Maneuvering mid(ish)life transformation
Three years ago, a divine discontent set into the pit of my stomach. It began with the thought, “Will I really be a fundraiser for the rest of my life? Is this it?” As satisfying as it is to complete a campaign that serves a mission, as fun as it is to create magnetic communications, build relationships, inspire others with a vision, and make a tangible impact externally, it was no longer enough.
At first, I thought that I simply needed more responsibility. So, when given the opportunity, I accepted the management duties of a second department at Ananda and expanded my scope. That didn’t work.
Next, I thought that I was too isolated, that I needed to feel more a part of “the world.” So, I accepted a job at the March of Dimes, tripled my salary, and rejoined society. Very quickly, it was clear that this too was not it.
Two years into seeking answers, I began to feel desperate. I tried on the outfits of new careers with such zeal that it was hard to know who I really was. I tried on the v-neck sweater of a meditation researcher with a PhD. I tried on the REI gear of a meditation teacher for humanitarians. I tried on the cashmere of a best selling author. I considered the recycled cocktail dress of simply remaining a fundraiser, but for a different organization. I donned the fresh pumps of a CEO. Nothing fit.
Every interview process began strong. I believed it was “the one” and I spent far too much time envisioning my life in this new external outfit. Each time, the daydream ended with dissolution.
I tried to find answers in psychics, astrologers, friends, divination decks, long meditations, and spiritual guides. Each one gave me a bread crumb to follow, but no one could give me the answer. The search was straining my relationships, my energy, and my joy.
As 2020 dawned, I could feel myself in a process of rewilding. I questioned my faith, my beliefs, my choices. At first this was an intellectual exercise, a process of thinking through each part of me and asking the difficult questions. In time, I began to trust my inner voice and the process shifted into one of feeling. I could feel a truth and decide to affirm it or let it go without too much fuss. The emotion, having moved beyond the need to “prove” my inner voice, was now calm.
Somewhere midstorm, I wrote a cover letter to the satguru of my spiritual path, Mahavatar Babaji.
Bless me Lord that I choose my life’s work according to thy law of soul union. Dear Babaji, Bring me the work that will help me grow compassion, power, joy, and love in my heart and mind. Help me serve the world as I was born to do. Bring me the opportunity where my talents can be useful to others and can help uplift mankind. Help my family to be cared for and always know that my love for them is without boundary. Give me the chance to be brave, bold, humble, and kind. Love Always, Your Child
The magic did not happen overnight. I prayed daily to be guided by Babaji. I read and re-read my cover letter. Many meditations were punctuated by a desperate call from my heart for an answer, but the phone did not ring for months.
And then, as swiftly as a tropical storm breaks, the phone rang. The voice was not human, she merely whinnied and snorted. But in her mind, she told me to go deeper. She told me to enter the present moment with her. She began to reveal to me through this presence much of what was holding me back. The fear, doubt, and insecurities. She also showed me strengths. The calmness, intuition, and joy. She assured me that being with her in this presence would transform us both.
Now, as I take my first tentative steps along a new path, the path of the horse, doubts sometimes arise. Is this just another outfit? Am I pretending to be a cowgirl now? Each time doubts assail me, a divine Grace seems to whisper through nature to bring me assurance. A red tailed hawk of courage swoops past my face. Snakes of transformation slither through the pastures and rivers. A dove of peace alights nearby. Foxes of overcoming obstacles cross the road as I pass.
Beyond mother nature herself, synchronicities big and small are practically yelling at me their confirmation. In one month a guide along this path, 2 horses, years worth of study materials, supplies, and a wait list of students have all appeared with open arms. This can be nothing less than a miracle.
This is merely the start. Where this path leads I cannot say. What I can say is that I am alive with presence. I can barely write anymore for the need to remain present and absorb this new path is so strong. Writing is in my heart still, but now is my time to listen. And so, I enter into this presence with an open heart and mind.
These inner deaths and rebirths are terrifying, enlivening, and beautiful all at once. If we invite ourselves to grow, they are inevitable. Here are a few gems that have helped me along the way so far:
Trust yourself. When you feel to act, act. When you feel to listen, listen. When something doesn’t feel right, honor your knowing.
Remain flexible. Your belief today may be replaced with another tomorrow. Allow yourself all the room you need to change. Better to be wrong for a day, than wrong for a whole lifetime.
Hold on to faith. Faith is born from personal experience, unlike belief. Hold on to that which you know from your own life. When your experience conflicts with belief, break in the direction of you. If you can do that, and remain flexible, you’ll keep learning forever.
Cultivate connection to Spirit. Perhaps you commune with nature to find Spirit. Perhaps you meditate. Perhaps you recite the rosary. Whatever helps you connect with your truest, most expansive Self, cultivate it with all the love of your heart. It will lift you to new heights.