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A Short Story: 12 Days in a Row (2 of 2)

I love reading and writing. I came to writing late in life and discovered a world where I feel like a fish in the water.

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If she were going to spend an entire day doing that kind of work, someone had to be present to look after her in case she went deeply into it. She could not expect her boyfriend to accompany her; it was too much asking. One of her girl friends was willing to assist, but she was far from being a spiritual person and Louise could not see her helping.

Prior to performing her quest, she needed to gather some information on how best to go about this. An online search for a Buddhist temple led her to a retreat centre near her home. She called their office and asked to talk to the person in charge and was told someone will call her back.

Two days later, she received a call from the manager of the center who invited her to visit and sit down with one of the instructors to explain her request.

She traveled to the center on the afternoon of that day and was introduced to a soft-spoken woman in her fifties who listened to her. During that meeting, she was given verbal instructions, a template to draw her vision board, and advice on how to prepare for her journey. After a total of four meetings with the instructor, Louise had a clear idea of what needed to be done.

Three Journeys

All in all, she had to complete three journeys. The first one to shed the past by healing an old emotional would that was still holding her back. The second one was to face death in order to acquire fearlessness. The third one was to travel to the future and bring back to the present a more serene state of being.

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Dreamlike Place

The night before the big day, Louise had a lovely dream. She saw herself standing and chatting with a young woman on a street that had houses with small doors. Few people were there, and life seemed normal.

But behind the wall of the house, a fairy-like land stretched as far as her eyes could see. It was surreal. Drawings of pastel-colored animals of all kinds covered the ground. Louise was filled with delight and amazed at hearing the drawings talk to her and tell her about their day. Their day?

As she recollected her night dream, she remembered the words of Kahlil Gibran, the renowned poet and philosopher, on solitude, and the courage to know oneself.

“Something strange and wondrous begins to happen when one spends stretches of time in solitude, in the company of trees, far from the bustle of the human world … a kind of re-rooting in one’s deepest self-knowledge, a relearning of how to simply be oneself, one’s most authentic self.”

This night dream made her cheerful. It can only be a good omen to assure me that I’ll be safe in this particular spiritual journey.

Journey to Infinity

On the designated day, Louise packed a bottle of water, some snacks, and her yoga mat. Dan, her boyfriend, drove her to the site. No one else was available or willing to spend the entire day attending to her.

With a magazine and a cup of coffee in hand, Dan made himself comfortable sitting a little away from her to give her space.

Louise laid on her yoga mat on the old wood floor and closed her eyes. After what seemed either an instant or an infinity, she saw herself standing at a crossroad with two different paths. One path felt warm and cozy like a tea shop. The other one looked cold, desolate, and inaccessible. The instructor had warned her to avoid the cold path or else she might never be able to come back to her physical body.

She was also advised to go beyond what is cozy and comfortable and aim for the loftiest possible dream to bring with her back to daily life.

The cozy path led her to a large lea covered with colorful flowers. The flowers were a dancing rainbow, as if light and music bloomed together. The view was so delightful that her spirit soared, and she felt a strong temptation to just lie down and stay there.

With absolute resolve, she walked forward until she reached a blue pristine lake and a majestic mountain in the background came into view. It was the most beautiful vista she could have ever imagined. The view of the lake calmed her, as if that body of water were as much within her as in the cradle of the mountain behind it.

Louise sat by the lake and put her feet in the water.

The Past

A wave of water washed over her. She could not see any water pouring over her head but still felt it all over her body.

“As you feel purified by this water, shed the past and purify your mind and consciousness from the hurts and the resentments that are holding you back.” The voice came from nowhere, and the creature who uttered these words was not to be seen anywhere.

Louise let herself recall a particularly painful emotional wound from her past. After a while, she let it go. It no longer has a hold on me. A deep sigh of relief escaped her lips. She felt lighter and happier without the weight of this old pain.

“I’m ready for the next phase of the journey,” she said aloud to no one in particular.

Her trip to the past was a wake-up call that showed her the tensions that were holding her back and must be released. Dramatic moments in her life had changed everything for her. She accepted all that had happened and was keen to learn how to experience and live all opportunities with flexibility and willingness to learn.

The Present

“Welcome to your present,” the voice said. “You are blessed with the ability to discern the truth when so many have no such discernment. Keep finding your light and grace in the darkest moments of your life. Let the truth steer you to even greater heights.”

Louise promised herself to keep in mind what she learned from those who came before her, and to appreciate her friends.

The Future

“Dream yourself a new story,” said the voice. “Now that you’ve shed the past and realized your present, be aware that you no longer need the same old story that carried you until now. You are a different person, and you need different resources for a different outcome. This is the time to let yourself be truly transformed into what you want to become.”

What is the new story that I genuinely want with this new level of awareness? Excited by the new level of awareness she acquired in this journey, Louise knew that this particular journey was over, but a lifelong journey was just starting.

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A Sacred Commitment

As Louise was about to leave, an Eagle feather fell into her right hand. She knew that an Eagle feather is an important symbol for the Native American people representing what is highest, and most sacred. They are given as a sign of respect and are worn with dignity.

The message that was communicated to her had become clear. It is time for me to be present and mindful of the way I communicate with others and with nature. I want to consciously bring the spiritual into the material as they are not separate, and to acknowledge the higher planes of existence that influence all life.

It is high time for me to enter into partnership with the Spirit to co-create for the highest good for all.

As for the marriage proposal, Louise decided to have an open and honest conversation with Dan about her aspirations and life goals and his expectations. This would decide if they were meant to be life partners or part ways.

THE END.

Reference

Mystical Shaman Oracle deck. Villoldo, A.; Baron-Reid, C.; Lobos, M.

© 2021 Liliane Najm

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