I was on the phone last night with a dear friend of mine who has always had this feeling she would move from the US to the city of romance: Paris. She’s even had dreams about it.
So she tells me last night (again), “I feel like I’m going to be in Paris. But I just don’t know when or how. If it’s meant to be, it will happen.” This passive phrase coming out of the mouth of a strong woman already in mid-life surprised me. If not now, then when?
I responded, “May I gently challenge that assumption?”
“Yes of course.”
“‘If it’s meant to be’ isn’t enough; it will happen when you make a choice.”
“Ha! Ok… but I don’t have a big stash of money.”
“I didn’t either when I made the leap overseas.”
“Really? I assumed you did. Well, what would I do with my cat?”
“Bring the cat. Really, is that the only thing stopping you?”
She looks at me with both fear and delight visible on her face.
“I could really do this, couldn’t I?”
Yes, my dear friend. YES!
What’s stopping you?
What stopped me for decades was an assumption that these magical, fabulous lives that people led were… not for me. I didn’t even question whether or not I could actually move overseas. The desire was more like a wish that had made a comfy nest in a small corner of my mind, accepting that it would be her destiny to stay there.
What’s worse: I’d convinced myself that I didn’t even know what I really wanted because the best options (roaming the planet, photography, writing, coaching) were for someone else. Those options were already taken, and it was “too late for me.” What lay within my personal realm of possibility in this tiny box that I called reality? Nothing fulfilling, as it turned out.
Inshallah… if God wills. If magic happened and someone handed me an opportunity and a pile of cash on a silver platter, then I’d know it was really for me. I’d go along for the ride. “If it’s meant to happen, it will be.” All of my perceived barriers would miraculously be removed. Fingers crossed!
It’s all within our reach
So how do we get out of our boxes? How do we even know the right thing to choose? I’ve written before on the practical how-to’s of finding yourself, which is the prerequisite to knowing your path… but today I want to talk about something else.
I want to talk about faith and enchantment.
I bet that surprised you. I bet when you read “if it’s meant to be isn’t enough,” you assumed that I’d be taking an uber-rational approach to making things happen… right? And while I have a reputation for doing exactly that, here’s what I know to be true… and I’m confident that my friend (who lives a more enchanted life than I ever will) knows it as well:
There’s a big difference between passive wishing and active faith.
- A passive wisher stays in her comfort zone; an active faither says YES to opportunities not knowing what will happen, but having faith that something magical will come of it. (Is faither evan a word? well it is now…)
- A passive wisher has limited her vision to what she can see; an active faither navigates life like a bat… feeling into the next step, guided by intuition and the pull of her soul.
- A passive wisher is boxed in by the practical; an active faither lives an enchanted life, expecting — and therefore receiving — the hard-to-explain coincidences, clues and gifts that she needs to fulfill her path.
- A passive wisher feels like she has to push boulders up hill to make things happen. An active faither enters the flow; she knows that the right things come easily, and she simply needs to put herself out there to find them.
- A passive wisher wants to believe in destiny and says things like “if it’s meant to be, it will happen.” An active faither believes in destiny and chooses it to happen.
Faith without action is a wish… and wishes have no power. A meaningful life overflowing with joy is within reach. The only thing stopping any of us is the choice to see the world differently — from our hearts instead of our heads — then taking the next step based on that limited yet accurate sight. And the next, and the next…
And what happens when we do that is… magical. People, answers, opportunities, even parking spots! appear as if conjured out of thin air. We live an enchanted life on faith. But it can only happen if we are active participants in the process. My logical left brain tries to explain it away, but my soul knows better. My soul knows when I’m in the flow.
May 2020 be the year you decide to reawaken the sense of possibility that perhaps you had as a child. To start unshackling yourself from burdens that are not yours to carry, and begin saying YES to what life has to offer.
The photo in this post is from my 6-week stay in the small fishing village of Essaouira, on the coast of Morocco. It’s here that it finally sunk in: I’m doing it. I’m doing what I’d always wanted to do.