Weekly Spiritual Commentary by Sharon Hooper
“Wisdom’s Journey” became my byline for United Press International’s spiritual columns in a sudden flash of realization that, being over the age of 55, I had automatic permission to share decades of wisdom with anyone who wished to listen! And, since life is a journey, this combination of words seemed perfect for my UPI pen name.
When I was very young, I didn’t realize that all the meanderings I would take through life would eventually be called “journeys”. No one prepared me for the sometimes precarious circumstances that my steps took. Nor did anyone mention that these paths would consist of wide pendulum swings between sublime joy, sorrow, amazement, confusion and occasionally pain or depression. I’ve learned important lessons through these passages, and not necessarily ones that I expected.
Some of my most exhilarating excursions have been journeys of the heart. During these passages I learned about the excitement, and often harrowing consequences of transformation, giving me glimpses into the true meaning of love and the grace of wisdom. I reached a deeper knowledge of what might be consciously hidden — a sense of timeless suspension, giving me a unique quietude away from the “busy-ness” and preoccupation with life’s daily necessities.One day a woman called me from the east coast asking if I could help her with some major decisions in life. A friend had referred me and told her to expect the unexpected if she decided to come to Sedona and work with me. Sarah’s life had become intolerable, counseling wasn’t helping and she was ready to take the plunge into an uncharted pilgrimage. She needed a life coach whose philosophy was embedded in a foundation of spirituality.
When she arrived, we didn’t talk much. I wanted the magic red rocks to start their soothing foot massage as we silently strolled the dirt canyon trails. After almost an hour, she started crying, and I knew why. Sarah was finally letting go — of the confusion, heartache and chaos that had permeated her life. Now we were ready to weave together the trails that had led her to this path in Sedona and collect the thoughts that would become her new passionate plan of action.
Sarah’s experience was a blessed addition to what I have learned about journeys. Knowledge is cumulative. One day, unsuspectingly, there is realization that the “knowing” has actually provided the underpinnings of wisdom. Some journeys are intended to be just plain fun. Other pilgrimages have a more soulful purpose, the heart and mind purposefully seeking enlightenment. I know that no matter the original intention of the sojourn, the outcome will have changed me in some way, perhaps in some very slight almost unrecognizable way—at times, exploding into a renewed passion as I leapt into the unknown.
There is no doubt that our ramblings bring us a little closer to the true wisdom of ancient sages, deepening our commitment to travel to our soul’s depth, searching for the mysteries that are just a glimmer in our mind’s eye. The practical side of our brain tells us that journeys might cost a great deal of money or energy, but our soulful self peeks through the clouds of practicality to entice us, just one more time, to listen to the call that our intuition hungers for. Sarah finally honored her intuitive powers and was rewarded with a rich clarity of flaming purpose on her continuing road to fulfillment.
Journeys can be simple or complex, but they always contain a shred or more of sacredness. They are paths of discovery — getting lost in the words of a book, precariously stepping over slippery stones in a river, taking an ocean cruise that provides the emptiness of horizons that complement the desire to clear our minds — or simply walking a labyrinth, each footstep a prayerful incantation of a blessing directed to the heart of humankind.
To remind me of past spirit journeys, I have collected symbols — rocks, pictures, twigs, shells, feathers and a few unusual additions. These harmonious items are lovingly and prayerfully placed in my sacred treasure bowl, a large pottery urn which contains the essence of my pilgrimages. The container symbolizes my commitment to continue the quest for truth, to unravel the secret alcoves of my mind. When I have need to remember the mystery and magic that past expeditions have brought, I simply hold this revered bowl in my lap, remove the lid and surrender to the delicious potpourri of my past explorations.
I have found that there are no shortcuts on wisdom’s journey. Every day we breathe in the abundance of knowledge, taking steps on our courageous wanderings. If there is no attachment to the outcome of our experiences, we are open to the infinite possibilities of a generous universe. And each stride brings us just one rung closer to our ongoing collage of journeys’ immeasurable collection of timeless wisdom.
Sharon Hooper is a Professional Certified Coach (International Coach Federation), Holistic Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Retreat Facilitator. Visit her website at www.VisionJourneys.com Subscribe to “A Success Filled Life” newsletter and immediately receive two of Sharon’s most popular “Ask the Coach” articles. Contact Sharon directly for a free consultation and to discover how her coaching transforms lives: Sharon@VisionJourneys.com or call 928.284.2269.