This meditation walk took place about three months after being laid off from a non-profit job, when I was just starting part-time contract work as an in-home therapist, and wondering about my “divine right work.” I was walking on two interconnected greenways near my home, and using hand weights to work my arm muscles in addition to my leg muscles. My usual routine on greenways is to release/fill during the first stage of the walk (this is where I use the hand weights), hold the silence (or ask an open-ended question) during the second stage, and express gratitudes during the third stage. Before the actual walk I set my intention, and afterwards I journaled. During this walk, my release was “self doubt” and my fill was “faith.”
What did I notice about me, about the environment? My body was strong, despite having fallen off my usual pattern of 2 to 3 meditation walks each week. I was “restarting” once again – and since I walk the local greenway using hand weights, I felt satisfaction that I was able to increase the weight, even though my body was sore at the end. I realized that I was still holding onto negative thoughts about the circumstances and people at the job I had been laid off from, and recognized that I needed to fully embrace the seemingly trite “let go and let God” as this was no longer mine to do. These thoughts arise from time-to-time, but each time with less energy and shorter duration. But, any time that they resurface, I remember that I need to fully trust that Spirit will handle it; that my thoughts and emotions no longer need to be hijacked; that I am free to fully let go. I was feeling doubtful that my “divine right work” could come from multiple, different streams of working and non-working income (an idea that has great promise and excitement for me), as it kept getting swallowed up by the common worldview of having a full-time, work-for-someone-else job. So, I mentally wrestled with my doubts (“not doable” … “stupid idea”). I was so internally focused on this walk, that I missed much of the here and now that surrounded me. My thoughts took center stage against the backdrop of a sunny day with crisp temperatures and a heart-soaring, Colorado-blue sky.
What top 3 things did I notice? And, what do I think they mean when viewed as symbols/metaphors?
1. At the beginning of the walk was a blue swallowtail butterfly. Then, at the end of the walk, there was another butterfly “leading me in” as if I was a jet and it was a ground crew member guiding me into an airport terminal gate. It led me for the last two blocks of the walk – from where the trail ended, up the street and into the final cul-de-sac.
An amazing amount of transformation (metamorphosis) is taking place. Keep the faith as you undergo this life transition! Accept the changes in your life casually, lightly, playfully. Natural flow trumps over trying to make it work (doing more, thinking more). This is a time of transition – keep the faith, from beginning to end.
2. I spent the silence asking myself what I do well; what I should take out into the world. As I was asking this two-part question, a fly landed on my right arm and I brushed it off. I chuckled as this reminded me of the horsefly story attributed to Abraham Lincoln, in reference to his oppositional cabinet members (Eric Butterworth, “Discover the Power within You,” page 88):
“Some years ago, I was passing a field where a farmer was trying to plow with a very old and decrepit horse. I noticed on the flank of the animal a big horsefly, and I was about to brush it off when the farmer said ‘Don’t you bother that fly, Abe! If it wasn’t for that fly this old hoss wouldn’t move an inch!”
I chuckled – my role is so clearly that of the horsefly getting others to move! I am that pesky person who challenges others to change, to do things differently. I am not one to settle for the status quo, or business as usual.
3. At some nearby townhouses, construction was underway to repair rotted sheds and fences. As I walked by the townhouses, the entire side of a shed was removed and its contents (table lamps) were in full view.
It’s time to open-up and let my inner light (authentic self) shine out into the world; and, it’s time to release that (rotted wood) which no longer serves me.
What ideas arose during the walk? And, what action do I need to take? I need to keep moving forward with ideas for multiple streams of income – to have faith that I can recreate my life differently than before. All of the ideas that I have for these streams need to keep moving (flowing) forward, not through hard work, but through holding them in mind, and trusting that the needed people, places, and opportunities will arise to move them along. I need to remember that one of my gifts is to challenge others to change, and helping them to do so, so this needs to be a theme song that plays in the background.