If there is one thing I’ve learned in the past couple of years, it is that the answer always lies within me, regardless of the question or issue I’m wrestling with. Sometimes I get an answer to an issue I wasn’t even aware of. This is exactly what happened to me a couple days ago.
I was in the bathroom getting ready for the day and listening to the latest episode of Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons podcast when her guest Glennon Doyle Melton made a statement that stopped my mascara wand in midair.
“Serve the people who show up.”
The context of the comment was irrelevant. What was relevant was the feeling that welled up inside me upon hearing those words. It was a very familiar feeling; that deep sense of intuitive knowing that says “This is true.” Usually when I have these a-ha moments, they come over me like a flash flood—swift and strong, sweeping me along in their unmistakable truth. This time, though, the revelation was quieter, more subtle. The revelation?
I'm not going to do a B&B.
Although hard to believe, I knew the revelation was true. The other thing I know to be true? Once I know something on a soul level, I can’t unknow it.
The signs were there
Though the answers we seek may always lie within, they often get a little help from the universe, like that snippet of conversation in a podcast. Or has been the case more often lately, the messages come from nature; specifically, a wasp, a dragonfly, an owl, and some deer.
The wasp was the first to get my attention. I have only been stung by a bee once in my life so I was shocked when a wasp bit me completely unprovoked on my Achilles tendon. (Coincidence? I don’t think so.) While I was icing the bite, I looked up the symbolism of wasps:
“Wasp is letting you know that resistance to change is by definition self-sabotage. It’s time to allow yourself the notion that all things are possible and that you deserve to have all your dreams come true.”
Then I started paying attention to other critters that crossed my path. They had a lot to say.
“... pay attention to your deeper desires and be mindful of the outcome we wish to have.” - Dragonfly
“Someone close to you is deceiving you right now and it may even be yourself. Owl is often thought to come to those who need to let go of some part of their life that is no longer needed. Listen carefully to that inner voice and be guided to recapture the knowledge of your true path in life.” – Owl
“… often a sign not to be too hard on yourself … be yourself and continue along your path. Seek out your inner treasures and use them generously to help those around you. Trust that kindness and graciousness will be well received.” – Deer
The ultimate revelation
It wasn't until now, literally just now, that those messages from the universe’s little helpers all made sense. Somewhere between getting up from my cat nap and moving to the kitchen to wash dishes this afternoon, it dawned on me. I know why I have pursued the B&B dream when I have and why I have decided against the business each time. The dream wasn’t to own a B&B.
Every time I have been inspired to pursue the B&B, in big or small ways, I have been at a crossroads of deciding where home should be. The B&B journey has always led me home.
- The first time, the decision was to build a new home instead of buying an old homestead.
- The second time, the decision was to stay where I was, in my condo, and at my content marketing job.
- This time, the journey led us to discovering and moving to Bend, Oregon and, ultimately, to Gentry House—our new home.
Upon reflection, the B&B journey has been a great gift. Although each time I have decided against going through with the B&B business, the journey has always resulted in a dream come true. Every time it has led me home. And home always has been and always will be my deepest desire.
Now I can let go of the B&B with heartfelt thanks and gratitude for showing me the way home.
But the dream hasn’t ended. It’s only just beginning.