photo taken by my talented sister, at thousandwordsphotography.ca
A few posts ago, I mentioned the winding path that one must take up the side of the mountain when the ascent is too steep for the ordinary wanderer.
That metaphor has been ringing so true for me recently, especially in this self-employment journey. Each time I think I’m on the right path, I hit a curve and find myself going in a different direction entirely, never really sure that the path will get me to the top.
When I left my job and started this journey, I was quite convinced that Sophia Leadership was the right path and that feminine wisdom and leadership were the passions that would drive my business. There were so many signposts pointing me along the path – whether it was a horse named Sophia, a fortuitous statue with the word “Sophia” engraved in it, or the amazing experience I had in a circle of women gathered by the lake for our Listening Well retreat.
But then the year ended and a new one began and I found myself feeling restless, knowing something was trying to be born. As it turned out, it was a memoir stretching the walls of my figurative womb, trying to push itself into the light of day. Without totally abandoning Sophia Leadership, I stepped away from some of the passion that drove it to give space for the book to emerge. The book is about my stillborn son and the way that he has been my spiritual guide in my life as I learned and relearned many lessons of surrender.
When the book was in the birth canal, and my primary focus was the labour pains of bringing it to life, I just didn’t feel much like writing about feminine wisdom or leadership and I no longer knew whether Sophia Leadership was the space I belonged. “All I want to do is write,” I thought. “And I don’t want to be restricted by these boxes. Not everything is about Sophia or about leadership.”
So I began to contemplate switching my blog to my heatherplett.com site and making it a more general space about personal growth and transformation and stillborn babies and surrender and LIFE.
But then I hit another switchback on the path. The first draft of the book got done and I started sharing it with a few trusted readers. And as I shared it, I started to realize that it really IS about feminine wisdom AND about leadership, and I really hadn’t switched paths after all.
A few other signs showed up as well. I facilitated an in-person leadership workshop and sat in a circle of people hungry for a new paradigm for leadership, eager to make a difference in the world, and uncertain they have the right to call themselves leaders. They were leaders in search of a guide to point them to the right path.
And then I facilitated an online leadership learning circle for How to Live with your Paint Clothes on, and the same thing happened. An incredible circle of women bravely voiced their calling to leadership of some kind and admitted they were unsure of how to do it and how to work outside the old paradigms of leadership we’re all surrounded with. More leaders in search of a guide.
And then I had an amazing conversation with Bridget Pilloud, and she pushed me kind of hard when I said I was thinking of giving up Sophia Leadership and told me that there is a huge need among women in leadership (including herself in a previous career) for someone to help them see their paths clear to a place where feminine wisdom is honoured and accepted.
Last but not least, Sophia spoke to me in a bookstore. It was one of those restless days when I couldn’t find a book to settle the angst that had taken up residence in my heart. I was wrestling with my wandering tendencies, and the winding path and wondering WHY OH WHY I couldn’t just settle into an ordinary easy path like other people. There were relationship things going on as well that reminded me of my tendency to be an outsider, always on the edge of the circle when others are smack dab in the middle having all the “easy” fun.
Flipping through an art magazine, I heard Sophia whisper “you are called to the edge.” Bam. Just like that. A proclamation that answered so much of my angst and unsettled feelings. “You are CALLED to the edge. This is not an accident.” I’m not SUPPOSED to be in the centre of the circle having easy fun. I’m not SUPPOSED to be one of the people who get called to seemingly easy and straight paths. I’m meant to be out here on the edge.
I am an edge-walker. I am most myself when I am at the edge of the circle where I can serve as witness both to the things going on inside the circle and those happening outside. I am a leader whose vision of what’s ahead on the path helps direct the people at the centre who have less clarity. I help people feel safe because they have a sentry at the edge. I serve as scribe, witness, and facilitator for the people in the centre because I am less attached to the gravity and ideas that pull everyone to the centre. I watch for dangers and I help people avoid them. I follow new ideas and new paths because I know the people in the circle need them.
