A special thanks to the remarkable and supportive women of the Artist’s Way [horse] group.
Last week, I finally surrendered my worry and angst about a health issue I have been trying to ignore for months. I heard the voice of my body telling me, “Go back to the doctor. Be brave. Find out where things are; it’s only a place to start.” So I did. Astonishingly, I am healthier than I imagined. And the conservative recommendations of my new doctor point to a long-term path towards health. This feels like a very good place from which to start.
I have been at a crossroads for many months (years really), straddled between one road that feels bleak and one road that feels like infinite possibility. You might wonder why I would struggle to make the seemingly obvious choice. The truth, however, is that I know how to navigate the bleak and difficult path pretty well. It’s familiar, even if any real sense of safety is just an illusion. But it’s awfully hard on my body.
On Thursday night, while at my weekly Artist’s Way meeting, I described my dilemma to the group. Then our group leader, Amy, gently asked me to describe the two paths. The path to my left is paved with shards of glass. It’s narrow, without a shoulder or any support. It’s lifeless and colorless, like a black and white photograph, and feels extremely heavy and exhausting.
As I described this grueling choice, I felt the weight of difficulty and dread filling my body. “My body does not want to go there,” I said to the group. And Amy wisely asked me to turn to her and repeated to me quietly, “Your body knows. It knows.”
I then looked at the road to my right. It’s so inviting, but very different. Because it’s so different, I have been reluctant to take it, even though it seems to be where my body and my soul really want to go.
It’s wide-open and spacious, with trees, flowers, color, and light everywhere. There is a broad shoulder on either side, providing plenty of support—and many benches for resting and stopping frequently to smell the roses. It’s full of possibility, joy, and kind, smiling faces. It’s a path of inspiration, creativity, and connection. This road leads to continuous growth and feels infinitely abundant. Grace fills every corner. There is no struggle, no uphill battle here. Life in this space flows easily, effortlessly. Everything I need and everything I want are on this road.
With my feet firmly planted on the ground and my body erect, strong, and sure, I described this choice to the group. Then I shivered as a jolt of electricity shot up my legs and goose bumps appeared on my arms. The smiling faces of the members of our group reinforced what my body and soul have been clearly telling me: this path is my only real choice. My body knows; it knows. I took some deep breaths, and then took a step on this path.
This morning, I asked myself, “Who wouldn’t want to come here?” Then I realized that to want to come here, you have to know what here is. Perhaps you need to feel invited. Frankly, it would be much more fun if you joined me on this path. There is plenty of space over here, plenty of room for you. So do me a favor and ask yourself if your body and soul wouldn’t love to come here too. And consider yourself invited.