Forward, never straight! Just walking one foot in front of the other (AKA straight) may get you somewhere, but it won’t get you to where you could dream to go. You want to move forward, not backward, not sideways. It is the only way to truly progress in life … and you only know the best way for you if you listen very, very closely to yourself.
There is a voice inside of you, (its name is Intuition) telling you exactly what you should be doing right now. In your heart of hearts, you know exactly how to propel yourself into the next awesome stratosphere of your life. You know better than anyone what is right, without having to debate. How often do you listen?
Today, I am thinking about my little voice – and how I followed it. I am currently on a different continent, nearly 6,000 km from the island I lived on just five weeks ago … an island that is now looking at a serious amount of destruction due to Hurricane Irma. The homes of my friends are destroyed: filled with sand, crawling with crabs, all their possessions lost. Some of my friends are still unaccounted for. Boats sunk. No power. No supplies. No flights out.
I had many opportunities to stay on St. Thomas, but somehow, I knew that was not what I should do. Retrospectively, I was pushing myself to get off the island, even though all the “easy” options had me staying right there. I could have moved on to three – YES! THREE! – boats that were moored in St. Thomas. I could have rented another apartment or moved in with a friend whose boyfriend just moved out. I could have worked as a captain on my friend’s sailboat, which she chartered out to tourists to sail around St. John, which is also
facing massive destruction.
Had I chosen any of those options, I would have been facing a post-hurricane disaster right now. I would have been burdened by thousands of dollars-worth of my belongings, a sweet kitty and no way of making money, since there is no internet, no yoga classes, no power to charge up my computer. I would have been suddenly moving backward – sideways at best – instead of moving forward.
It was hard to hear during the last week in June when my plans to sail south fell apart, but that little voice said, “Suzanne, step it up. The challenge is on.”
To anyone who saw me in July, they probably witnessed my eyes rolling toward the back my head with craziness. I was homeless, frantically selling my surfboard, paddleboard, SCUBA gear, djembe, clothing and books, while creating a wild game plan of housesitting for strangers around the world. In a couple weeks, I had bought airline tickets and set up Skype meetings with homeowners in towns I’ve never been to and where knew no one. At the same time, I decided to learn a new instrument and a new language. Seriously, who does that?
Someone who is listening closely to that little voice.
Because instead of dealing with the mayhem of a hurricane – as I type it’s hitting the town in Florida where I lived for more than a decade and could have also very easily
moved back instead of moving on – I am enjoying the peace and quiet of a country cottage in a lovely pueblo in Argentina. Today, I took a long walk along the Rio Diamente with the sweet dog I’m watching, and I played ukulele by the fire. A cute cat is currently on my lap. I am drinking yerba mate.
Yesterday, friends asked me if I felt like the universe was conspiring in my favor, to get me to leave the islands and Florida before disaster struck. Yes, it does feel that way.
Looking back, it wasn’t clear why I felt the need to get myself down to a huge backpack of belongings, ukulele and computer all in the span of a few weeks. But my little voice – my intuition, the gap between conscious and unconscious – told me it was time to let go of all the attachments, all the relationships and the habits that were not serving me. It was time to propel myself forward.
News flash: Change is not easy. The last two months were really challenging, as I searched for recipients for the things I couldn’t fit on my back at once. I had to find a loving home for my beloved kitty (an original option was having her stay on island! I am so grateful those plans fell through … a situation that was stressful at the time). Then once I delivered Penelope to her new comfortable home with my friend Dave, I flew on and learned to get along in a strange town without knowing anyone. I had to find own footing and friends while also furiously learning Spanish. I was so unsure of myself. But I
I flew into Buenos Aires in the middle of an airline strike. Thousands of people crammed into the airport, and no one was working. All the flights were canceled. Did I mention my Spanish allows me to pick up about every fifth word someone says at a normal talking speed? By the grace of God, my friend’s father just happened to be in Buenos Aires that day. He was an angel who helped me catch an overnight bus to the small town where I’ll be living. Did I mention that amazingly good wine is $4US a bottle here?
My point is, dear reader, that I have no idea what I’m doing. I definitely know I’m not going straight … but I’m definitely moving forward.
I feel incredibly blessed to be so connected with my highest self to have enough faith to do the things that are so very foreign to me. Just today, I’ve Googled: “How to build a good fire,” “How to make yerba mate,” and “How to use a bidet.” Seriously, which way do YOU face on that thing?
Or another way to ask: Which way is YOUR forward? You don’t need to know what’s at the end of your road; in fact, that’s probably impossible. I was repacking my over-stuffed pack in New Mexico to head to Argentina last week, and it felt like that scene in the Harry Potter series, when he looks across the pond and sees his Patronus and realizes that he can do it because he already had. I knew I could fit it all in, because I already had.
I can do what is best for me, to propel myself forward, because that little voice deep inside of me already knows what to do. I just have to listen to myself. Are you listening to yourself?