The particular edge I am called to live on is the edge called Sophia Leadership. I feel more and more certain of that. Bringing feminine wisdom into leadership is edgy, difficult, and not always popular work, but the people in the centre NEED this work. Everywhere I look I see more and more leaders in search of a guide/mentor.
When I walked out of the bookstore, I felt simultaneously like a great burden (of unknowing, doubt, uneasiness) had been lifted off my shoulders, while a whole new burden of responsibility and calling had been added. But the burden was not mine to carry alone – Sophia God was there carrying it for me.
The clarity has carried me through to today. The top of the mountain is becoming a little more visible as I round this latest switchback. I’m not sure how “edge-walker” would play on a business card, but I know what it means to me, and that’s what matters.
In the spirit of being an edge-walker and guide, I am offering new services and clarifying some old ones. Thanks to the roadsigns, there’s more clarity to them than anything I had on this website before. Perhaps one of them will resonate with you. If you need guidance, or if you feel a similar call to the edge, I would love to work with you and serve as your guide.
You can find the buttons for these services on the right-hand side of this blog. Or click on the one that appeals to you below.
(By the way, I am totally in love with the photo my sister took at the top of this page. On my face you can see that perfect mix of seriousness with a hint of a smile, angst with a hint of devil-may-care, and strength with a hint of softness that makes me who I am, standing out here on the edge.)
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like making promises to myself that I’m sure to break.
For the last two years, however, I have been choosing a word for the year – something that sets my intention for a direction I want to head. Two years ago, I chose “fearless”, because I was in a place where I knew that I was letting fear hold too much power in my life. Sure enough, when you set an intention like that, the challenges show up to test your resolve. I was brought face to face with a lot of fears, some of which I met with the necessary courage, but some of which got the better of me.
Last year, because “fearless” had brought up a few too many big issues, I thought I’d be more gentle with myself, and simply accept what was meant to come. I chose “journey” as my word for 2010.
Little did I know just how far the journey would take me.
First there was the journey to a new way of being in my body. After years of contemplating it, I finally went for breast reduction surgery. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about deliberately changing my body in such a dramatic (and really rather violent) way, but in the end it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have been granted a new freedom, with less of a burden on my shoulders, more opportunity to wear the kinds of clothes I wanted to wear, and improved posture that made me feel better about the way I carried myself in the world.
The most beautiful outcome of my surgery has been that I have discovered a joy in running. I run at least 3 times a week, and it has become about so much more than simply seeking a more healthy body. When I run, I meditate, pray, and open space for my mind to explore beautiful possibilities. A lot of wonderful ideas come to me when I run.
A few months after my surgery, the journey took me (and my family) down an extremely rocky road. While I was in Chicago at a conference, my dear husband had a serious breakdown. I came home, hoping it would turn around, but it didn’t. His mind went to that ugly place that mental illness takes you, and when he couldn’t find peace, he attempted suicide.
Fortunately, the suicide attempt was unsuccessful, but we still had a rocky road to navigate on the way back to health. Trying to balance the needs of three daughters with the needs of a husband in the psychiatric ward is one of the heaviest burdens I have ever been called on to bear.
We all survived, however, and Marcel was soon on his way back to stability and health. Our daughters, too, showed strength and resilience, and before long, we felt like we had finally reached a smooth place on the road.
In June, I spent a life-changing week at ALIA (Authentic Leadership in Action) in Halifax. It was there that the seeds of Sophia Leadership began to sprout.
Summer was a good time for us. We camped, we went on road trips to soccer tournaments, and we spent a delightful, relaxed week at a borrowed cabin by the lake.
In the summer, I did what I’d been longing to do for about a year and a half, and that’s when the journey became really interesting. I handed in my notice at work. It was one of the scariest things to do, knowing we didn’t really have the financial security we needed to raise a family, but somehow it just felt right.
