The Paths That Take Us

November 16th, 2013

bw beach path webI’ve never had a 5-year plan or a career path and I never really exercised any kind of forethought about my life. In some ways, I’ve just wandered or been led or aimed in the direction of a vague something that seemed to call to me. For instance, I always knew I wanted to go to college, and I eventually found a way  that was completely preposterous when I was 29 and a single mother of three. The route that opened before me to do that was paradoxically the result of a divorce that left me convinced that I had no options out in the world. There are other, easier paths I could have chosen to follow, but instead I was pulled to that particular one.  That’s what I’ve always loved about life — you can make all the plans and preparations you want, but destiny and chance and fate will carve paths out of wildernesses that turn out to be holy roads to a promised land if you’re willing to take a chance on your intuition. They might not be the obvious paths and they might seem at first glance to be dead ends, but I’ve always somehow deep down relied on and trusted that they would be there for me. That’s why this time in my life is so confusing. Despite growing older and being content with what I’ve achieved, I still feel a deep pull toward the untried, the unknown, the unexplored. At the same time, I put up all sorts of mental roadblocks to keep me from looking for new beginnings. I know I’m in the midst of a transition and that transitions often seem like unproductive periods of stasis. William Bridges, the author of Transitions, calls this the “Neutral Zone” and regards it as an important time for reorientation. So for now, I’m just trying to learn how to let go of the old roads that brought me here and to wait patiently for my new path to find me.

 

5 Responses to “The Paths That Take Us”

  1. Susan Parsons says:

    Nikki,
    My teacher, Ilana Rubenfeld, called this place of not knowing the Fertile Void. Hard to stay in, but the longer you stay in the dark unknowingness, the more likely you are to find your true path. It has worked for me and I find I kind of like the not knowing…takes the pressure off. So be patient, my friend, and enjoy the Fertile Void. May it be especially fertile for you.

  2. Kathy Murphy says:

    You speak my heart….my life too has been guided by a series of tugs and calls that at times I wish would just be silent…because they can’t be ignored. I’ve come to accept and relish that my life will always be following one path after another…no rest for the open hearted.

  3. This took my breath for a moment – You could frame it. Maybe I should frame it. Maybe you could sell it on Etsy. 🙂 “you can make all the plans and preparations you want, but destiny and chance and fate will carve paths out of wildernesses that turn out to be holy roads to a promised land if you’re willing to take a chance on your intuition.”

  4. nikki says:

    Angie, what a boost to my day!

  5. I have a quote on my personal card that I stole from “the hands of Humanity” Sharing time to:
    ‘Free one’s self of old assumption, to discern previously unseen patterns, and to dare. Come touch, taste, tap, toy -with, discover, and rekindle that which is ours yet yours alone.”
    by
    The Dream Merchant

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