I was reading through some pages in a book I found, ZEN and the Art of Making a Living––a practical guide to creative career design, by Laurence G. Boldt. The author offers some solid, make-sense solutions regarding finding your job, your work, your purpose. In taking on this life quest, that seems to elude many people, the author suggests that you: look at your strengths...pay attention to activities, skills, chores, and projects that light your fire, stir your enthusiasm....and see how life has prepared you.

I was taken with the last idea, regarding “life preparing me.” It started me thinking about my “schooling.” I have a girlfriend who has been at the same job for 35 years. I, on the other hand, have never stayed at any job longer than 6 years...until I began The Messenger, which has been in print and/or online for over 13 years. Here is some of my “life” education.

After my kids were on their own, I went through a time of wondering and wandering just what it was I was suppose to be doing. I felt restless...like I was waiting for something to happen. When it did, there was not much need to weigh choices...an adventure, or working long hours at a job I was not thrilled with. So, after becoming a bag lady, getting rid of everything that did not fit into a backpack, I struck out backpacking and hitchhiking from 1987 to 1991 around the U.S., Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico. I met incredible people who shared their beliefs, their ideas, and their dreams. I was inundated with extraordinary amounts of information––some topics of which I had never before heard, or even thought existed.

My traveling companion had facilitated A Course in Miracles classes. I had always wanted to learn about this information, but for some reason couldn't stick with the classes or read the book.  I kept thinking there had to be an easier way to get these ideas.  And, low and behold, my traveling companion talked about it with many of the people who gave us rides. I wanted the information and received my own personal teacher.

Then it was time to come home...I was in Canada, working in a communal setting, when a new grandmother came in showing pictures of her grandchild. I mentioned that I had six grandkids. She asked where they were. I said, “California.” Then she said, with simple words that rushed towards me like a speeding train in a cartoon, “Then why are you here?” I couldn’t answer her, but did realize it was a sign that it was time to go home.

During the next six years, I worked at a few jobs, several of which involved putting together newsletters / magazines for others. In October of 1997, I new it was time to go out on my own. And, I was validated with that feeling, by having The Messenger pay for itself from the very first issue.

Since then, many of those extraordinary ideas that were shared with me, have come back as articles submitted from writers all over the country. Those seeds planted while on the road have become the foundation for The Messenger.

A strong sense of discernment, also came from that trek...discernment to know when something feels right, and when it is time to back away and let those particular ideas go.

If you are looking for what you should be doing, stop looking forward for a moment. Stop and look at where you have come from. Stop seeing anything in your life as wasteful...it was all an education to get you where you need to be. Forgive anyone you think “hurt” you...they were only there to help you learn or get to a place you needed to be. Thank your past for what it has taught you, then turn back around and see your future with new eyes...and watch as the doors open, then choose which you will walk through.

Love & Blessings,
Joann Turner