In one of those delightful moments of serendipity, within minutes of coming to the conclusion (together with Marcel) that it was time to give my notice, I got an email from the university inviting me to teach three courses in the coming year. It was just the sign I needed to convince me that I would be able to thrive in self-employment.
In October, I left my job and started a brand new journey into self-employment. The month of October was my transition/sabbatical month, and so I spent my time relaxing, reading, and meditating. Possibly my favourite moment of the year was when I traveled to Ontario to attend a circle/story workshop with one of my heroes, Christina Baldwin.
Since then, I have finished teaching my first course, and discovered that I LOVE to teach. I’ve also done some freelance writing, started this new blog, created my business website, joined the board of UNPAC, met with a lot of people, and explored a lot of possibilities.
This new self-employment journey is so many things rolled into one – it is exciting, challenging, fun, nerve-wracking, discouraging, frustrating, delightful, confusing, overwhelming, and freeing.
I wish I could say that now, three months after I left my job, I have it all figured out. But that would be a bald-faced lie. There is so much of this that still feels so frustratingly ambiguous and sometimes I beat myself up for not having more focused. At the same time, though, there are so many beautiful possibilities opening up that I know that it’s better not to trap myself into a narrow framework that will end up leaving me feel trapped.
One thing is for sure – given the way the last two years have gone, I am being very careful what word I choose for 2011! More on that later.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. – Psalm 51:6
I wish I could tell you that I am always, 100% sure that this new path I’m traveling on – the path that lead me to Sophia Leadership – is the right path and I am meant to be doing this work and everything is going to be alright.
It’s just not the case. There are days when the internal critics are throwing parties in my head. Days when I think I would be better off getting a “real” job. Days when I try to convince myself that I should just focus on promoting the skills I’ve proven in the workplace (communications) and make a living off that. Days when I think this stuff is just a little too “out there” and nobody’s going to get it (or at least not anyone who’s going to pay the bills).
I’m trying to be kind to those critics, give them an opportunity to speak what they feel they must, and then gently but firmly insist that they take up residence in some place other than my brain. Here’s a few of the conversations I’ve been having lately.
Internal critic #1: “You shouldn’t be doing this. People who know you are going to think you’ve gone off the deep end, rejected your Christianity and taken a dive into some woo-woo cult of the feminine divine. You don’t want to embarrass yourself that way, do you? Why not just stick to comfortable old paradigms that don’t make you look too wacko?”
Me: “Dear critic, I know you mean well and you just want to help me save face. Thanks for caring. But the truth is that the old paradigms just never fit very well, and I can’t live authentically if I don’t question them. No, I haven’t rejected Christianity – just take a closer look in the Bible and you’ll find Sophia all over the book of Proverbs (she’s been ignored by the church for way too long). What I HAVE rejected is the version of Christianity that just sees one narrow door to an exclusive, close-minded male God. Please pack your baggage and leave, because no matter how hard you try, I’m not going back to that set of beliefs.”
Internal critic #2: “What you’re doing just isn’t going to make sense to people. Think about the times you’ve tried to explain it to people, and they just kind of looked at you funny and said (with a look that clearly expressed their concern that you’ve gone off your rocker), ‘That’s nice. But HOW are you going to make a living with this?’ If those people don’t get it, NOBODY’S going to get it!”
Me: “Friendly critic, I appreciate what you’re saying and I believe there may be some wisdom in it. Perhaps I need to think about better ways to explain it to people who haven’t immersed themselves in these ideas like I have recently. BUT that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up, because there are LOTS of people who are getting it – LOTS of people who are sending me such lovely notes about how this has touched a deep longing in their hearts. Even if those people end up being in the minority, they make it worth the effort. I’ll keep doing this for them.”
Internal critic #3: “Look at the success you’re having teaching the PR course. That’s the stuff you actually know – writing press releases and stories, and planning PR events, etc., etc. You really should stick to that, because you actually have enough experience in that to call yourself an ‘expert’. (What about that “communicator of the year” award last year? Huh? Have you forgotten about THAT?!) What right do you have to pretend you know anything about feminine wisdom? You probably need a degree or something like that.”
