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Making a choice is only the beginning of the adventure

blog 10.15

This post comes to you from the Nashville airport. Where I have three hours to go before I meet my friend Sara and her family so we can go see a Motley Crue show.

So far, this story is probably boring. But bear with me. Because I am fairly certain it applies to you.

On the plane, I started reading the book “The Alchemist,” which is one of those books that has been recommended to me a million times, but I just never got around to reading. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what the word “Alchemist” meant and I was judging the book by the (word) cover. But for some reason, when I saw the beautiful 25th anniversary version on my friend Jodi’s counter the other day, I knew it was a sign. It was finally time for me to read the book.

If you haven’t read the book, basically, it’s a story of a man’s (and of Man’s) personal journey. Of choice. Of fulfillment. Of following the signs/omens in order to live the life you’re meant to live…of having your own Personal Legend. This is what I’ve gathered from being halfway through the book as of writing this.

I just read this passage, and it sent me into a long string of thoughts, those of which I’m sharing with you here. Here’s the passage:

“Making a decision is only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” (Tweet this)

And this made me scan my brain of some of the decisions I’ve made, and the currents that took me places I had never dreamed.

Deciding not to go to grad school (the first time) to move to LA and be in a rock n roll band. Deciding not to go to grad school (the second time) to become a Life Coach. Deciding to leave my ex four years ago, falling for an unavailable cowboy, almost making the choice to stay around a town I didn’t like at all to see if said cowboy would come around, deciding to move to Costa Rica instead because I knew in my heart it was not the time to make a decision for an unavailable boy…again, deciding to get into an RV and travel and a million other choices along the way that led me to where I am right this second, sitting in the airport waiting for Sara.

But before all that, I made many choices. Some big. Some small. Some in my head. A lot in my heart. And I’ve followed the signs all along the way.

And I wonder, how many of our choices are leading us on a beautiful path that we don’t even recognize or appreciate because they’ve taken us on a strong current that is carrying us to places we never would have dreamed or thought we wanted?

I believe this happens when things don’t go the way we want them to. When we don’t have the perspective of the bigger things at play here that are actually working in our favor. All we can see is “it’s not working out.” And if only we were able to know and trust that this is just the current we’re currently on, that we would feel peace?

One year ago (literally to the day) I made a choice that changed my life and put me on a new current. I decided to go visit my friend Therese in Boise. For no apparent reason. I didn’t know her that well. It wasn’t particularly close to where I was, with a full 8 hour drive. I had a million other things going on in my life. But yet, I just felt like I needed to go.

I almost turned around multiple times on the drive down, as we were having a bad snowstorm that day and the road out of town was slippery and windy. But I forged on.

While I was there. I met a boy. On the street. Our eyes locked and in that instant, everything changed. For both of us. Nothing would ever be the same again. But not in the way you might think though. This isn’t a love story with a fairy tale ending.

We starting dating. Even though an entire country separated us. We had our first dreamy date in Central Park, NY. Our second date on the beach in Miami. Our third date cuddled in the snow in Montana. And a million love letters in between. We went where neither of us had ever gone before.

It was intense. And beautiful. And then…just like that, it all ended. Not in a burst, but in a slow burning fire that just grew and grew until it blew up and disappeared. I spent half of this entire year broken hearted. And the other half on a wild adventure with this man I met on the street after making the decision to go to Boise for no apparent reason.

It’s been easy to feel like I wished we never would have met. That I wished I would have turned around on that icy road. Then I would have saved myself from the pain of the last six months. Or maybe I could have done x differently, or seen y sooner. If only….

Maybe I could have left New York and never seen him again. But had I done any of those things, my heart wouldn’t have been cracked open. I wouldn’t have learned about love. Priorities. And that work is not actually the most important thing in life. And that when your loved ones need you, nothing else is more important. To say “I love you” instead of just think it.

To follow my instincts in the beginning. To be more honest. I wouldn’t have learned to soften. To look at myself and my decisions and choose whether or not I wanted to continue being that way or if I wanted to change something. I probably wouldn’t have fallen in love with yoga, and meditation and kundalini. I wouldn’t have seen some old wounds that weren’t actually healed like I thought they were. I wouldn’t have had to lay my sword down, ego bruised, and give it all up to the Universe. Surrender.

Would I have rather not spent the past six months holing up, crying, and in pain? Yeah. But do I believe that in doing so I will now be a better partner, friend, daughter and sister. Yes. And is that worth it? Absolutely. On this path it is.

This is all part of the current. A piece of the pie that makes up my own epic personal journey. Making the decision to go is only the beginning.

