Looking back before moving forward
In February, I spent a week in Ojai, CA to map out a route and gather the supplies I'd need to complete a four-month Tantra Teacher course. It was a challenging trek. The final ascent involved co-teaching a two-day workshop - one that had been my first experience of the sacred practices I was now guiding others through. At times it was difficult to breathe, but mostly I was exhilarated. The view of my life from this particular summit was astounding!
This was an important milestone for me - a significant marker on my life journey. For years, I've had some sense of where I'm headed, but this latest adventure created an entirely different vantage point. Instead of seeing my future in my head or 'on paper', I felt it in my body. As with any milestone in life, it felt important to stop and rest and reflect back on what it took to get me there and what I've learned along the way. As I write this, I feel a bit of sadness since it feels like I didn't take long enough to enjoy it before hurrying toward the next destination.
Taking a few moments to look back, here is what I saw and felt:
There is still a distance to go. I haven't yet seen my final destination, even from the altitudes to which I've climbed. Each time I reach a new milestone, I see further in the direction of my dreams, but there are still some mountains to climb in the upcoming months and years.
Much of the terrain ahead is wondrous and inviting - learning, teaching, coaching, and traveling to new places along the way. Some of it is dark or barren or even treacherous - working a job that no longer interests me, the personal challenges that are hidden from view. All of it lies ahead of me and within me.
I wouldn't be here without the love and support of others. I'm grateful for the teachers and friends and loved ones along the way who have pointed me in the right direction or carried me when I was too tired to keep walking.
In order to get from here to there, I'm going to have to leave some things behind. I've become terribly attached to a standard of living that requires me to spend most of my waking hours doing work that is meaningless to me. I'll have to unpack things that I've held onto for year - some of my fears, the expectations of others that I've taken on as my own, and my need to feel in control. I've packed and unpacked these things many times, and each time I leave a bit more behind, but mostly I hold onto them.
There's no turning back. This is who I am and this is where I'm being led. I trust me and the source of love that made me.
It's been a difficult descent this past couple of weeks and it feels like the knees of my soul are a bit wobbly. The good news is that there is a detour just around the corner; I'm meeting my Beloved in Scotland in early July to hike 95 miles through the Highlands and search for faeries in the Hebrides. I wonder where the path will take me from there...
When was the last important milestone in your journey? Did you stop to enjoy the view?