The past few days have been hard for me--so hard I can't even write about them, but as I continue to read Cheryl Richardson's book The Unmistakable Touch of Grace: How to Recognize and Respond to the Spiritual Signposts in Your Life, I am amazed at all the signposts that have entered my life in the past. Most of the time they seem to come and go with very minimal thought involved. However, those signposts are most definitely there.
Take my search for the perfect job. Over a year ago I read a book by Jack Canfield called Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction: A Simple Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams. What I liked best about the book is it had me work through several exercises which made me focus on where my biggest joys have come from and where my talents lay.
My biggest joys have come from three main areas in my life: my family (raising my children), writing, and teaching/leading. As my children are all teenagers now, they are quite independent and do not require much from me. BC (before children), I received recognition for some of my writing. I won a few school awards in grade school, always did well on my papers and was often told that my notes and letters were beautifully written. Then there was my other hidden talent--teaching/leading. While still in high school, I volunteered at many camps and ended up being a campfire leader at several of them. I enjoyed this tremendously, and I even got this great compliment from a lady who had literally helped write the campfire leaders manual for my church. In addition, I spent several summers during college working as a tour guide at a couple of church historic sites. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with other people and sharing my knowledge with them. Here too, I received positive feedback. The first summer I guided, I received college credit for a class on historic interpretation. Consequently, my professor went on several of my tours and always had great positive feedback for me. Guests on my tours also responded with enjoyment and appreciation. Tour guiding is by far the best job I have ever had.
Looking back, I see my campfire and tour guide experiences as signposts. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and interacting with the crowd. I received so much positive feedback. I was motivated and energized, and I have never felt so alive. Once my desire was in place, there did not seem to be any obstacles in my path. Doors opened up. These were definitely times in my life when I was doing what I was called to do.
There is one more element that I did not even recognize about these experiences until today. Both campfire leadership and tour guiding come with what I would call spiritual components. Campfires are designed to lead attendees from a place of fun to a place of contemplation and connection with Source (God). Tours lend themselves to reflection on what we can learn from the past to make our futures better.
There have been more recent signposts indicating my need for change. I have become increasingly frustrated at work. Even though I typically receive positive feedback from the parents of the children I teach, I usually feel like a fraud. My education is not in teaching, and when I compare myself to other teachers I feel there is so much more I could have done or should have done. Also, by the end of each school year I am usually so burnt out I feel like wringing most of my students little necks. Lately, I feel that way at the beginning of the school year as well--not a good sign.
What I can honestly see myself doing is becoming a motivational speaker and life coach. I really enjoy encouraging others to be the best people they can be. I want to help people learn, grow and expand their way of thinking. I desire to help them challenge their limiting beliefs and overcome obstacles. Working one-on-one or with a crowd is not a problem. In fact, I enjoy the challenges of a crowd.
I have told God I am open to His direction. I want to use the talents and gifts He has given me. I just need to see His signposts along the way. Whatever they are, I will follow.