Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? I remember being asked that at an interview once and responded with, "In Your Job?" - needless to say I was not asked back for a second interview, which was disappointing because I thought they would have recognised, and rewarded, my ambition from my, albeit rather cocky, answer. I actually don't even know where I am going to be in 5 minutes time, the joy of living in the present, embracing each magical moment of life, happy to be surprised and inspired by fresh perspectives.
Last week, I had the opportunity to try out for one of 8 Forestry Apprenticeships, the chances were slim from a great many candidates. I had been drawn to working outdoors, in the forest, since I was a kid I believe, loving working with my hands and volunteering many times over the last few years on farms, homestays and other projects where I could be creative. However, that dream was shelved when younger, for a 'career' where the 'money was better'.
I signed up for a Trees For Life week a few years ago in Glen Affric, and then had another epiphany last year when volunteering with them again at Dundreggan. The smell of the forest alive in my senses, a deep sense of connection following a year of Mindfulness training - a real belief that this was my 'calling' - Park Ranger, Forester, Land Management. I was unsure of the actual role but applied anyway, and was accepted for an HNC in Countryside and Environment Management with the Scottish Rural college. When I returned from travel I deferred this option, largely due to the heavily academic, and non-specific, path those studies might lead to, but also because I was guided to do so in a Shamanic Journey during an Initiation. It would also take a whole year of my life, with only self-employed pay where I could get it from my Therapeutic services and no guarantee of future employment within the industry.
When the option came up just 1 month later, to apply for the Scottish Forestry Commission, and then being accepted past the first stage, I thought..."Ah Universe...you had this planned out for me all along". Despite being one of the oldest applicants in a sea of youthful exuberance, I was also youthful in my mind, body was in good shape, confident. I had management skills, attention to detail, good with my hands, would see things through to the end when others cried enough, and was enthusiastic. In fact, I'm probably over-qualified for an Apprenticeship 🙂
Our group completed the assigned tasks with ease, unlike some of the other groups, so I was confident, having shown management and hands-on skills. I also nailed the interview part, impressing with my answers...ahhh, the ego was already taking over. I had actually visualised already working with them, being outdoors, feeling the wind and rain in my face, learning new skills and living remotely, at one with nature.
I received the call yesterday, via voicemail..."Sorry, thanks but no thanks, grateful for you to apply etc etc". I switched off listening, hung up, and who knows what might still happen right? Ahh, optimism my old friend. Maybe I was 9th on the list and could benefit from a late drop-out. However, I felt my age counted against me, understandable I guess as they are looking for fresh blood, youth and looking to the future. It would have meant starting in January, moving somewhere away from Glasgow, as I look to finalise the ending of a long-term relationship and sale of our flat in the New Year. Synchronicity, I thought - it's all going to work out, being in a state of flow rewarded with a lifelong dream being realised.
The disappointment I felt did not last long, for a simple reason. Although I had envisioned an outcome, journaled about it, pictured it - I did not become too attached to the end result. I held onto it lightly, like the Rizla paper when I smoked a rare roll-up cigarette with my fellow, nervous team-mate Kathy on the day of the 'auditions'. She stayed at the same Bed and Breakfast, we were in the same team, had the same interview time and even gave me a lift back to Edinburgh - the synchronicity that day was on full throttle - the inspiring, spiritual and energetic conversations with herself and her partner was an uplifting way to spend the 3-hour journey back home. At least if anything, I may have inspired this couple to follow a more spiritual path or at least experiment more.
Sometimes, we can feel that we have some element of control over an outcome, fact is we can't really control anything, apart from our response. My immediate reaction was obviously, "F**K it - their loss" and indeed I know deep down that it is, but my response was more mindful and accepting. Within 2 minutes my new love accidentally called me, she sensed something in my voice, another sign that the love I feel with this intuitive 'twin-flame' is real, raw and in alignment with the flow of nature.
My love said she was going shopping for Tarot cards in Waterstones, of course she was, another synchronicity and our mutual love for spirituality and all things mystical. Although I longed to see her, I did not want her to see this disappointed version of me, having been largely positive in our first 2 blissful weeks together. However, 2 minutes later, excitement took over, she is, after all, my medicine and reminder to trust in myself and the bigger picture, which I tend to need reminding of, that this is just all happening for a bigger purpose. Rushing down the stairs at Waterstones, I was grateful to catch her, cards in hand and warmth in her embrace.
We spent some time together, she gave me an amazing card reading, and then she gifted me a copy of keys to her flat! I'm moving in on Monday.
I am so blessed to have met and to share this magnificent adventure with a wonderful soul, she is my Cloud Atlas and I've waited so long to meet her again, that there was no doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do. When well-meaning friends and my own 'thinking brain' yells..."It's too soon Dave, it's only been 2 weeks"...my Spirit Animal, the Pegasus Tahini shouts loudly - "You have been waiting a lifetime for her, it's not too soon dude - go for it". I have learned to trust his courageous voice.
So this phoenix will be rising from the ashes of disappointment to bring forth excitement, nervousness, a new flow and many fresh adventures. I also get to spend so much more time with this very special woman, a mindful soul, finding and learning more about each other and sharing our life together, in each and every special, present moment.
The lesson I learned from this experience is 2-fold -:
1) Experiment. When faced with options, try them all but don't get 'married' to the idea of any one of them. For sure try your best but you can't force anything, be open to any, and all, possibilities and trust that whatever unfolds is exactly what needs to. Always be present, in the moment, to the emotions and wisdom that is arising, to guide you along many different paths - we don't just have one, we can walk many paths in life and we don't know how any of them are going to unfold. Just simply be in the now.
2) Trust 100% in Your Intuition. Let it guide you, be alive to it and don't let fear or other people's ideas stop you from believing in that gut feeling when it is tugging at you. Life is too short to mess about, take chances, relish in the unknown and 'not knowing' - embrace uncertainty and as I wrote in yesterday's post - break through comfort zones and recognise when discomfort needs to be transformed to comfort.
So, I will not be in the forest, I will not be breaking my back lifting heavy equipment and working in all weathers - or maybe I will be in some other way. For now though I am simply being present, in the here and now, with my Gemini twin, walking our many paths together, hand in hand, arm in arm, entwined in the many delights the universe has to offer us independently, and as a divine couple.
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