Me: “Oh critic, you’re right – I’m far from an expert. But don’t you understand that when I read, write, learn, talk, and teach about this stuff, my heart comes ALIVE in a way that it never does when I’m writing a press release? Don’t you see that this is a deep calling that won’t let me rest until I follow it further into the wilderness of my heart?”
The truth is, wisdom (God’s wisdom – “Sophia”) comes through many sources. Sometimes the critics – whether they are internal or external – are worth heeding because of how they can help us avoid pitfalls or enhance our newly-birthed ideas.
But far, FAR too many times, we give the critics too much power by allowing them to silence the wisdom that is whispered to us in quieter, less obvious ways.
It’s the wisdom that shows up in our hearts when we are quiet enough to pay attention.
The wisdom that comes when we sit on our meditation cushions and open ourselves up to Sophia/God.
The wisdom that appears when we sit and stare at an oak tree or a blade of grass.
The wisdom that emerges from our bodies when we run, do yoga, dance, walk, stretch, or just sit and pay attention.
The wisdom that we find when we look deep into the eyes of a horse.
It’s that kind of wisdom that I’m trying to listen to these days. It (rather than the self-limiting beliefs of my internal critics) will help me shape whatever Sophia Leadership is meant to be.
I know this – Sophia has shown me so many incredible signs in the last year that this is the path that I’m meant to journey on. One of those signs came yesterday when I met someone who’s been on a remarkably similar journey in the last year and who lives only half an hour from my house. Though we hadn’t met before, we have been living nearly parallel lives (including having worked in the exact same job a few years apart!), and it is so very clear that we were meant to meet now (and not all those other times we could have met when we crossed paths) and meant to further this work together, that neither of us can ignore the signs. (More on that incredible synchronicity in posts to come.)
Each and every day, we have to choose which wisdom we’re going to trust. Trusting the more intuitive, spiritual, “God-breathed” wisdom often feels like “the road less traveled”, but it is that wisdom that will help us change the world. The beautiful thing is, this quiet wisdom actually come from a Source that is much bigger than any of our critics.
There’s a question that’s taken up residence in my heart. It’s a big question, so it takes up a lot of room. Even when I try to ignore it, it keeps nagging at me, imploring me to engage.
What could happen for the world if all of us – women AND men – learned to trust our feminine wisdom more and let it inform the way we live, the way we lead, the way we treat our earth, and the way we make decisions about justice and politics and relationships?
It’s not a question that’s easy to answer. It’s one of those big, potentially world-changing questions that is sometimes easier to ignore because of what it demands of us. It’s a scary question – one that requires the kind of stretching and changing that can be uncomfortable for all of us – individuals, organizations, governments, non-profits, and communities of every kind.
It’s scary, but I have come to believe it is absolutely necessary. We have to ask the question and we have to be prepared for how it might change us. There are enough crises going on in the world today that we cannot deny the urgency with which we need to explore alternatives to some of our past models.
This blog is going to serve as a space for inviting that question into our hearts, sitting with it for awhile, and letting it gradually change us.
The question is not about whether women should take over the world. That would only shift the kinds of problems we have, not overcome them.
What I’m talking about is the wisdom that we ALL have access to, gifted to us by our Creator. It’s the kind of wisdom that is embodied in the Greek word Sophia. It’s wisdom that is spiritual, intuitive, visionary, compassionate, creative, and yes, feminine. It sits in circles sharing stories and wisdom. It welcomes art and music and dance into the houses of power. It remembers that wisdom resides not only in our minds, but in our bodies and in our souls. It believes in the Sacred and allows for spirituality to impact the way we treat our earth.
When we learn to trust that kind of wisdom, and give it equal space with masculine wisdom that is more rational, direct, practical, assertive, then I think we can make transformative things happen for ourselves, our communities, and our world.
