From early childhood, stories guided and inspired me. They gave me strength. I turned to literature to soothe my soul because I craved something I couldn't explain. The stories that spoke most deeply to me dealt with soul journeys.  They were set in distant lands or backyards, in the past or today, in imaginary worlds or consensus reality.  All were filled with improbable events, insightful characters, and adventure.  In them, the main character was a hero in his or her own adventure story.  That's how I see all of us...on a hero's journey. As far back as I remember, I asked myself: "How do I make choices so that my life too is filled with improbable events, insightful characters and adventure?"

What kind of life do we want to live? It is our choice.  We can choose safety, security, and well-known patterns.  Or we can redefine everything. We can create anything.  Everything that exists now was once just a vision, a dream.

What kind of world are we creating by our choices in our journey?

How do we push on the walls of self-created limitations? We have some pop-culture role models:
Harry throwing himself at a wall to get to school (Harry Potter - Rowling), Elizabeth fighting her meditation practice in India (Eat, Pray, Love - Gilbert), Sissy hitching a ride towards the cowgirls (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues - Robbins).  We have tales of the seekers in Hesse and Coelho novels. We have the words of Rumi and Rilke. We have modern epic stories: Neo battling in the Matrix, Ofelia crawling into a tree in Pan's Labyrinth, Buffy running through the night to slay a vampire, Pai riding a whale in Whalerider, Chris hitching a ride into the Wilds of Alaska, and Lucy facing Aslan in Narnia.

Perhaps these are all simply books and films, yet they are the closest that our modern society allows us to have as our myths.  We all know that life really isn't about getting a bigger house or paycheck, yet how do we allow ourselves to explore that depth? Myths capture the underpinnings of the soul experience. They explore our search for our place here, our role, our connection to source.

What I've clearly learned is that it is all about following what most deeply calls to our own soul.  Another's journey is not our own.  Another's bliss is not our own.  Another's fears are not our own.  We can gather inspiration and strength from the stories of others...but we have to live our own series of moments.  We can't let ourselves be defined by our past stories as they limit us in the beauty of who we can be in this very moment. And imagine the world this could be if we were all fully present in this very moment!

Our culture is based on comparisons and judgments, and we have to let go of both to live more authentically.  My life story is not yours.  Yours is not mine.  Neither of us can ever really know what it is to be the other.  But in sharing of our lives, we alter each other's perceptions of reality and possibility. I feel that as more people become aware of the countless realities possible here and don't allow themselves to live limited by the stories they have already lived...the greater the probably that we'll co-create the type of community we taste within.

I grew up as a global nomad, I was raised outside of any specific cultural games in my formative years.  My parents were professors, so we traveled during the summers, exposing me to a wide range of stories.  To me, we were all living our stories. And many of us were choosing stories that neither made us happy nor the world the type of place I'd want to live within. I want to look back at my life and feel like I created the stories that brought joy and love into the souls of friends and strangers alike.

I invite you to enjoy a collection of my stories and photos spanning 2007-2010, a time period of swirling change. I awakened and was faced with what comes next.  I'm using my real experiences to explore possibilities of endless realities, coming to terms that I am an intuitive and a healer, as we all are.

Before this period, the only certainty in my life was that I’d have my Ph.D.  I worked endless hours to support myself through grad school while doing environmental work I loved.  With that now completed, I should be working on rigid academic journal publications and scanning tenure-track positions, but I’m not. I am learning that life is not about “shoulds.”  With graduate school behind me, I find myself meandering into new terrains.  I run off on unplanned trips. I fill journals with words and work on obscure art projects.  I dance with fire.  I binge on life, breathing in endless possibilities. I am learning in the school of real life...about energy grids and paths.

I also allow myself to take the time to do work which removes my sticky notes. Imagine that we are all glowing light bulbs that over time get covered with sticky notes—past painful or confusing or unresolved experiences represented by each sticky note—and our glow dulls.  For all of us to contribute our fullest to this world, we need to glow.  My stories explore the process of pulling meaning out of each moment.  Everyone and every place is here to teach us, if we are aware enough to learn.

What I dream of discovering is a deeper forgiveness of forces that shaped my path.  Rushdie understood this: "Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, to rethink it, to deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts,"

I want to not only think new thoughts, but feel new ways of being.  As a well-trained scientist, I know our world is in crisis at so many levels.  Everything has to change at every level...I'm exploring how to begin.

These words kept following me around in 2009.  So I share them here:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
it is our light and not our darkenss that frightens us most

your playing small does not serve the world
there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people
won't feel insecure around you
we were born to manifest
the glory that is within us." Marianne Williamson

All images and writing are copyrighted.  These stories will be published by 2012.
Printed version available upon request.
All feedback and comments are welcome.  Please send to blissmeander at gmail.com