The journey starts that day you wake up and wonder what is going on in your life.
That’s the day you realize there has to be more to life than whatever you’ve been doing.
It’s the day you start questioning whether what people are telling you is the truth. It’s the day you stop being one of the herd.
That ‘day’ may dawn on you over a period of years or it may arrive as an unexpected life event you can’t fail to notice.
For me, that day came when I was in my mid-thirties.
I walked away from a successful career in teaching and spent a year failing as an insurance agent before taking a year out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home father to our two small boys. My wife rejoined the workforce and allowed me the space to explore what was going on. It was great having her support when things were unravelling in my life.
They were the outward signs. Inwardly, I was questioning my place in the world and my purpose in life. Those were the days of me describing my life as dull, colourless and boring. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or what I was supposed to be doing with it.
During that period, we discovered Transcendental Meditation and I read A Course in Miracles. In fact, I spent that year working my way through the lessons of A Course In Miracles each morning after I’d taken the boys to school.
I don’t remember how A Course in Miracles came to my attention. Maybe it was through Jerry Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear which I know I didn’t purchase but ended up reading when I found it on the bookshelf.
The meditation practice introduced me to silence.
It took a while to get the hang of it. I’d sit for twenty minutes and really have no idea where I’d been. My awareness was going some place my conscious mind couldn’t or wouldn’t go. It was very relaxing. It was an introduction to inner peace, a dimension without turmoil.
After a year of studying A Course in Miracles, I could no longer hold onto some of the beliefs that had directed my life. That’s when works by authors like Hans Kung, Matthew Fox, John Shelby Spong, Richard Rohr, John O’Donohue, Neil Douglas-Klotz, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wayne Dyer, Tara Bach, Cynthia Bourgeault, Paul Ferrini, Eckhardt Tolle, Deepak, Chopra and Osho found their way into my library.
That was the first time I crossed the start line.
At the end of that year, I rejoined the workforce in a bank, got interested in calligraphy, Celtic studies and studied accounting.
Life was happening on the surface but it was also happening in those unseen places when I meditated or read or discussed ideas with my wife. This was the period of being a reluctant mystic. I was on the path but I was dragging my feet and letting myself be distracted.
Then, about fifteen years ago, I needed something to read on a plane while I was flying to Brisbane and I picked up a copy of The Way of The Heart magazine.
I’d been ambushed by Life.
In that magazine, I came across the Way of Mastery material which I’ve been studying ever since. It’s not the only material I read but it’s become my benchmark. It’s from the same source as A Course in Miracles but in a language I find easier to understand.
I realized I’d crossed another start line when I found myself writing the articles that became My Life is My Responsibility: Insights for Conscious Living.
Those words came from that other dimension you can only access through meditation and listening. When I was writing those articles, it often felt like I was sitting at the computer watching words appear. That’s an interesting feeling, knowing you have tapped into universal consciousness.
On reflection, I don’t think you can stop the journey once you start, even if you think you can. I’ve been a reluctant mystic and here I am, still on the path.
That still small voice is always talking to you even when you’re doing your best to ignore it. In the end, you can’t ignore it because it’s the voice of Love calling you home, and Love is very persistent.