I was driving home last week, a long windy road up US-95 over White Bird Hill to US-12, up over Lolo and into the Bitterroot Valley and then finally home, Missoula, Montana. I was leaving Boise after a monumentally unsuccessful sales trip and since I had left late, it was very dark. I was alone and didn’t feel like music so the silence was all I had.
My finances and my hopes were being dashed by the only slight inroads I had made in sales success. It was a stretch for me, I knew it and my boss knew it, but it was a gamble worth taking. It was not paying off, not yet, and the conversation running through my mind was to continue fishing or cut bait. I had run before, often. Seeking. Searching for the perfect zip code, the perfect weather, the next best job. Always trying, always seeking, rarely seeing the patience swell up in me that was required to really know what the situation was. Or I’d get fired. That happened a few times, too.
God visited me on my road home. Not a vision, not a miracle, She just welcomed me into a conversation with the divine that I did not know I needed. What, I asked, am I here for? What is my purpose on this earth and what can I contribute to the world. How can I stay alive? How can I provide for those I love in a real way? What am I supposed to do?
I believe God answered me: You are my child and I’m calling you to me.
My conception of and use of the term God may need some explaining. I am not a Christian nor do I peddle much in organized religion. I like stories and myths, but you know, some of it is a bit of a stretch. My God, my spirituality is based on a universal love that is a power that transcends all and is knowable to all but often ungraspable. The divine is in all of us, all around us, it is us. Not I. Us. To deny it is deny being whole. I want to be whole.
I got home and started on a research project. Research is what I love, reading, scanning, weighing options. Meditation retreat? Build something locally? On a whim I Googled ‘retreat jobs’ and to my surprise a few came up. I contacted one to see if the listing was still valid and started a conversation. Things went quickly.
I’m doing a month trial at a meditation retreat center and organic farm in Vermont starting next month. It’s my path, for now.
The job appears to be fluid. Some website stuff, social media and marketing/scheduling through the winter. Then the work begins. Meditation practice every morning, breakfast on your own. Work the morning on tasks related to the Retreat Center, then a communal lunch. Work the afternoon and evenings free save for two community meetings a night. It sounds heavenly.
The guy who owns the retreat has been there for 30 years. He bought and developed the place over the first 10 years and has been operating it as a business for 20. He’s written a couple of books — I have to remember to order them — and we have spoken several times. We have a natural connection. He seems to be an empath who understands me and could read what I wrote to him in a deep way.
One of his books is on conscious communication. Haven’t read it yet, but my impression is that deals with boundaries, truth as it manifests itself in you and how best to communicate it. I love talking and listening, so this sounds to me to be perfect for where I’m at right now.
My own agenda is to meditate, work, write and be part of a small intentional community. 3–6 people in rural New England working towards similar goals, sharing in the blessings and bounties of nature and walking this part of our path together.
I will leave ~Halloween.