By Sequoia Heartman
The line upon which I stood was clear in relation to the expansive depth. A part of me just saw an endless void. My daemon knew better. What is to fear when you have wings? As the rocks began to crumble under the weight of my heavy heart and a mirror placed in front of me by my mate, a decision had to be made. Do I continue to placate the fear that a part of me has always succumbed to or do I lay claim to my arising authentic self? When you feel your true desire in relation to what has been constructed for the sake of safety and predictability, there really is no choice but the one that honours life and love. In the words of Carl Jung, “If there is a fear of falling, the only safety consists in deliberately jumping.”
So, I did. I resigned from a 12-year teaching career. In the middle of a school year. Who does that? Not many. The part of me that had built this cardboard kingdom, Chris, was terrified not just of the financial impact, but also the perception of others and how they would respond to me.
“What are you thinking?” asks Chris.
“I’m not thinking actually. I’m feeling,” I say back to him. This would be my response to those who asked me the same question.
“I hope you know what you are doing,” he retorts back.
“Well, I may not know exactly what I am ‘doing,’ but I know what I am being. Honest with my heart, true to myself, and in surrender to the Divine presence in my life. I am following Love.” He wasn’t really convinced and had moments of kicking at me. I had set fire to his kingdom, why shouldn’t he be upset? However, there was no more negotiating on the same ground he has been walking on for years. Time to negotiate on new ground. With my authentic self in the driver’s seat, he has become my adviser to all things practical. And, dammit, if he isn’t good at it.
My decision sent shock waves through my whole school community. To many, it was a breath of fresh air. Something that a part of them wishes they could do. It was inspirational without having to risk anything. These parts could live vicariously through me, dream for a bit, and then ultimately go back to work. For others, it was a reaffirmation of their passion and dedication to a career they felt they were destined for. And some just completely disagreed with me. A part of them needed to protest in order to feel better about their own decision to stay stuck. These “unusual” decisions shake the foundations of the false self and cause a myriad of reactions. But, above all, these actions question the reality that the false self has created in defense of our authentic being.
The days that followed were surreal. Half in, half out. Telling my students was the hardest part. How to let them know the person they spend most of their days with would no longer be there to welcome them at the door. “Lead with your heart and the rest will follow,” said the Divine Mother. So, I did. In a circle of love, I told them of my decision to follow my heart. With their mouths agape in shock, I encouraged them to express all they were feeling or would eventually feel, whether it was sadness, anger, or maybe even joy. It was important they knew it was all real and all right for them to feel, whatever their reactions were.
Most of what I received from them was sadness that I would be gone, but also happiness that they got to be in my classroom while they did. To leave these cherubs was the hardest part of all. It made me realize that children hold a special place in my heart, just not in the role of classroom teacher. They are all Mother’s children, and when you feel their hearts, it is easier to feel their purity and goodness.
As for the staff, I was gifted with heartfelt reflections and support. These people had become my second family in dedication to our students and in genuine friendship. Another difficult piece to let in and let go of. So much love that I had had to let it in in stages. Pictures of the past 12 years flooded my mind and made their way to my heart as tears of joy, sadness, frustration, love, and fear fell and broke the dam wide open. These were not your ordinary co-workers. They were brothers and sisters to a part of me. They will be dearly missed.
So, now what? Well, I am letting my heart lead. A new kingdom takes time to rebuild. It takes faith and courage. I have both, I just need my parts to trust me and my Daemon. The only way that happens is to feel them when they need to be felt. For my Chris part, this will be a daily dialogue. He needs to know that he is part of this new kingdom, even if his old one didn’t stand. As for my Erick part, he is ready to run with the bulls in Barcelona. I clearly will have to negotiate THAT one. My young Christopher just wants to have some fun and not be so serious. They all have different needs and desires. It is my role as my SFH self to show up for all of them.
The cliff is behind me and I have landed on the other side. The road is wide and infinite. Anything is possible. I have a new life with a new love. This time, I am in the driver’s seat and I’m not letting go of the wheel.
Sequoia Heartman is an apprentice facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more articles and information.