Monday, March 15, 2010

Using My Inner Compass Down New Roads


A GPS to help me get from point A to point B has never appealed to me. That little talking box that constantly charts your course for you seems like just more noise to have to break through to get where you're inevitably going. Give me a road map or an atlas, and I'm in heaven. There's nothing finer (well, there is, but this seems so right now) than pouring over a map, looking for the route that speaks to me, even if it does mean missing an exit here and there. It's those missed exits that lead us deeper into adventure, help us find that spark that starts a flame in our soul, that tells us we are, indeed, on the right path, even when it isn't readily apparent. Somehow, I always get where I'm going, even if it isn't where I thought I was going. If I hadn't taken a side road in Pennsylvania I would have missed this old green house that needed to have its picture taken. What stories it could tell...

I recently had a conversation with a friend, Diane, about the GPS and how it dictates the direction, consigns you to a specific route. Apparently, the minute you veer off course, it tells you so and recommends, rather strongly, to make a u-turn as soon as possible. Kind of like life, and how sometimes, despite good directions and a goal in mind, you can find yourself taking what appears to be a wrong turn. Next thing you know, you're on a side trip. These side trips, for me, can last from a few hours to days. Which is a marked improvement. It used to be that my side trips would sometimes take years. I'd get lost in a world that appeared to be ill-chosen. But, choose it I did, or I wouldn't have found myself exploring new territory. Without fail, I'd been warned by the Universe. Time and time again, my own inner GPS told me to make that u-turn. Then, after realizing that I was plowing ahead, not listening, it would eventually reconfigure the new route I was insisting on and help me as I went, resigned to seeing me through whatever adventure and lesson awaited. I sometimes found myself down an emotional back road, drawing me deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of events from which I knew I would, eventually, have to extricate myself. Sometimes these side trips turned out kind of fun. Other times, not so much. Did I change course? No, not always. Did I learn valuable lessons en route?  Yep. Always. As a matter of fact, the side trips have produced some of my greatest lessons in life and no matter what ensued, they all brought me here, to this really fine Moment. I love that I came through pretty much unscathed and not too messy of a back trail.

Once again, I'm off on a new adventure. I've gotten much better at listening and  following my own inner compass, my internal GPS that keeps me on a track that speaks to me and my life. Sometimes, when it might appear to the world that I'm getting lost, I'm really getting found. I find bits and pieces of myself I didn't even know existed, or have been subsumed to the degree that when they do show up it's a sweet surprise, remembering that aspect of myself that had remained hidden for awhile. Sometimes, for a long while. And, that's when the fun really begins.






19 comments:

  1. Sometimes we have to be jolted out of our mainstream to gain new personal insights. You're so lucky you have the resources to do that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel like we're on the same road, being guided by the same internal GPS... It's nice to have company, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I admire you for being so adept at map reading. I was never good at it. My inner compass goes haywire the minute I get behind the wheel. I couldn't live without my GPS, but there are times when she aggravates the crap out of me with "make the next possible u-turn" over and over when I KNOW I don't need to.

    Have fun on your new journey. Can't wait to see pics and read the stories. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a journey! I love this... And, I never thought about the innr GPS, but yes, it is!

    ReplyDelete
  5. And for those of us who are directionally challenged, a mechanical GPS can be a gift from the heavens. My dad has the same gift of the traveler's nose that you seem to have. I, alas, not so much.

    But in life, listening to the good opinion of others while my gut is screaming contrary instructions is always a guarantee for an off-road adventure for which I usually am not well-equipped. But don't you think that it's those off-road adventures that make up the juiciness of our lives?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ms. Sparrow: Yes, sometimes it's very good to be jolted out of our mainstream...

    Kristy: A big fat YES to both!

    LB: thank you for your encouragement. Love sharing my journey with you.

    TM: I am so enjoying reading your blog. Glad you're here, Soul Sister.

    Sandi: "the juiciness of our lives"...I Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So well said. Good luck to you on your life journey.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I especially like the line about appearing lost but getting found. Soul Sister, you've said it all about that Journey that is Life. Beautiful thoughts, Teresa!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kathy and Kittie: Thank You so much!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I never use a GPS because I don't like people telling me what to do! I have a little surprise for you if you send me your email address; you can find mine on my profile.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I forgot my GPS last week on a short trip across town. I was ten minutes late, but I had an interesting conversation with an elderly man onto whose street I wandered. I'm sure I was supposed to be lost before I found the "right" way again.

    For me, it's always the backroads I remember. Thank you for sharing yours.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, we never know how our lives, or the lives of others, will be positively affected by "happenstance." Life is fun when we have these little adventures.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this post. A car full of us headed for a mountain meeting yesterday and chirped about GPS for a bit. Surprised me how many rely on it. My thinking flows more with yours than my passengers. That internal guidance, follow or reject it, never fails to provide lessons of use. It allows for those serendipitous moments that would otherwise be no more than missed possibilities. The green house. There is a story there. Whose I wonder? A peace of it, now yours. You said, "I find bits and pieces of myself I didn't even know existed, or have been subsumed to the degree that when they do show up its a sweet surprise...". I'm guessing by now the ocean is churning up many of those sweet surprises. An unfettered journey be yours.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Teresa: Has the coast swallowed you up? Are you starting a new blog on a different site? Readers want to know. Hope all is well there and when you have the time, write us about it. --Jack

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sea Mist and Sunsets: thank you so much for your words. This is a grand adventure.

    Jack: thank you for the call back to writing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We travel quite a bit and do have a GPS but I just have to have an atlas with me. And when the GPS lady gets upset when we go off course (on purpose) we press the stop button! There, take that GPS lady!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. We forget that "listening" to our inner GPS is so much more important as we navigate through life. And, so much more fun ultimately!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nature...Art...treasures, lifestyle, visions, and leaving the doors open. Simple and flowering, light and degrees of color on the walls reflecting your image, your shadow, joyed by your smile to laugh. The temperature rises and laces your entry with dandelions and fire flies at night. Morning brings mist rains to your complexion, bathed with the early sun. Weightless and you leave no tracks. Bill

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bill: Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, your poetry. I love reading your blog, seeing images of your adventures. And, what adventures they are! Thank you for reading and commenting.

    ReplyDelete