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The Path Shimmers

Recently I was reminiscing about my childhood and, particularly, about our family holidays. My dad had a habit of avoiding taking the direct route to our destination wherever possible. Abandoning the major routes and arteries through the English countryside, he would find some obscure signpost to goodness-knows-where, pointing to some tight, narrow little road, and head in that direction. Within moments of leaving the motorway, with all its sound, fumes and fury, we would find ourselves on leafy lanes, surrounded by fields and quiet, back in the spaces that breathe. Collectively, we would let out a sigh: the real holiday was now beginning. Following a fine tracery of tiny lanes, my dad would take us on the scenic route, slowly navigating us to our destination via old castles, hidden viaducts, beautiful villages with quaint tea shops, rivers we could paddle in and hills we could climb.

It was only when I was older that I realised that the place where we stayed in Northumberland was only 2 hours away by the ‘direct’ route. I came to love the scenic route.

Scenic and Sacred

In these times, we constantly look for the fastest and most efficient route from A to B. How have we come to think that straight and fast is more desirable, and what are we missing when we approach our journeys in such a linear way? What do we not see, experience, touch and be touched by when we speed through life in this way? And what happens when this bleeds into an aversion to taking the scenic route within our own psyche - when we eschew the languorous meandering road that would meet with equal wonder the beautiful, the unexpected, the disturbing and the mysterious within us and within life - and restrict ourselves to the regimented and efficient?

I so often hear people talking about being on or finding the ‘right path’ in life. I have done so many times myself. But I have come to see that what most of us mean by that is the safe path, the known path, the expected path … the reassuringly consistent path … Yes, it might well be swift and fluid, it has meaning and worth, and it ticks all sorts of boxes, but it lacks undulations and bends in the road, it lacks forks and detours. We get on it, switch on cruise control and off we go. Very little thinking or engagement required.

What if this is’t It? What if in our need to get things ‘right’, and be flowing and efficient, we are limiting ourselves to a trunk road experience of life? What if this isn’t the ‘right’ sort of road at all, but the path of least resistance where we are simply following ideas and notions invisibly woven into our minds by our culture and times? What if this has very little to do with Who We Are?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to outsource my choices - or the pathways of my life - to invisible beliefs and cultural norms. I want to breathe and be. I want to live in serendipity, to let life catch hold of me and, when necessary, turn me upside down and shake me a little.

I want it to be okay that the road I am on wiggles around and takes its time, looping me up hill and down dale, wending its own perfect way - and I don’t want to feel stressed about this or see this as ‘wrong’. I want to know that my human idea of the timing of things can fall away and that I can surrender my life to the beauty and wisdom of Divine timing.

I want to travel a path both scenic and sacred, and enjoy and trust in the way that it takes its own sweet time.

Image of beautiful paper hearts hanging from strings
Image courtesy of Ben Kerckx on Pixabay

A Different Way to Navigate

A few weeks ago, I had a series of experiences that showed me something rather lovely: I rarely make choices now based on what I think I should do; instead, I look for the direction that feels most resonant and alive. I think of this as following ‘the path that shimmers’.

What if the Divine had a way to show us the next sacred and scenic step - the step that is the most inclusive, liberating, soul-woven and love-spun, the one that invites us deeper into Life, deeper into Being? And what if, once we know what to look for, we can recognise this instantly in any set of circumstances and know without a doubt that if we take this path we will be in alignment with our deepest Self?

I believe the Divine has done just this. Whenever we are at a crossroads, however large or small, there will invariably be a choice that feels more alive and more congruent for us, that is an energetic match. This is true in any moment, in any set of circumstances. There will always be a choice that feels more fitting, that has resonance for us.

When we follow the resonant choice, surprising and beautiful things happen. They are not always what we think, the path does not necessarily lead where we would expect, we may even feel quite challenged at times. But this path has lifein it. It is juicy and rich and vibrant. It’s like the path of a poem - it has vigour and continuity in its lines. It invariably brings us to vistas and visions, castles, rivers, leafy lanes, serendipitous encounters and spaces that breathe …We are not talking about romantic love here. We are talking about the Sea of Love that we swim in at all times, under all circumstances, as spiritual beings. The oneness. The nature of the Universe.

Energetic Pathways

Our choices are always energetic.

It cannot be otherwise.

The circumstances we find ourselves in, the people involved, the events that are unfolding are all part the weave of our life in this moment. We are not separate from them or they from us: every thread comes from and to us. We stand at the centre of the weave, and we can feel the energetic weight and value of each thread without even thinking about it.

The beauty of this is that we do not have to figure out what to do with each one, or how to navigate each possibility. It would be mind-blowingly tedious, never-mind insane, to try and live like that (and yet, how often do we resort to this approach when facing the really big and important decisions in life?!).

Rather, we simply need to feel into the moment and the choice we face and we will get energetic feedback that is instantaneous, impeccable and utterly reliable. When I consider going this way what is the immediate energetic effect within me? Does it cause my energy rise - my emotions to lift, my body to relax, my mind to feel lighter? Or does it cause my energy to drop - my mood to lower, my body to tense, my whole being to feel heavier and more constricted? And how does this compare to going that way? This is energetic feedback.

When we take the way that feels energetically light and resonant, we take the shimmering path. This is not something pre-defined and expected, or a path we follow by rote. It is our individual path, emerging in this moment: alive, responsive and unknown. As we follow it, it takes us on a journey both sacred and scenic.

I would love to know how these musings have touched you. Please feel free to email me back with your thoughts and comments. Life is unimaginably beautiful and mysterious when we throw off old ideas about how we should do things, and begin to allow ourselves to feel and sense our way…

If you would like to hear a living example of this, I have just recorded another Healing Conversation with Ian Watson. Here, I share a recent experience of navigating my way energetically when faced with an unexpected and seemingly unwanted event in my life and, together, Ian and I explore how shocking or traumatic events can often end up being amongst our richest life experiences and offer us our deepest healing.

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