk in the woods or teaching. I felt it again. I needed to get back into a classroom even if only as a substitute. I was brave and entered middle-school. At the end of second period when one of the students came up and hugged me I knew that I had made the right decision. I had listened. I came home with the same feeling of fulfillment I get after writing a chapter, a blog post, or running several miles. I felt a sense of renewal. Being around students whether its teaching or helping out other teachers is part of my purpose. It’s who I am. If I ignore it there’s a piece of me that is missing. It’s as if I’m a puzzle and even though I have half the puzzle complete I still need the other pieces to make up all of who I am. I cannot find those other pieces unless I listen to that whisper that says this is the way….