Every so often there is a shift in a life’s pattern that leads you off at a new tangent. Sometimes these are things you have worked for, dreamed of and created for yourself… an opportunity seen and grasped. Sometimes these events simply land in your lap and you have to choose whether or not to accept them and go with them… and sometimes there simply is no choice.
Occasionally these new directions may leave people questioning your sanity… why would you take such a risk after all, when there is no real reason to do so that is obvious to the outside world. You are doing okay, everything seems to be in order and life is pootling along quite nicely, thank you very much. Suddenly you pull the metaphorical rug from under your own feet and start behaving in what the world might see as an unusual manner.
‘Mid-life crisis’, say some, ‘lost the plot’ say others… and there are unkinder epithets available too, as well as the slightly envious, or respectful ones of those who want to break free of their own routine and Do Something.
Of course, you may well launch into one of these ventures… or adventures… and find things seem to unfold in their own way, regardless of the nice, tidy plans you have made where you thought you had everything under control and your vision of the future ran between nice, neat lines of predictability. Then you wake up one morning and realise that while you were sleeping the universe, as is its wont, has seen a vessel shaped to its need and rushed in to fill it.
At this point you realise that you are running along merrily with a cup filled to the brim with something unfamiliar, unplanned and suddenly very easy to spill. It demands a more considered approach and some major readjustments in thinking. You might, it is true, simply empty out the cup and start again to your own plan, or you can accept the gift and begin to learn what it will need from you in order to grow into what it could… perhaps should…be. It was such a scenario that saw the birth of the Silent Eye… a desire that became an imperative that has become both response and learning curve for those of us involved.
We are lucky, we are none of us on our own in this and we each have the companionship of the others to check, teach and learn from, for we really are the first students of the School. We have to be…anything else would be hypocrisy. You cannot teach what you are not first prepared to learn although that learning may be damnably uncomfortable at times, as we learn to look into the mirror of self and see ourselves without mercy, but with justice, love and understanding. It is a necessary process and a valuable one, as from those personal lessons we learn to teach from experience, not mere theory.
There are other gifts and shifts along the way too, and every so often you pull up short and wonder about everything, up to and including your own sanity in following these pathways into an unknown that is yet not unknowable, especially when the going gets rough. Learning to trust that the path knows where it leads isn’t always easy. But there are treasures to be found along the way and some of them are the people who drop into your life at just the right time, with just the right understanding and experience to restore your faith in your sanity and allow you to hitch up your backpack and follow the path forward. They are not always obvious, these gifts; for although sometimes they stand in a clear light, easy to see, at others they are like the ragged beggar or the beast in the fairy stories that turns out to be the hero or the sage in disguise, but they await on our journey if we have eyes to see.
Our individual journeys as human beings, though, are not fairytales, they are our lives and each of us encounters these moments of choice and self doubt in the quiet of our own minds. There is, deep within us all a part of us that observes and Knows, shaking its head fondly at our errors with love unconditional and a clarity of vision we might call conscience, but which goes beyond that to a deeper understanding of our self, our motives, our strengths and our frailties. On the surface we may be as children, fingers in our ears in our refusal to hear a truth we already know, yet learn we must and grow we will, like it or not, one day.
That inner knowing pulls together all the threads of being and manifests as that inner voice of the heart and that, perhaps, is our best guide through the journey of life if we can simply learn how to listen and act on its whispering song.