“What I found were “coincidences” which were connected so meaningfully that their “chance” concurrence would represent a degree of improbability that would have to be expressed by an astronomical figure.” Carl Jung
I think I must be challenging to have as a friend. At times my desire to live a soul directed life must appear confusing and self focused; it can get in the way of commitments that I make and perhaps hurt people’s feelings. Recently I found myself trapped in a paradox where my needs seemed in conflict with another’s. I was looking forward to a trip to the BC interior; my first stop was Lac La Hache for the Caribou experience of sunshine, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing; the second stop was Kamloops to visit friends and perhaps ski downhill then finally on to Revelstoke. Until a week ago everything seemed promising and then a cloud appeared on the horizon. Actually that is a really bad metaphor because the real problem was that there were no clouds on the horizon. The jet stream shifted and the flow of Pacific moisture creating snow dried up. I decided to cancel the downhill portion of my trip because there would have been no new snow for over ten days and just go cross-country. Then a series of events unfolded that in hindsight created a perfect storm that I did not see until I was swept up into it.
But first some background to the strange and wonderful life I lead. Over the past few years I have evolved a belief system based around the concept of the soul and the soul journey. To me my soul is an aspect of my being that represents a place of deep wisdom. It bonds my humanity to my spirituality; my soul journey takes place as I attempt to follow the guidance that arises from within and support my soul in manifesting its expression in the world. The ego becomes the servant of the soul as opposed to the master. Needless to say there is an uneasy relationship that develops as I attempt to discern the difference. I sense the ego and the soul speak two different languages. The soul speaks through metaphor, symbol, dreams and synchronicity while my ego likes good old fashioned English. About two years ago I made a commitment that I affirm every morning, “to live a soul directed life guided by synchronicity, serendipity, intuition and dreams.” Setting that intention has had great power in affecting my life’s outcomes.
Back to the unfolding of the week’s events: it all started with a reminder that I had not got a transponder to cross a new bridge I would need to take on Thursday; I was strangely disconcerted and wondered what had caused me to forget. Later in the day I noticed a minor case of plantar fasciitis, not a huge problem but I wondered how it would impact cross-country skiing. Then when I got home that afternoon from Whistler, I observed that the free delivery of the Globe and Mail, which I had cancelled because of my trip, was still being dropped on the step. I found this curious but took it in isolation as opposed to part an unfolding pattern of connected events. That night I checked the weather forecast and to my dismay realized that clear, crisp cold sunny weather to which I was looking forward, was now predicted to be cloudy with above freezing temperatures. I was not impressed and thought I would e-mail my friend to see what she thought.
I have noticed that frequently my guidance comes as a series of clues or signs; it is a bit like getting a few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle without even knowing there is a puzzle. I suspect it stems from the love I have of mysteries and the satisfaction from finally seeing the whole picture eventually emerge but on this occasion I was not able to put it all together. Julia Cameron wrote in her lovely little book Blessings “Synchronicity, coincidence, reinforcement, and serendipity – these are friendly companions that speak to me clearly of higher realms.” It’s good to have company in my bizarro world.
The next morning I woke up with a sense of uncertainty and discomfort; for the first time I wondered whether the sequence of events were suggesting that I should not go. I decided to draw a rune to arbitrate on the decision. Whenever I find myself confused or caught in the battleground of thoughts and feelings, I will consult the runes. Sometimes I smile at myself, yet this particular oracle has an uncanny ability to help me discern what is the soul’s intention for me. If you are not familiar with runes, they are based on the runic alphabet, used by early Norse peoples including the Vikings; the runes have no clear origin as an oracle although the word “rune” derives from the Gothic word “runa,” meaning “mystery.” Their popularity today stems significantly from the work done by Ralph Blum, who dedicated himself to the re-introduction of this “sacred oracle.” He suggests that runes assist “training of sacred Intuition – a new way of listening to the inner voice.”
After my morning meditation I went downstairs, made tea then checked my e-mail. There was a response from my friend in Lac la Hache. She did not pull any punches, “my initial reaction to your note was ” major bummer” if you’re not coming! I’ve been doing lots of prep in anticipation, cleaning, shopping etc. and am so very excited!” My immediate response was to write to say I was coming. How could I break my commitment at such short notice? It seemed thoughtless, selfish and unfair. I decided I would go but then recalled my commitment to draw a rune. I hesitated then realized that I had no choice. There was no point in committing to live a certain way then ignoring it. I sat and posed my question, “should I go on my trip to to Lac la Hache?” Tentatively I place my hand in the bag and extract the rune that came to hand. When I am asking a yes or no question, I accept an upright symbol as a yes and reversed symbol as a no. I stare in dismay, Reversed Self – the rune was definitely not in favour.
I sat for a while and began to reflect on any reason why I should stay at home. One thing came to mind so I wrote to my friend: “how lovely to feel wanted. My first reaction was to come regardless however you likely appreciate that decision-making is never that easy for me. I woke this morning feeling uncertain; I also noticed some plantar fasciitis, not good for foot exercise. I decided that I would accept whatever guidance my soul imparted to me. I truly attempt to follow the affirmation, “I will to will thy will” and the rune I drew Reverse Self suggested to me I was not supposed to go. There are a couple of possible explanations. I have two friends from my spiritual community coming to Vancouver this weekend and one is staying here. Both expressed dismay that I had decided to go out of town. I felt comfortable about my decision at the time but this week a dear friend of all of ours died unexpectedly. It is possible that I am supposed to be here to do some grieving with them. However I am not going to decide yet, tomorrow I will draw a second rune then call you with the final outcome.”
I did my best to surrender the ultimate decision to my higher self. My equanimity got further challenged when I began to develop distinct signs of a head cold. I found myself bargaining with my higher self, “look I won’t go if you don’t want me too; I don’t need a cold to discourage me.” Perhaps the decision was already clear and I was in resistance. The next morning I woke with a very clear dream fragment. I had gone onto a restaurant and asked for a table to myself. They seated me in a good location but just after I sat down someone I knew came up and asked me to join their group. I was a little reluctant but thought it would be impolite to refuse. The moment I reached the new group I knew I had made a mistake: it was huge; they were noisy, and playing silly games. I felt myself shuddering then woke up.
It seemed clear to me that the dream was related to my current dilemma; if I get pulled from my centre, I will regret it. The final rune was Reverse Separation. I picked up the phone and called my friend and to my delight she totally understood. It would have been one thing not to come because of weather, another altogether to be following my deepest wisdom. I realized that the weather had just been a signpost along the way and when I checked the forecast after our call, it had resumed to being perfect. So synchronicity, serendipity, intuition and dreams cooperated to point the way. My plantar fasciitis diminished, my cold symptoms dissipated, I had a chance to grieve with my friends and because I was in town I connected with a new client. What a strange wonderful cosmos we live in.