Let me just say that I don’t claim any proprietary ownership of this question. It’s a question that is on the hearts of many great thinkers in the world today. I’ve been exploring the wisdom of some of these great thinkers, and some of them will be joining me for some meaningful conversations in this space.
Stick around – I know there will be lots of interesting ideas explored here.
I’m so glad you’re joining me in this quest.
Let’s be sojourners together on this journey.
Let’s do it for our daughters and our sons. Let’s do it for the earth. Let’s do it for ourselves.
Note: If you want to learn more about the birth of Sophia Leadership, I’ve added some of the posts from my personal blog below this one. You may also want to visit the “About Heather” page for a story of my journey to Sophia. And if you want to see a list of some of the books that have inspired me on the journey, check out the “Sophia Reads” page.
This post originally appeared on my personal blog, Fumbling for Words, in October 2010 when I was imagining Sophia Leadership into existence.
As life and time take me further and further away from that incredible circle of women who met by a lake last weekend, I continue to reflect back on the powerful things that can emerge when we sit together and imagine “what transformation can we birth if we share our hearts in circle and story?”
Let me share one of the stories I’ve brought with me from that weekend…
In the middle of the afternoon on our third day together, we had free time to replenish ourselves in whatever ways we needed to. Two beautiful older women (“crones”, we came to call them, and not in a negative way) who brought the wisdom of the labyrinth into our circle invited me to join them in creating a labyrinth out of the fallen leaves outside our meeting room. I was eager to join them, but knew that first I needed some time to myself to wander in the woods.
The golden energy of so much wisdom and authenticity and yearning and love that had been shared around the circle that afternoon carried me off into the woods on a cloud of peace and fullness. Or perhaps, to use a more personal analogy – carried me off on a horse named Sophia. We had been sharing that afternoon about how much we yearned for more feminine wisdom and energy in our workplaces, our halls of learning, and our communities.
Punctuated throughout our circle time that weekend, and again as I headed into the woods for some personal time with God and Gaia, were the sounds of gunshots from the other side of the lake. Geese hunters, we presumed.
The sharp contrast of the circular, gentle, feminine energy on one side of the lake and the violent, loud, masculine energy on the other side of the lake was a constant reminder of the tensions that exist for all of us. Not only in society as a whole, but within each of us individually, there exists both masculine energy (animus, from Jungian psychology – rational, direct, practical, assertive qualities) and feminine (anima – creative, intuitive, feeling, visionary qualities). Both have beauty and yet both have the possibility of becoming corrupt or too all-encompassing.
As I followed the path through the woods, and listened to the rustling of the leaves, the honking of the geese flying overhead, and the occasional gunshot across the lake, I found myself yearning to (figuratively) row into the middle of the lake to meet the men for a pow wow. To move past the tensions and find a way for the masculine and feminine energy to co-exist without either swallowing the other up. To encourage both men and women to embrace their feminine side along with their masculine side. Yin and yang together in a circle.
Despite the gunshots, the walk through the woods replenished me as I knew it would, but then something happened to deplete my energy once again. Near the end of the trail, someone had dumped a lot of big household garbage – an old couch, old appliances, etc. Standing there with the tranquility of the woods behind me, and the jarring presence of garbage in front of me, I found the sadness welling up within me. This garbage suddenly represented oil spills, the plastic island floating in the middle of the ocean, and all of the other travesties humans are causing all over the world (including, shamefully, the garbage that comes from my own household.)
What blights we allow to appear all around us when we stop caring about the way we treat our earth!
Carrying on down the path, I spotted a path marker – a weathered old wooden sign standing with its back to me. When I reached it, and read what was written on the front, I stopped short. Just one word – “Lifeline.”
In that moment, God whispered in my ear “You are called to offer a lifeline. All of those things that saddened you back there – the tension with the (distorted) masculine energy across the lake, the garbage marring the face of Mother Earth – they represent a lot of lost and hurting hearts. They need a lifeline. Badly. And it’s you. And your circle of powerful women.”
