I took my first bold steps away from life as I had known it when I decided to park my car at the crossroads of Kingsbury & Eastman, two side streets in a seemingly industrial area in a northwest side neighborhood of Chicago.
In other words (though there is an important distinction here): On that seemingly insignificant street, I took the first steps of my Great Journey toward becoming an embodied soul with a unique and extraordinary purpose.
This was once upon a time, a few years ago.
Why tell this story now? What significance is this set of crossroads? Well, I asked myself these same questions this morning as the image of me parking, noting the streets, and walking away from them, heading towards All that I did not know yet, recurred in my mind. It tugged at me, "Pay attention!" And that's when I Knew it. I Knew why this was coming up now. Why this story was so important to tell. It was a Great Beginning.
Beginnings come around again and again throughout our lives; that is the natural cycle that we agree to when we take the soul journey from Source to solid matter. Some beginnings however, the Great ones, come in threes. Three is a sacred number, so it is a blessed synchronicity that the calling towards our soul journey into living on purpose can occur three times in our lives before the calling, unanswered, may no longer persist.
Recently, in my shamanic studies, I have been presented, confronted rather, with the push to review the times in my life when I had the opportunity to turn towards all that was for me and, instead, turned away from it.
I re-membered a time during my final year of undergraduate, when I was being stirred to pursue graduate school, to continue my studies and keep using my voice in the way I had been successfully doing for the last years. I had a strong mentor, a professor, who took special notice of me and encouraged me to apply to the grad program. She was fully supporting me, willing to offer anything I may need to get myself into the program. She shared my work as an example for others to be inspired by. She spoke highly of me in front of the group and to me when we were alone. She was a tough, intelligent, elegant, sharp woman from Northern Ireland, and I loved and respected her very much. She was a soul connection, bearing an invitation to Become, willing to stand next to me on my journey and keep me working towards my aligned path.
And I turned away.
I wanted to go to graduate school. I wanted to continue learning. I wanted to have her as a teacher and mentor for as long as I could, knowing that others would join her as important influences on my path and would be welcomed by me to do so. I wanted her presence in my life as long as I could have it. I knew I truly had it in me to do great and amazing things at the time. I could see it all so clearly for myself. I had the Calling, and I recognized it. And I turned away. The door closed behind me.
I chose an entirely different path that cut me off completely from the world I had so wished to be a part of.
I sacrificed every part of myself on the road I had chosen. I had beaten and allowed myself to be beaten back into a box filled with old abusive patterns and punitive voices that told me I was a dreamer and nothing more. Nobody wanted to hear my voice. Nobody would respect my work. I was nobody. And nothing.
Ah, yes, it was a painful and extremely dark time to have lived through. I merely survived on most days. There are three things, though, that have not left me, because they are true and clear gifts of this lifetime. They are: resilience, courage and bravery. Oh yes, they manifested very differently then than they do now, and yet, they were present.
With a reckless. abandon and the resolve to burn down everything I had allowed my life to become, I fought my way out of that chapter. It was like a heavy black cloth had been dropped over me and the other person involved, and I fought my way out, snarling and snapping at anything that even blinked the wrong way. I was getting out of there. And I did.
Still snarling and snapping, miles away from sacred rage, and most certainly in the thick of blind anger, I slowly broke into a new lifecycle. Once I could hear my own voice over the very loud other noises that surrounded me and kept the tumult alive and swirling, I turned my attention once again to my writing and my use of voice through written words. I had no idea what I was doing, didn't have any kind of vision, I just went for it. I created a website where I would post fiction I was working on, and styling projects I had created for myself. They were things that I, at the time, felt passionate about, and so I gave them a home and a life outside of the cloud-based storage space where they had lived until then.
I could've continued on, could've honed my vision, could've worked with more of me to get this to Become all it had the potential to be. I had readers, I had people who were genuinely interested in my work.
And I turned away.
Again I had reached a tremendous crossroads where all I had to do was turn towards the Calling that was strong and clear again, and go all in with it. Instead, I chose the route that felt safe. It was abusive and restrictive in different ways, and the results on my life were the same. I was still small, enclosed, kept from the More I knew I could have. I had packed myself in again and didn't complain too much about how cramped the quarters were. Not in the beginning anyway. It took less time this time around for me to find my resilience, bravery and courage. I needed them, and I was going to use them. This time, I was less reckless in some ways, more reckless in others.
Reckless may be the term one could use to describe my willingness to meet a total stranger at a restaurant somewhere I was totally unfamiliar with, many miles away from anyone who could help me out, should I find myself in trouble.
I have to say here, though, that once again, the Calling came. It just came so differently this time, that I didn't really recognize it right away for what it was. I just knew I needed to fulfill this meeting. I complained about it, oh yes I surely did, to a friend via text message as I waited for the meting to take place. That was after I had already taken the first steps of my Great Journey. I had said "yes" to it by saying yes to this random meeting with a guy I did not know at all. A "yes" was all She needed, for She was sick of my ego shit by this time, and honestly, I think I was too.
So if we count them up, we see that this is the third time that the doorway to my soul path was open. This time, though, it was more ajar, not quite so wide open that I could clearly see the full light and vision like I could back when I was 20. Nonetheless, open is open. I just needed to nudge it to get it to go more.