Thursday marks a new beginning. I am headed to the first intensive in my program for certification in spiritual direction. The theme for this one is Celtic Spirituality, and intensive turns out to be an apt word to describe these gatherings. Five days of lectures with titles like “Pre-Christian Celtic Spirituality and the Archetype of the Goddess” “Desert Spirituality and the Celtic Tradition” and “The Sacred Tree in Mythology and Religion.” There will also be yoga, meditation, group discussion and long stretches of silence, in addition to live music and dancing on Saturday night. Dancing! I’m nervous, excited, a bit overwhelmed and absolutely juiced!
Although I have been diligently reading and writing since January, I have not met anyone in person yet. I know I am a part of a group of 12 people who will be led by a mentor – who, by the way, has a passion for combining creativity and spirituality. Yes, it’s true. As best I can tell, everything feels like I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. This journey has been one long exercise (excruciating, at times) in listening to my intuition, following those little whispers and receiving confirmations that leave me a bit astounded every single time. It is believing with my whole heart the last three lines of this poem, that has been my prayer since December: “Life is not a straight line / it’s a downpour of gifts – please / hold out your hand.”
And because you know I frame so much of my life through poetry, I was absolutely gobsmacked by this poem. Since it showed up in my inbox last week, I have been meditating on the notion of “a calling” and what I can tell about “saying Yes.” I have had many close friends in real life ask me how I figured out this next chapter of my life. The short and honest answer is I don’t have anything figured out. I have no idea where all this will lead or how it will manifest. What I do know is that – for me – it started by getting quiet and listening. And I’m not talking about the extended periods of quiet meditation that I am able to find now. I’m talking about that small space between heartbeats; that fleeting moment when nobody needs anything; that tiny pocket of time in which your mind wanders and wonders and suddenly you’re thinking about crayons. Because as I think back to how all this started – and by all, I mean this journey of my 40s, Waldorf homeschooling, inner work, spiritual direction – it all started with wanting some better crayons.
So listen to those crazy little whispers, those tiny voices that won’t leave you alone. You can bet I have more to say about all this, but right now I need to go pack my shillelagh, find a couple of four-leaf clovers and maybe buy a bottle of Jameson on the way. Oh, wow, and it’s St. Patrick’s Day – perfect for setting off on a Celtic adventure.
Thanks for being here. xoS