I was asked the other day by a friend how to choose a fulfilling path in life. Perhaps it is simply to – ‘Take notice’. I will explain – and although a bit of a read… may illuminate something for you.
I was a little taken aback when my friend asked me, since I felt that I myself was a novice at this..LOL.. and then she said… “Julie. Look, you have had incredible ups and downs – but look where you are now. Look at how you are known and respected throughout the world and how you inspire so many. You have the most incredible life, and even after the most traumatic of circumstances even most recently – you still have so many things opening up to you – one after another. How do you do it? What do you do? Tell me what you think.” …. So I will share here some of my thoughts I shared with my girlfriend.
I had to think for a moment when she asked and what came to me instantly was – “To take notice.” “Take notice of everything. All the signs. All the circumstances. What you are feeling. What is within your body. What is outside of your body. Take notice of what is presenting itself right NOW!.”
When she asked me, I saw in my mind a picture of a place in Canada in the mountains that I thought I would like to climb one summer… and I realised that I can’t get there unless I go to the places along the way; Brisbane Airport.. Perhaps Sydney; then LA or Vancouver….Banff; then blah blah. You get the idea.
… and I recognised that is the same of our life path. There isn’t much point in striving for this ‘elusive goal or destination’ if you forget to realise that you have to make sure you take notice of where you are along the way. Sure, I can choose either to go Sydney instead of direct from Brisbane; but I need to take notice of which route has the least resistance; and is the one which presents itself with the most flow…and I actually HAVE to go to places in the present; and take notice of each one as I pass through – before I can get to Castle Mountain! (I haven’t worked out how to physically teleport there yet! Hehe)
You need to take notice when things are flowing; you have light bulb moments; or you sense deep learning or contentment – then you have confirmation that you are making the right decisions… and in the converse; take notice of the roadblocks and messages where things are presenting themselves as continual obstacles and warning you not to go that way. If your life seems like a never-ending struggle, then perhaps a different track is necessary. Perhaps you aren’t really ‘taking notice’.
A girlfriend posted last night on Facebook that she missed her stop on the train and ended up going way past where she wanted to get off; and having to get her father to collect her to take her back home. She went the wrong way. She just wanted to get home. She wasn’t taking notice.
Perhaps you too aren’t really taking notice of what is going on around you, and you are blindly going toward and idea or goal without being aware of or refuse to acknowledge the roadblocks and messages – and you aren’t actually taking notice of them. Perhaps you aren’t being honest with yourself and your ego and fear are keeping you on the wrong track? Perhaps you haven’t taken notice of the opportunities opening up that you hadn’t anticipated? Perhaps you haven’t listened to the warnings that have been gifted to you?
Only you can answer those questions for yourself, but you need to answer them honesty if you want to choose a fulfilling path in life and one in which you feel is supported by the Universe; one filled with Grace.
I’m not a fan generally of motivational ‘speak’; but I think there is merit in the jargon about “Being Present”… and to bring that into the reality of living there is much truth in it.
What the privilege of having grey hair has taught me is that experience can only be in a single moment… the past is memory and the future is only a fantasy. Sure I make plans – of course I have to otherwise I would be sitting her in the same spot. Plans and goals have to be made.…. yet I have learned that those plans are just a sketch…(which in my experience get erased and re-written constantly hehe); and the real living happens each breath; and if I choose to TAKE NOTICE in each breath of the road blocks; the messages; the opportunities; the experience… everything right NOW – and actually let go of clinging on to an idea which I THINK is the way to go… my life flows far more beautifully with such richness.
The times where I held on to things – even when I felt they were right in the ‘big picture’; the times when I didn’t actually TAKE NOTICE of the present – were times when my life turned to shit. Those were the times throughout my life when I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t actually taking notice. I was blinded by a fantasy or thought pattern that wasn’t the reality of what actually WAS. I wasn’t taking notice of where the train was going…and I was on the train which wasn’t leading me to where I wanted nor needed to go.
Learning to be truly honest with myself and not afraid to change the track I was taking has been a wonderful lesson; and took courage.
That isn’t to say that everything is rosy and without hardship or pain. It just means that if I am more connected to being aware and taking notice of each moment in the present; then I’m more likely to make choices that serve my Soul, so that I can learn; and love; and have an enriching and fulfilling life which is filled with Grace.
I recently had a serious injury whilst skiing in the US and in the hotel room the next day I questioned whether I was choosing the right path. New-age indoctrination for ‘reasons’ for things breeds such judgement and guilt. I wanted to dismiss preconceptions of any reasons – and connect deeply within myself.
I reflected back on what I learned as I lay immersed in both extreme pain and extreme joy for that 20 minutes of lying in the snow. It was literally agony and ecstasy at the same time. It was an experience I don’t think I can ever adequately articulate.
I was totally alone on one level, but felt such a part of absolutely everything on another. It was a bizarre feeling with the pain excruciating – yet I was feeling such a sense of peace and in awe of the silence of the snow falling. I took notice. I took notice of everything within me and outside of me. I could hear the deer in the distance and the trees just telling me to breathe and expand my presence to dissipate the pain. What a gift it was to hear that .. as not only a tool I have used since and will require post surgery and in rehabilitation; but one which is important for me to have experienced and know about for some other as yet unknown point in time.
This gift I have come to recognise is an important one and one which has been necessary for me to continue being of service as a shaman as expressed through every aspect of the way I live my life. A dear friend of mine, Wayne wrote to me this last night – “Consider the possibility, that was why you were there, ( to lay in the snow ) in the shamanic traditions, the shaman travels to the edge of life, so that they may step across the doorway of this physical dimension and into another..
Once you have stepped through that doorway, life can never be the same..”
I took notice of that expansive space I was in, a miraculous experience and profound learning has resulted. This serious injury isn’t a roadblock; although it could be perceived and misjudged as one. I am healing more quickly than the expectations of my doctors. This experience has been a blessing. I am continually taking notice. Opportunities are still opening for me with an invitation to participate in a highly competitive and sought after residency on a tall ship in the Arctic. My work was selected because of the Shamanic element of my experience and expression through my photographs. I needed to lie in the snow and ‘take notice’ so that I could experience stepping across the physical dimension into another whilst in pain. And that is precisely what I did. What a gift.
I have stepped through that doorway because I have taken notice.. and as my dear friend has said.. “life can never be the same.”
To watch a short 5 minute video of my love of snow … and my journey which ended not as I would have anticipated… pop to My love of Snow video here.
There is no coming to consciousness without pain.
Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.