Wow. That’s a pretty huge calling! I felt a little shaky. I had to stand there for a moment before I was ready to move on.
As I got closer to the retreat centre, I paused for a few more photos in the woods. On the ground, half buried in dry leaves, I spotted something white that was clearly not organic. Moving the leaves away, I realized it was a bowl.
I almost ignored it, but then the voice came again “you can’t do anything about the couch or all of that big garbage, but you CAN do something about this bowl.” Right. Just do my small piece.
So I picked up the bowl and carried on. As I fingered it, though, it became more than just a ceramic bowl someone had discarded. It became a begging bowl, like the ones the Buddhist monks carry into the village every day, trusting that it will be filled with just enough food to sustain them for that day. It was a reminder that, if I am called to offer a lifeline, I also need to trust that God and my village will sustain me with the energy and hope that I need every day.
Back at the retreat centre, I found the women near completion of the labyrinth. I rejoiced with them as they swept the last of the leaves into their designated circles.
And then, because it seemed like the right thing to do, I walked to the centre of the labyrinth and danced with my begging bowl, honouring the labyrinth, and honouring this incredible circle of women who were filling my bowl with so much goodness to sustain me for my journey away from the circle and into my future.
Note: it is never my intention to point blame when I talk about “masculine energy” or to imply that men have it wrong (gunshots) and women have it right (circles). That would be far too simplistic and not at all what I believe. I do, however, believe that we have not sufficiently learned to blend the feminine in with the masculine when it comes to leadership and organizational structures in our politics, communities, businesses, and homes, which is why I am working on launching my Sophia Leadership site soon.
This post originally appeared on my personal blog, Fumbling for Words, in October 2010 when I was imagining Sophia Leadership into existence.
Here’s the thing… Sophia won’t leave me alone.
She’s like a kid who won’t stop begging and pleading and stomping her foot until she gets a big red lollipop. But she’s not just an annoying neighbourhood kid who goes home at the end of the day – OH NO – that would be too easy. SHE HAS MOVED IN AND IS TAKING OVER MY LIFE! She doesn’t just want lollipops, she wants everything I’ve got to give!
No, I haven’t mysteriously given birth to a fourth daughter named Sophia, and yet it sure FEELS like this is something that is being birthed in me.
A few months ago, I shared an epiphany about how I felt called into a new space, a new vocation… something I tentatively called “Sophia Leadership”. It was based on a pretty strong sense that what the world desperately needs right now is a whole lot of people (women and men) who will step forward in courage and trust their feminine, spiritual wisdom. I believe that this wisdom can shift the course of leadership and help the world move in a direction toward light and hope instead of darkness and despair.
I believe all of these things, but… a whole lot of doubt and fear keeps drawing me away from that beautiful epiphany. Even though I finally took a BIG step and moved away from my full time job with the intention of more fully committing myself to writing, teaching, and consulting, there was still a huge piece of me that thought “I have to be practical. I have to pay the bills. I don’t have enough skills for this work yet. I won’t find work in Sophia Leadership – at least not right away – so I have to market my other skills in communications, public relations, blah, blah, blah.”
But here’s where things get interesting… You see, every time I let myself follow fear into that tunnel called “practicality and paying the bills”, Sophia finds me and lures me back.
First, there was the horse.
The day after I’d told my boss I was quitting my job (in July), I went on my annual pilgrimage to the Folk Festival. As I often do at some point when the crowds have begun to overwhelm me and I need some quiet, meditative time, I wandered to the edge of the fenced-in area where there’s a labyrinth, some outdoor art, and very few people. As I wandered, I wrestled with just what I was going to birth once I’d walked away from my job. The argument was there in full force… “I’m pretty sure I’m being called to do this Sophia work.” “But that would be foolish! Nobody will get it and you won’t make any money and your family will hate you and… blah, blah, blah.”
