Ten years ago I set about starting a completely new life. Caretaking of my parents had finished and at 56 I was going to move somewhere new and find a new way to make a living. To help sort this all out, I got myself a life coach, went to intuitive readers, even consulted a relocation astrologer. I was really hoping that someone could tell me about a pre-ordained destiny I was meant to live out. I wanted my future to be made clear.
In the end all I really learned was that I was the only one who could decide. Like Dorothy with her ruby slippers, the power was with me all along. At some point I stopped collecting input from others and figured it out myself. I let my heart and my gut take over and I (mostly) stopped overriding them with anxious practicalities and what-ifs. It was not easy, and at times I was afraid and resistant.
But it came right in the end.
The Burmese meditation master Sayadaw Tejaniya has said that things don’t happen because you want them to, but because conditions are right. For me, these words are worth a hundred refrigerator magnets. In hindsight, I can see that despite my missteps, the entire transition process was me doing my part to create the right conditions.
There were many contingencies beyond my control, but to the extent that I did something right, it was because I set intentions. John Yates has written that intentions are a set of instructions we give to our subconscious. Then we let go. We still pack and buy plane tickets, but we stop forcing things. That is pretty much what I did. With so many unknowns, I could not possibly lay out a detailed blueprint. Instead, I fashioned a kind of personal yellow brick road that turned out to have clear stretches along with unmarked turnoffs and forks that I either explored or passed by.
The other thing I did right was to have faith. Not in a deity, or something outside of myself, but what Sharon Salzberg calls trusting our deepest experience. This happened when I put my heart in charge. My heart told me that first and foremost, I needed a physical location that would soothe my soul. With that came a knowingness that said once this was in place, the rest would follow. And it did. Synchronicities popped up like daffodils.
The universe listened to what I needed, and responded.
I often tell clients who are working on their own big transitions that this kind of experience is like entering Harry Potter land. In fact it’s not an alternate reality, it is Reality itself. We are not trained to expect it, let alone know how to participate in creating the conditions for it. But we can learn. We can stop listening to our fear, and the limitations it brings. We can ask our hearts what we really need, something that will make the angels sing.
The Real World knows this language fluently and will help us make it happen.