And it’s in the saying yes that allows the adventure to begin. (Tweet this!)

It takes courage to be the type of person that is willing to hop aboard the unknown waters that will inevitably happen. And in those moments of choice, therein lies that nagging voice that is telling you to stay on shore. To turn around and go home. To not ruffle the feathers.

“You got a good thing going on, why mess it up?”

But for some of us, and I don’t know why, we have that itch. We want to see what’s on the other side of the hill. We want to experience ALL that we know we’re meant to experience. Even if it’s painful. (You too?)

I don’t know exactly what agreements I’ve made with the Universe in this life or any of my past ones. But I know for sure that I’ve signed on the dotted line to learning it all and becoming what I’m meant to become.

And sometimes that means getting swept up in a current that tosses you on your ass for six months or more. Or that causes you a ton of tears and pain. So that when you’re done, you can rise up a bit more broken-open, allowing more light in and love to come out.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t make these contracts. Sometimes I wish I had just decided that I wanted a simple life. With simple pleasures, like gathering water from my well in the morning and having like 8 babies. Part of me does. But a part of me has the huge desire to EXPLORE. Myself, others, life. And because of that, sometimes the waters are rough. And sometimes I feel sad and lonely. But I also get to see what’s on the other side of the hill.

We never know where our choices will lead. They might lead to you playing on stage in front of thousands of people or they might lead to heartbreak. And you always have the choice of which way you want to play it. Every single moment gives us an opportunity to choose and it’s in that choice that makes all the difference.

And so you might be at a crossroads. You might be looking ahead at your fork in the road, not knowing which way to go. And you are going to want me (or someone else) to give you the answers. But I can’t. Because only you know what contracts and agreements you’ve made. Only you know what kind of explorer you came here to be. And the truth is you probably already know the answer, and if it challenges your safety (real or perceived) in any way, that’s probably why you’re conflicted. Because you want it. And it doesn’t make much logical sense. So if this is you, I do have some advice for you:

* Follow the signs

* Use your intuition and your body as your compass

* Keep your bigger picture in mind

* If there is a voice telling you to do it, do it

* If you’re willing to get tossed around a bit, you’re strong enough to handle it

And if you’re ever feeling alone, know you’re not. There is a whole slew of people just like you. Explorers. Truth seekers. Peaceful Rebels. Lovers. Diehards. And people who want to make a difference by living out their own personal legend. You are not alone.

And so I’m curious, dear Wildheart, what are you choosing right now?

What are you facing? Which crossroad are you up against? What is the next thing on your plate? I would love to hear in the comments below. Are you conflicted? Scared? Worried?

Share in the comments below.

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19 Responses to Making a choice is only the beginning of the adventure

  1. Jen Vertanen says:

    This is beyond wise and beautiful. I have that itch too and it sure makes life one helluva ride :). Love you lady xoxo.

    • Sally Hope says:

      Thank you so much lady. And I knew we were “itch” sisters from the very beginning. :) Bumpy ride. For sure.

  2. Cuddling in snow? Sounds cold…and wet…and cold…

  3. Patsy says:

    ‘The Alchemist’ – read it when I was forty years old; a high school English and Drama teacher who professed to her students – ‘follow your heart, your instincts…listen and watch for signs to lead you’…
    I sat under a majestic maple tree in my yard and made a choice – to quit teaching, and pursue my acting career. That was 16 years ago – I am not a movie star nor do I have a permanent job. Were there adventures and many, many more choices that may be perceived as ‘unusual, or downright dumb’…..yes – and there continues to be. I too know that I signed on that dotted line to experience ALL that is drawn to me….some moments I wonder why!

    • Sally Hope says:

      Oh girl I’m with you!! A lot of times I ask myself “why am I doing this? What’s the point? Does it REALLY make me happy?” And in those moments I know I have a choice to choose something different. And I don’t. I think I’ll keep doing what I’m doing until I don’t want to anymore. And WOW! What a brave choice YOU made. You’re not alone!

  4. Al says:

    Thank you so much for this. You have NO IDEA how much I can relate because of things going on in my life at the moment. I really needed to read this today!

  5. Pam Dakan says:

    It almost sounds as if this blog post was written for me. I moved from San Francisco to Portugal two years ago, leaving behind two grown teenage boys to find my way, find some answers, but so far I have yet to find them. I fell in love, and have stayed in Portugal for longer than I had intended…but now I am realizing that this country is not for me, and that every day my light dims a little, and that perhaps it is time to go back to my community, of positive, bright, inspiring people…I have been contemplating all this…stay for love, and not enjoy where I am living and only be half the person I know I can be, or just pack up and go and risk not finding someone as loving and caring as this man? And then, your e-mail with this blog post shows up in my inbox today…coincidence? A sign? Sigh. I am at a crossroads.

