"He saw that the Soul of God was his own soul. And that he, a boy, could perform miracles." from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Two years ago I went to Washington DC for the first time on a trip I ended up calling "The Tale of Two Psychics." The first was a lawyer, Anthony, on the plane between Detroit and DC. The second was a professional psychic, Miss Tina, who did $5 palm readings for my friend Cathleen and I in her living room above Mr. Yogato (p.s. we participated in Rule #3). Anthony and Miss Tina both gave me shockingly accurate once overs that left me reeling, mostly because I gave them very little information about myself. They sensed the transition I was entering in to and the accompanying major changes, and that I was tentative and non-committal- as Miss Tina put it, "You haven't put both feet in." This struck me in particular because the week before my friend's mom gave me a piece of advice that ended with, "I learned that
closing my eyes and jumping in with both feet is way more
exciting." Anthony called me out for refusing to completely give myself to and invest in anything, telling me that I hadn't achieved what I was capable of because I hadn't been able to commit. The message from all sides was clear: Put both feet in.
Anthony and Miss Tina also told me that I'm a Healer, that this is my great purpose in this life. I remember being so incredibly uncomfortable with this title, stammering that, no, they're wrong, I just facilitate. I'm not really doing anything. Anthony assigned reading- The Alchemist- and instructed me to write him an email about it when I understood what he was trying to communicate to me. I devoured the book on the flight back to San Francisco and wrote to him promptly, believing that I had grasped the meaning. And in some ways I had- it's some easily digested, heavy handed allegory. In hindsight, it's clear that while I may have gotten it intellectually, practically speaking I had no clue. The tremblings and wear of time and challenge would reveal this.
In the six months that followed that first trip to DC, I got and gave up a job I loved, met several people that heavily influenced my life, and moved out of my home of many years and back in with my family. In the time that's passed since then, I have floundered desperately, miserably, without discernible purpose. I became small and sad and selfish, wanting nothing more than to withdraw from my life and hide away. This, of course, is the exact opposite of putting both feet in. I took both feet out. I wanted nothing to do with my power and potential. "Me, a healer? Please! I'm a MESS!" And in many ways, I was.
Thankfully, nothing is permanent. When living (or not living) this way became too much to bear, I lowered a jaded, tired toe into the water and began rebuilding my life. I opened a new bank account, got my driver's license, began a workout program and found a real job- one day of massage a week at a health club that would give me a gym membership, just like I had envisioned.
On my first day of work, at the end of my first professional massage in over a year, my client looked me straight in the eye and said, "So you're a real healer." I was utterly flabbergasted and once again stammered, "Oh no, well, you know, I just channel or something, I'm not really doing anything." She laughed and told me that she had met a lot of self-professed, so-called "healers" with no actual talent for healing, but that I am talented and what I'm doing is authentic. Taking this in was a nasty, foul tasting medicine. It hurt to thank her. I wanted so badly to reject what I knew to be true, what had been prophesied two years before and was now being confirmed by a stranger with no obligation to tell me anything.
Despite my discomfort, her words planted themselves like a tiny seed in my heart that has been nurtured by the continuous confirmation that I have received since. Over and over I have been told that I am good at this, that I am doing the right thing, that I must keep doing this because, as one client put it, "You're doing the Universe's work, girl!" Each time I hear it, I am able to smile and say thank you a little more graciously with a little less discomfort. My one day of massage a week has blossomed into many days at three locations. I added the second location with some hesitation, not sure how deep I wanted to get into this. By the time I added the third, I was a woman on fire. I had a hunger so deep and a motivation so purposeful, there was nothing that could stop me. This all happened over the course of two months.
This is what becomes possible when you move out of your own way. This is what happens when you give all that you have and all that you are to your purpose. This is what it looks like to put both feet in. Denying my power and resisting my purpose left me lost and miserable for over a year. Since stepping onto the path, I am working the hardest I've ever worked, but I am inspired, energized and motivated. Before arriving at this moment, though, I had to get desperate. Desperation starved out my ego, leaving nothing but humility. And in this space, surrender became possible. My future became possible because I was finally able to fight for my Personal Legend, as Paulo Coelho calls it. Two years later, I can truthfully answer Anthony the Psychic Lawyer, "Yes, I understand what you meant for me to understand."
Confirmation of our purpose is a miraculous gift, but according to Rob Brezsny it's also our right. He has a bit about this in his brilliant new book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings:
"You might call it the special mission you came to Earth to carry
out; the divine blueprint that contains the open secret of how to be
perfectly, unpredictably yourself; the master plan that is your heart's
Would you like help in deciphering it? The Divine Intelligence Formerly
Known as God is always on call, ready to help. It's your birthright to
ask Her a specific question every day about what you need to do next to
express your soul's code; it's also your birthright to receive a
The divine revelation may not be as unambiguous as a little voice in
your head. It might appear in the form of a TV commercial, an odd dream,
or an encounter with a stranger. It could be demanding and difficult,
delivering information you'd rather not have to deal with. Or it might
show up as a clear and simple feeling of knowing exactly what to do, and
it could be easy and fun."
So ask. Ask God (or the Spaghetti Monster, depending on where you stand on that) what you need to be doing to live out your purpose. Ask. And then wait, watch and listen. Be patient. Be open. Be ready to act. Be grateful when you receive your answer. Always be grateful. Your purpose is a blessing and living it is the key to a vibrant, fully embodied life. It's why you are here. Get at it.