“We do well to listen to this Inner Voice, for it tells us of a life wonderful in its scope; of a love beyond our fondest dreams; of a freedom which the soul craves."
~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, Definitive Edition
I had a dream. In it, while I was sleeping, my son and his family snuck me onto a plane. When I woke up, we were driving in their truck but the landscape was not that of BC. There were palm trees mixed in with coniferous forest.
“We are not in Canada,” I exclaimed, as I awoke out of my slumber (in the dream).
“Nope!” my son announced with glee, “for your birthday we have paid for you to come and visit us in Nicaragua.”
I was so confused. On one hand, my son and his family had demonstrated their love by gifting me time with them at their new home. How wonderful! (My granddaughter and I are so deeply connected and share so much joy together. She is my adventure buddy). I love them all so very much and was thrilled to be on this journey, but something else also began to rise in me… resentment.
I have shared with my son and his family that I have no, NO desire to visit them in Central America. Previously, when they asked me to come and spend time with them while they are on their new adventure, I considered the idea seriously. I imagined myself there with them. I thought about the travel and the time, and I mentally placed myself in the environment. In the past, I have even biked through 5 Central American countries and had a glorious time. And it’s not that I am not afraid of flying. I love adventures… but everything in my body, when I really settle and pay attention, now screams “NO!”. If you were to ask me why, I honestly could not give you any reason, except to say that my body says, “Absolutely and positively, NO”.
So here I am in my dream; stuck between my body’s “NO!”, my love and desire to be with my family, and resentment.
All of the feelings that rose for me in this dream mirror an important lesson. In the past, I have ignored my body and followed my duty instead. As a loving and supportive mother I would do anything for my children, but herein there is a deeper truth emerging. I clearly have a relationship with myself too, and when I put that on the back burner, my resentment starts to shoot out sideways…. (You know what I mean?)
I once compromised my body’s “NO” and went to Hawaii when I really didn’t want to. My husband was over-the-moon thrilled that I was going to join him. I had explained that I could probably make it work for me if we camped, because that is at least a style of travel that fills my soul. What a mistake!
From the outrage I felt before our flight, to the panicked feelings I experienced at an Airbnb located on an old, hardened lava field, to the unseasonably heavy rains… I was miserable. I tried and tried to calm my inner turmoil, and I made the best of each day, but my body continued to scream, “Get me out of here.” Interestingly, nothing ‘bad’ happened… the trip was ‘ok’, but I promised myself after it, “Never again”.
Fast forward to now, and here I am in my dream, trapped between my desire to ‘be there’ for my loved ones, and my soul in revolt.
I could spend hours in analysis discovering the deeper messages of my soul, but I believe there is a bigger lesson here. I have learned through experience that every time I compromise my own true longings, somebody or something pays. There is a concept known as “spiritual coin”… the spiritual transaction of any given experience. Living into somebody else’s desires and ignoring my own is a depleting exchange that never comes without suffering.
Let me give you a couple of contrasting examples:
I have a friend who knows I am keen for any outdoor adventures. Seven hours on a wilderness lake route where the experience includes paddling, pulling beater kayaks through the bush and up over rough terrain, passing beaver dams, wading through muck, schlepping across dry, hot logging roads, and stopping for warm water swims and lunch on a bluff is the kind of day that is right up my alley. I am so overjoyed with such an experience that my soul sings and sings. When get home I might even go for a run in the woods. I am energized! The spiritual coin received is positive and overflowing.
In contrast, I once went to a community movie night on Quadra where I had the opposite experience. The social time and snacks before the film were great, but the movie… it was a horrific, realistic depiction of war and hatred between humans. It portrayed the pain and suffering of innocent victims, and nothing that happened in it gave me any hope or promise for a better day. My experience was that the story spiralled into hostility and terror. Dutifully, I sat through the whole movie, not wanting to make a scene and leave. The spiritual coin I paid out during that outing ran deep.
For a couple of weeks following that movie night I actually suffered nightmares and a sense of deep grief and sadness. I felt emotionally sick. It was horrible. I vowed from that day forward that, were I ever in such a situation again, I would honour myself and walk out… no harm done. In fact, to lessen the risk of watching anything like that ever again, my strategy became to always arrive for the snacks and social prelude, but then to promptly depart as everyone settled to their seats for their evening of ‘entertainment’.
There need not be any explanation given for why my soul likes something totally different from your soul’s preferences. There is also no need to compromise.
We each must find our own ways to fill up with as much spiritual coin as possible. Doing so allows us to then have the added energy to share when others are in need. Walking around in resentment or heartbreak, frozen in our lives, does not serve anybody. And trust me, it isn’t just others who suffer from our lack of attention to our unique personal needs and desires (because they will… it will come out sideways sooner or later)… the devastation to our own health and wellbeing from that neglect has dire consequences as well.
To live joy-filled, inspired lives, we must learn how to tune into our souls and listen for their guidance. Without a shadow of a doubt, our souls know what is right for each and every one of us. Soul connection is our most profound connection to that which is Infinitely Intelligent. To ignore the calling… the whispering (sometimes the screaming) from within is to ignore a power that is infinitely great and good. If we all learn to listen, if we all awaken to our spirits’ calls, there will be a harmony experienced on Earth beyond anything humanity has ever experienced before.
Where to begin? Within, I say. Within.
ACTIVITIES FOR TRANSFORMATION
~ Practice taking yourself out on mini dates, doing exactly what you want to do for you. (Think about it, if you were an older you who knew exactly what the younger you desires, what would you do?)
~ This may not be easy for everyone so here is what I mean: At least 3 times this week, try taking yourself out on a “date”. It can be big or small (a walk in the woods, meditation by the ocean, a swim in a lake, out to the movie theatre with popcorn) … you choose.
~ Journal about any discoveries you make about yourself on these dates, and use that to make a list of future desires.
~ Get out your calendar and schedule future dates to meet those desire.
~ Then, make sure to show up!