How to Know if You're on the Right Track

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"It's the ones who've cracked that the light shines through."  -jeffrey lewis

That we are instilled with a particular interest or desire is the work of the divine. It is how we know our purpose on the planet, whether these passions lead to paid work or a life well lived. Sometimes it feels like we might not survive our passions; those things that well up within us and must be done no matter what. With the many options and obstacles in this world, how are we supposed to embark on a path that is difficult to see clearly?

I live a pretty good balance between self-determination and tuning in to divine guidance/intuition to lead the way. It's good to ask for spiritual direction, but you have to have a plan; take some action. It’s most frustrating, though when I really need a sign that I’m on the right path and when I request help, God seams to be wearing earmuffs.

My big buddy God and I talk on a pretty regular basis, and while some days this is very fulfilling, I’m not always sure that anything productive comes from this. Perhaps this is because I often ask questions I already know the answer to. We all hate that kid in class…just wasting everyone’s time.

In truth, most of my prayers/meditations include the following:

“Hey God/Spirit/Universal Super Power…please show me the way. Light my path so I can see what are the right next steps for me to take. Please make this path so completely obvious that I know, without a doubt, that this is the direction I should be going in, and then give me the courage to walk along this path.”

I make it clear that I have good intentions to use my gifts to serve the world, and live up to my highest purpose. Also, I need some hand holding, some serious ass-kicking and a pride of guardian angels, or at least some very strong guard rails, protecting me from doing any irreparable damage. In spiritual terms I’m sometimes a drunk toddler, asking for help and then running off to chase the pigeons.

Most days I say my mantra, spend about eight seconds feeling and listening for an answer and then go about my day as usual. I set goals, work toward them, listen to some inspirational books on Audible, re-evaluate and wonder if the path I’m on is going anywhere interesting or going to keep circling back on itself. It usually circles back.

Since I quit my day job at a bank (a job that felt like I spent a year living with a terminal illness) my spirit has started to expand. My body is healing. I am sleeping well and digesting food again, and have more loving energy to give my family. I have gone back to writing as a job and have had more satisfaction from this than any job...Ever! In short, I feel like I am on the right track, like my path is illuminated and I have the huevos to step into the daily uncertainty of a freelance life. I’m willing to do what it takes to be successful. I’m following my truth.

Then last week, after a power writing session at my favorite coffee shop I got on the phone with my sister, went grocery shopping and had lunch. I was on the way to the bank before picking my kids up from school when I realized I didn’t have my laptop. I had left it at the coffee shop downtown.

My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking so badly I could hardly Google the number to the café. Nope, they didn’t see it anywhere. I had left it outside and no one had seen anything. Panic turned to self-flagellation.

How could I have been so stupid?!

I am finally getting somewhere with my writing, but now I am living so unconsciously that I sabotage my work. I recite the story that I just quit my stable job, my computer is how I make money, I have three kids, I can’t afford to buy a new computer, I am an idiot and I must have been a fool to think I could live my dream...blah, blah, blah...

Because I needed someone to tell me what I already knew, I called my sister who told me to get back to the coffee shop to look for my computer. I promptly gassed up my car, called the school to tell them I would be late and hauled coconuts downtown.

On the way there I had it out with God. I had a full on crying, yelling adult tantrum. Why did this happen? Tell me what to do? I finally felt like I was on the right track and I do something this stupid? Please tell me what I am doing wrong! I could feel myself c-r-a-c-k-i-n-g wide open. When you are at the bottom, there is no dignity, just pure, raw vulnerability. It totally sucks.

And that raw, cracked open place of vulnerability is sometimes what it takes for the guidance I need most to get through my own earmuffs, through my thick, fast-moving brain and into my heart.

When I arrived at the café I frantically looked outside where I thought I’d left my computer. I asked the nearby tables if they had seen it and they shook their heads to commiserate. I stooped so low as to tell a random couple my sob story about the quit job, the computer I hadn’t paid off, the three kids, blah blah and then an angel appeared in the shape of a middle-aged dude drinking a cappuccino.

The man said, “ I have a computer you can have. I live a couple blocks away, so I can get it for you if you have few minutes. It just collects dust at my house. You should have it.”

I worked hard to close my mouth because I was truly speechless. A dozen competing thoughts ran through my mind. Is he serious? He doesn’t even know me. Can I accept this? Where does he hide his wings? I hope that laptop isn't full of wierd porn. Um…thank you?

While he flew off to his castle in the sky, I went inside the café and asked around a bit more. I looked over at the table I had been working at earlier, and hanging on the back of a chair was my canvas tote bag with my beautiful laptop safely tucked inside. Not lost or stolen, but exactly where I left it!

Oh. My. God.

I had the impulse to get down on my knees and start doing prostrations to the sky but reserved myself to hugging my computer like a lost puppy. I went all Miracle on 34th Street style spreading the good news to everyone who would look up from their conversations to smile and nod. Miracles are real Yo, and I have proof.

No, I do not think that finding my computer exactly where I left it is a miracle. By this rational, it would be a miracle I can feed my children regularly or remember to leave the house wearing pants. My miracle was that I desperately needed a sign to tell me that I am on the right track; to tell me that my deep desire to be a writer from the time I could print letters on paper is not a mistake and that the universe will support me in this mission.

I also needed a reminder to slow down and listen for answers, to trust in the goodness of humanity and Spirit. I begged for a sign and I got one, but what I should have remembered all along is that the desire to create something is already the sign from the universe that it is important to do it. Three cheers for Cappuccino man and a sweet prayer that I stay cracked open long enough to let the light shine in. 

*It's over so soon? Doesn't have to be!

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