    • Sally Hope says:

      It WAS written for you! And your choices led you to reading it on this very day that you needed to. I have a feeling your gut knows the answer to your crossroads. :)

  6. Sally, just thank you! What you wrote is so beautiful, so true, a bit sad and a lot fun… just like life?
    And special thanks for revivifying The Alchemist to me. I remember reading it in my early twenties and nodding to each and every word, but then I somehow almost forgot what a gift this book is.

  7. Dana says:

    The Alchemist is one of my favorite books! The first 3 song Demo that I made I called it “Personal Legend” :)

    It’s funny-for me, thinking about the fact that every decision I make can lead me somewhere different is overwhelming. That’s why I am so indecisive! I feel like every decision can change the course of my life.

    And so, I try to follow my heart and my gut and listen to my inner guide. Not always easy. But I’ve mentioned before that letting go of the attachment to the outcome is HUGE for me. I can put the intention out there, make a decision and hope for the best.

    But having faith and trusting that the universe really does have your back has been very freeing. When you’re in the middle of a heartbreak for example, it’s really hard to see, but again I am constantly asking “What can I learn from this?” .

    And also I try to console myself with the fact that the universe has a bigger better plan-and if he’s not your guy, it’s because someone better is on his way… or it’s not the right time.

    I applaud your willingness to fall so hard and from where I stand it seems like an awesome story and connection. Something better is on the way, my friend!:)

    Thanks for sharing the story!

    all my love,

    • Sally Hope says:

      Lady I totally get that about every decision having so much weight!! And a part of this story that I TOTALLY forgot was when I was sitting in my apartment trying to decide if I should go or not and I literally had the thought “but what if I meet the love of my life while I’m there?” And I remember thinking that I didn’t want to lead with that feeling because I didn’t want to be disappointed.

      It’s all so interesting. I do believe, like you, that there is a bigger picture at play and in those painful moments it IS so hard to remember that.

      Thank you so much for your comments. So beautiful!

  8. Ruth says:

    After a very traumatic week health wise my husband and I had a big discussion. Your post could have been written directly for me. I’m still not sure what do and I i can’t hear my gut loud enough for the fear that’s drowning it out. I’m an art teacher with two small children and I work as an artist in the very limited time I have left. Although I love the actual teaching part the beauracracy and self centred colleagues are making me miserable. If I go full time as an artist then financially it will be very tough but I would in control and in the long run I hope it would make me happier. Every message in your post screamed at me to just do it but I have more than just me to think of now. Thank you for making me think and allowing me to ramble! Xxx

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Ruth…gosh thank you so so much for your comment and I first want to say that I’m so sorry that you’ve been going through some tough times recently. I’m holding healing thoughts for you in my heart.

      I also hear you about not knowing what the gut is actually saying. I run into that sometimes too, and it’s usually in the time between my thoughts and action where I find the answer. I use meditation to help me calm some of my thoughts so that I can hear messages. Let me know if you’d ever like me to share more about that, as I’m definitely not here to push meditation (or anything else for that matter) on someone else.

      Part of me feels like the answer is already there and is already speaking to you. Just a thought. :)

  9. Dani Buckley says:

    Right now – I am choosing to embrace the pain and heartache I am feeling after losing my Dad. The confusion, the sadness, the I wanna punch someone in the faceness… but also the happiness, the light, the I’m going to be okay.

    If anything I’m choosing to allow myself to be confused and all over the place – I’m not trying to make myself feel anything in particular. I will be happy sometimes, I will be so tired and sad sometimes… and sometimes I’ll just want to sleep.

    In the past, I’ve tried to push myself to put on a front… Don’t make people uncomfortable by being sad. Or don’t be too happy because you’re supposed to be sad. but I’m not doing that now, and I’m glad.

  10. Trisha Condo says:

    Hi Sally,

    I’ve been there. I met a french man. He changed my life for the better. I’m a psychic medium and I don’t see things for myself of the path ahead for me. We were in a bad relationship full of addiction and he was quite abusive and cruel. He was my greatest teacher.
    I ended it. Ever since then, I quit drinking and became more psychic. I suspect that you’re heading to a better spiritual path, Sally.
    We all diverge, grow, and evolve. If I hadn’t met this man, I wouldn’t be who I am at this present time. I did thank him for being in and out of my life.
    I wish you all the best,

    Hugs, Trisha.

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