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A year ago on my birthday I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship.

I was gearing up to go to a silent, ten-day meditation retreat and I was contemplating heeding the deep voice growing within that said, “quit your job.”

As the school year ended, (I was teaching 5th grade full-time) I began to give away my classroom belongings. I sent kids home with treasures I knew I may not ever need again.

Though I hadn’t declared anything to any school official, my vibes clearly spoke to me, and I knew this was likely the end.

After packing everything up and heading home, I spent the first part of my summer scared that I’d chosen to give up my iphone, caffeine, sex, reading, alcohol, talking, any form of violence and all contact with the outside world at the height of summer.

I took off to California over beautiful blue skies and looked down at the fires that raged in the hot foothills.

I blessed my land and prayed that this trip would be full of growth, but also grace & ease.

I arrived to the airport where a woman from the retreat, whom I’d never met, offered to fetch me and make the drive together. She turned out to be a creative & beautiful woman. We enjoyed our journey through wine country and northern California until we arrived at the gates of the Vipassana center.

I was in deep resistance and huge fear.

I meditated, sure. 15 minutes, here and there.

I turned in my belongings & my phone & checked in to what would be the longest 10 days of my life. There I would sit, for ten hours a day, on a cushion, meditating, with nothing to distract me from, well, me.

My intention was to get clear about whether or not I was leaving my career that had been a life-time in the making. Dreaming since I was 4, planning, college, thousands of dollars worth of debt, a Masters in Education and a tenured career under my belt, I wanted to give it all up and walk away.

That first night at Vipassana, I had a panic attack. I wanted to run, screaming from my room. What had I done? Ten days stretched out before my mind and I felt trapped.

I made it.

Each day, I settled in to myself a little more. Each day, I found more comfort in the emptiness of empty space. Watching a spider make its web replaced what would have been hours of internet surfing at home.

I washed clothes and hung them in the sun to dry. I braided my hair everyday and flossed and brushed three times a day. I walked in the woods in my bare feet and best of all, I met me.

Me, myself and I.

With no eye contact & no talking, one learns that anything happening in one’s mind is one’s own.

I left there clear: I was leaving my career. I realized this life is about liberation, that is the spiritual journey.

I was ready to liberate myself from the constructs I’d built to define myself.

One year later, here’s what I’ve done in the name of pursuing my passions & creativity:

  • I have built a business and now see clients in a private practice.
  • I built a web-site to showcase my writing & my private psychic practice offerings.
  • I traveled to my dream vacation spot of Tulum, Mexico, for a week’s stay on the beach.
  • I completed Sara Avant Stover’s Way of the Happy Woman Yoga Teacher Training, the first ever Yoga Training for women.
  • I visited Chichen Itza, accomplishing another dream: activating at the ancient Mayan pyramid.
  • I entered into a relationship with a man who loves, honors and cares for me.
  • I cultivated a relationship with my one true love: dance. I’ve danced weekly in community, with my partner & we dance, dance, dance! (Another life’s dream- having a dance partner.)
  • I have taken a nutrition & cooking class and begun to support my health through wellness.
  • I joined a gym and worked out all winter.
  • I traveled to Georgia and visited with my father for the first time in 6 years.
  • I have written a visionary-fiction novel.
  • I started a non-fiction book to share my journey in teaching & how I ended up on the news!!
  • I entered a publishing contest in which I will have my work reviewed! (Yeehaw!!)
  • I completed an on-line business school and collaborated with women around the globe.
  • I have received, managed and spent more money than I ever have in my whole life!
  • I have entered women’s circles to support me in financial abundance and power, finally taking on money!
  • I am enrolled in classes at The Neuroscultping Institute to create new pathways in my brain for enhanced well-being!
  • I have been hired at a private school, part-time, for the fall, to teach literature to twice exceptional, gifted and talented students, fulfilling yet another dream!

Not bad for a year in the life of a woman dedicated to pursuing creativity and passion- doing only that which she desired!!

Looking back, I can say that I am delighted in my choice to leap, and it only got better & better! I am a testament to what can happen when we let go of an old dream to pursue a new!!

Here’s to all of us taking the time to reflect back on how far we’ve come.

We can be so driven by our ego, that we forget to stop and relish in the sweetness of dreams come true.

Here’s to all our dreams coming true!

On this day, my 35th birthday, I offer love and joy to you!!

Here’s my wish for this birthday and it will come true, don’t worry!

I wish to receive & share more love & abundance than ever before & to be used by the divine as an instrument of thy grace!

xo

Rachel Claire