Standing by the fence, I watched two horses and riders approach. It was a mother and daughter out for an evening ride. They stopped near me, and we began a conversation. I grew up with horses and have always felt a strong pull toward them. This moment was no exception.
“What are the horses’ names?” I asked. Well… you’ve probably figured out by now… the bigger of the two, the most magnificent horse I’ve seen in a long time, was named Sophia.
“Why did you call her Sophia?” I asked the woman, trying not to let on that this was hugely significant for me. I saw the woman’s eyes light up. “Well, I named her that because I’ve been reading about how Sophia means wisdom and how there were knights in King Arthur’s court who used to worship the goddess Sophia.”
As if that wasn’t enough, the next thing she said sealed the deal. “It’s a good thing my husband isn’t around,” she said with a blush and a sideways glance over her shoulder as if she expected him to vapourize out of thin air. “He hates it when I talk about this stuff and doesn’t want me to talk about it in front of other people. He thinks this goddess stuff and feminine wisdom is a bunch of horse shit.”
And then it came to me, like a lightening bolt… “It is for women like this – women who have been taught not to trust their feminine wisdom – that you are being called into Sophia Leadership.” Gulp.
I wish I could tell you that was the end of the internal arguments, but that would be a lie. Apparently I’m a slow learner, because even after that encounter, I spent the rest of the summer wrestling with what to call my business, whether to be a generalist or a specialist, what kinds of contracts I should look for, etc., etc.
The truth is, I need to pay the bills, and that keeps weighing heavily on my shoulders. I created a generic website. I started accepting contracts that I knew I could do quite easily, but that weren’t really on the path Sophia was leading me down. But then, once again, it seemed Sophia had different ideas.
I was supposed to be working this week, but the contract got taken away. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I breathed a sigh of relief, and began to focus on taking October as my sabbatical/thinking/learning/growing month before jumping into any kind of work.
Which leads me to yesterday, my first day of self-employment. I decided it was time for my annual pilgrimage to my dad’s grave in the town where I grew up (two hours from where I live now). I enjoyed a lovely drive out into the prairies, wandered around the almost-ghost-town where I once lived, spent a little time talking to my dad, and then headed to Neepawa, the nearby town where I’d gone to high school, to find a place to eat lunch.
For reasons I can’t explain, I felt an inexplicable desire to visit the Stone Angel (a monument in the cemetery that was made famous when Margaret Lawrence named a novel after it). I’ve never been a huge Lawrence fan, so the Stone Angel never held much significance to me. I don’t think I’ve visited since high school. But this time the thought wouldn’t leave me alone. I had to visit.
I drove into the cemetery, and before I even realized that I’d reached the monument, my eyes fell to the base of it. Guess what name was there? Sophia. She was the wife of the founding father of Neepawa in whose honour the monument was erected.
I stopped my vehicle, stood in front of the monument, and started to cry. There was Sophia, in beautiful weathered stone, looking down at me and nudging me once again.
As a bit of a postscript to all this serendipity… today, things got even more freaky.
I got a note from my friend Desiree telling me someone she knew online thought she should connect with me because we have a lot in common. She chuckled when she told her we already knew each other. Then I got a note from my friend Lianne, inviting me to join a blog party. One of the other women she had invited turned out to be the same woman who’d told Desiree she should meet me. She said she’d never heard of me before, but had been inexplicably drawn to my blog today (through a link on Jamie’s blog) and then found out both Desiree and Lianne are connected to me.
Her name? Tara SOPHIA Mohr! One of her deepest passions? Convincing women that they should be trusting their wisdom and changing the world. Oh my! Goosebumps!!
For some reason that I don’t fully understand, Sophia chose me for this work and she is NOTHING if not persistent.
I GET IT Sophia! Here’s that big red lollipop, and here’s ME!
So… guess what I’ll be doing for the rest of the month? Hanging out with Sophia and letting her guide me down this path.