I was on my way to Fred Meyer to go food shopping, and I was pondering as I drove along the wide paved highway what the next direction in my life and my career would be. I was feeling a “call” to shift my focus, but the how and the what of that shift was vague.
As I stopped at a red light, a booming voice said: “Turn left. Turn left.” I WAS actually stopped at the light to make a left, and I laughed. But I also knew the universe was making a metaphysical point. I’d gotten this “turn left” message years ago when I left a jet-setting journalism career to explore my metaphysical side and ultimately to become a novelist and visual artist.
What the “turn left” message meant those many years ago was this: I had to leave my 9 to 5 life as a journalist (this was no easy feat as journalism had taken me to newsrooms in Tokyo, throughout SE Asia and London — leaving it meant leaving EVERYTHING). The message meant that I was supposed to explore modalities outside the mainstream. I was led away from the normal world toward the spiritual and the artistic. Exploring my spiritual side brought up all the old wounds and it was so very painful.
Still the murder, hate, violence of the newsroom was killing my soul. The new path of soul work, visual art, and fiction writing rejuvenated me, helped me fall in love with my life again. I shifted into a world of color, texture, poetry and connection to spirit.
So what then did this new “turn left” message mean? I suspected it meant that even within my current paradigm as novelist/artist/coach, I’m still trying to fit into the mainstream. And the mainstream way of doing things isn’t working. It’s killing us. It’s killing the planet. We need a new paradigm, and we’re going to have to build the road ourselves, from scratch.
I’m still figuring out what my new turn left message is all about. I can sense it’s about art and joy and healing and simplicity – but I’m still grappling with it. I suspect when I stop grappling and simplify it all everything will unfold.
What is your “turn left” message? You have a cushy job, a fine house, a well-oiled life. The well-paved, roomy highways take you to and from this life seamlessly. But, perhaps, you’re bored. You’re sick of this life. You’re even a bit angry. You’ve done everything you were supposed to, why aren’t you happier?
Worse, maybe you’re even terrified. Things are going to shit. There’s no way you can pretend anymore. Wildly fluctuating weather that could take any one of us at any moment. Global violence that could take any one of us at any moment. Of course we’re scared.
The well-paved, well-worn track just isn’t working anymore. Hierarchical thinking, unconscious use and abuse of resources, an eye for an eye, money as the only core value, injustices, institutionalized racism and sexism, the factory farming of animals, the list goes on…this well-oiled life just isn’t working anymore.
I know turning left can be scary. Each time I’ve turned left, I’ve felt more out on a limb, even farther from fitting into society. The road is full of bumps and pot holes, and we may have to clear a fallen tree, and move branches blocking the way. And we sure the heck are not sure where it leads. But we do know where the old road leads…
Are you being called to turn left? To find spirit in your own life, to fall again in love with your life? Do you know what turning left means for you personally?
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