Faith, Life Musings

Across the Universe

This morning, a fellow staff member asked me about my next steps for life. This is a common question around here lately. Camp is wrapping up and we’re all in a sort of limbo. Some are still in college and will be leaving next week to get ready for a new semester. Some are staying through family camp and the season of weddings. Most of us have no clue what we’re doing.

I thought I did. When he asked, I happily told him about my plans. I told him about how I was making my way to Chicago to complete a TEFL course in September, how I wanted to teach abroad in France, yada yada. It’s the same story I’ve been telling for the last two years. It’s the fool-proof plan I haven’t actually been able to put into place yet.

I thought this was my chance. I’ve had over a year to bounce back from the debacle of Thailand falling through, and I’ve let go of my dream of taking the course in Prague. I chalked all of this up to poor timing and decided this was going to be my chance. This fall, I’d do the practical thing and take the month-long training in a city I know and love, where I could stay amongst friends.

A week or two ago, when I finally got around to looking to see what options were still available, I found the same company my sister had used when she got her TEFL certificate in Guadalajara. I chose the dates I’d had in mind, entered my debit card information, and put down the $200 deposit.

I received a phone call a few days later from one of the representatives. “Can I call you back?” I asked. I was driving back from Acadia National Park and wanted to keep jamming to some sweet tunes before returning to camp. When I finally called Luis, he told me the bad news. The course I’d selected was full. They were all fully booked through January, when I’d already planned to be in Europe.

I tried calling another company, the only one who didn’t advertise the same bad news on their website. I got through and talked to someone who personally reassured me she still had places available for the September dates. I got an email a few hours later telling me she was so sorry she had gotten my hopes up, but there weren’t any classes available until–you guessed it, January.

Within half a day all of my next moves evaporated.

I know this feeling too well. At this point it’s almost comical. It’s predictable. The Universe seems to be speaking loud and clear. It’s an obstacle course I’m fated to lose.

At least now I know what to do next – absolutely nothing. The only way to win the game is complete surrender.

A weird thing happened to me two days before all of this went down. My friend and I were taking a much needed break on the beach while the campers were gone for the day. Since it was August 8, 2015 (numerically significant, according to some of our sources, ahem) we decided to do a short guided meditation in the sunshine, facing the lake.

“Think of a special place,” she told me. “Now go there and find a way to go down. Keep going down, down, until you meet an animal. Ask the animal if it’s your spirit guide. Keep asking until you find the one. Ask it what it has to show you.”

I have a pretty vivid imagination, so I went along with it. I imagined a spot that’s sacred to my family and I, a river next to a cabin in the mountains of Colorado. I followed her instructions, my eyes tightly squeezed against the rays of the sun.

I met a fish. And a horse. The fish spoke first, so I assumed that one was my spirit guide. “Notice how clear the water is,” he told me. “We are meant to go with the flow of the current. Making the smallest adjustments, we are carried by its force downstream. This water is our life, yet we can clearly see above and below. We swim in this clarity, aware of all things.”

He told me a few more tidbits, about deep pools of sorrow and bubbling rapids of joy. About leaping over obstacles and appearing motionless. About only swimming against the current when it’s absolutely necessary, when the divine energy is with you.

“What you need will flow to you. Allow yourself to move with the current,” was the repeated gentle admonition.


Only I thought I was already doing that. It’s easy to swim with the current when it’s going in the right direction. What about when it speeds up or slows down and you’re not prepared? What about when it takes you somewhere you don’t think you want to be?

Let go.


So I’m continuing to learn the lesson of the fish. I’m letting go, again. Open palms.

Hands in the air.

Your move, Universe.

“Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world”
-The Beatles

Gouldsboro, Maine 2015


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