Are you familiar with the story of The Star Maiden? It is a beautiful Ojibwe tale that we recently worked with the women my monthly program and I love it, because it dances around the idea that it is worth taking the time to find where we belong.
As the story goes, a star so loved the earth and its inhabitants that she came to live among us. But once she got here, she had some difficulty settling on which form she should take. First, she transformed into a prairie wildflower, but was almost crushed by the buffalo stampeding over the open plains. Next, she decided to try being a rose, but found that the garden in which she dwelt was too far away from the people she so loved. Eventually, discouraged and disappointed that none of the forms she has tried have worked out for her, she decided to go back to the heavens.
And so, she rose back into the sky, watching over the people of the village as she floated over their lake. And as she looked down she saw her own reflection and that of her sister stars twinkling upon the surface and she called to them, saying, "Come sisters! Let us make this water our home!" And the next morning the villagers were delighted to find the lake was covered with floating star-like flowers that came to be known as water lilies. And the star maiden was happy, because she could be near the people and the children she so loved, living among them on the earth she had so grown to love.
And isn't that such a beautiful message, this idea of finding your place? I don't know if you've ever felt like you've lost your sense of direction or purpose, but I know I have and that it was miserable. In my 15 years in the corporate world, I spend a lot of time feeling unhappy and lost, because it wasn't where I belonged. While it might be great for some people, for me it was like trying to shove my square shaped body into a very round hole.
And that's the whole thing, isn't it? You have to find YOUR way, not the way you think you're supposed to travel. I had always wanted to do something creative and artistic with my work, but had been too afraid, so I stayed in my "safe" job for far too long, feeling like a prairie wildflower who was constantly in danger of being trampled by the buffalo around me.
These days, I feel a lot more like a water lily who has found her pond, because I have found my calling. And one of the things that I want for you (and every woman) is that you find yours too. Because you know what? You have one. I fervently believe that every single person on this earth comes here with special graces, gifts and a purpose. If you have found yours, congratulations!
But if you haven't or you've found that it's changed over the years, don't be discouraged. It is never too late. If you don't know where to begin, think aboutwhat lights you up, what are you good at, and how can you use those two things to be of service? And, most of all, in this busy world, where we don't often do it, make a commitment to simply take some time to listen, really listen to your heart, and get used to examining the question "What do I really want?"