Do I even want to take this detour?

Yesterday, something happened that had my full attention for a while and I felt I should act on it, that it would be of benefit to others if I spoke out and became a ‘do-er’, a campaigner, about this thing…and so I did what felt immediately helpful and decent to do in the situation (rather than just ‘walk on by’) and then I felt into whether I should take it a stage further, start drumming up public awareness, making this matter ‘my thing’, organising and coordinating attention. Could I really make a difference in the world if I went this route more than I had already done, if I made it a cause? What would that mean in terms of the sacrifices to my own joy, my time, my resources, the places I choose to put my focus, the ways I prefer to spend my days. Then I left it ‘out there’ and refocused on what was happening in the moment, which was some special time spent with loved ones (it is Christmas after all) doing family things. This morning, it felt as though I had my answer and I was ready to let my fleeting idea go, could already see an alternate timeline in which I made this a ’cause’ and noticed how I was not in my joy in that place, that it felt like surrender of much that is important to me. I noticed it felt lighter to remain where my heart stays wide open; where it is allowed to remain responsive to an infinite amount of opportunities in each moment as it unfolds rather than intensively specialised or channelled in this one particular direction or trying so hard to make a difference on the subject of one particular issue that could direct my energies in a whole different way to what feels good and expansive.

What was so interesting was that this wasn’t the only time that such a fork in the road had presented to me in the space of several days and, each time, I learned such a lot from being the conscious observer to how I processed my next step and was able to realise how different the outcome could have been in each direction, without having to go there or even divide my efforts. I had my answer in advance – and it came from the way each direction made me feel when I considered it.

Never has a deep sense of innate guidance to lead us through the maze felt more necessary (or more inherently available, if we only tune in and then let it be heard over the noise) than in this twenty-first century world, where multiple things scrabble for our attention, all of the time. Not only do we encounter a constant onslaught of challenging situations in our physical world and feel like we must juggle, or rebuff, the constant and often contradictory demands made of us by family and colleagues but things pop up in our newsfeed and emails every time we switch on our technology. These things can be extraordinarily compelling – after all, they are generated by other people who are following their own particular genius flow, tuning into their own inspiration and living in their unique passion zone; which is wonderful, for them. It can be so easy to forget that we each have our own unique viewpoint, our particular spin, our strong points, our speciality; that unique angle at which we meet the world, cog intersecting with cog, in such a way that is perfectly geared to our particular skill set, our core interests and realising our highest potential. If we don’t take pause and give that our fullest attention, at every choice point, then no one else will and, put quite simply, we didn’t all come here to do the same things in exactly the same way and at the same times.

Everywhere we look, offers, invitations and causes vie for our attention and people draw us into their discussions and focal points…so do we accept, do we immediately put down what we were doing or thinking or processing a moment before because that thing is calling to us now? If our mood was ‘up’ do we allow something coming in at us from outside to bring us ‘down’ and, even if that thing calling us over is positive and profoundly interesting, but not what we were innately focusing upon a moment earlier, do we surrender to it as though we have no choice but to drop where we were and recalibrate? Do we allow that it may all be very intriguing but maybe its just not the right time for us at this moment; that if its really ‘for us’ it will come around again when the time is just right? Do we obsess that if it has arisen in our field of experience it must be an opportunity (it may well be – but that opportunity could, equally, be the realisation that we have the option to say ‘no’)? If we were ever interested in this stuff, or in some sort of conversation with this person, community or source of information, do we assume we must ‘go there’ whenever summoned in case we miss out on something important? Or offend? Or get left behind? Or do photo-1445711005973-54fe2a103826-2we breathe into it and check-in with ourselves about whether that focus feels right at this time? Do we honour where our own preoccupations and preferences were taking us just a moment earlier or do we sideline them; allowing ourselves to become distracted and, perhaps, diluting or even completely mislaying our own source of divine inspiration?  In an improbable attempt to honour everyone and avoid hurting feelings, do we spread ourselves so very thinly or do we prioritise where our own heart was leading us and go there unwaveringly, welcoming in the undiluted inspiration that is uniquely geared for our own highest joy, our exact preferences and our very best and most fulfilling experience? Do we even allow that the only thing we need ever become the specialist in, the flag-waver for, is our self and our own best version of life, led by the heart and, very probably, reinventing which way it wants to go in each moment, without any long-term contracts, strings or cords running in the background?

Right now, I’m feeling called to follow that heart-path as unwaveringly as I know how, trusting that no harm, no disappointment, no mistake or missed opportunity can ever derive from such a path. With each new step I am taking, I find I am getting better and better at it, that the old fears of getting my footing wrong somehow are falling away like scales to reveal a shining new possibility beneath. We all know how to follow our own best path and this has nothing whatsoever to do with weighing up pros and cons with our minds; its an insider job and more to do with ‘gut’ than mind. We can easily tell when we are on track because excitement starts to fizz in the stomach, we notice how all those most lovely, relaxed, creative feelings start to flow unimpeded again and how our innate power starts to rise up like a warm dancing flame from the base of the spine. Life becomes a divinely-led dance of incredibly good feelings and jaw-dropping synchronicity as we start to show up in just the right places at exactly the right time for the perfectly unexpected to happen. This can only happen when we are listening closely to our own tune and, when outside things seek our attention, tuning into them for just long enough, maybe even just a few seconds, to receive all the best guidance we could ever need to decide how much further we invite that thing into our experience as we step into our our own, next, best place. I am going there right now.

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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