“What can feel more magical than knowing we are honoring what feels best for us?”
For as long as I can remember, it has been a dream of mine to visit Hawaii. Somehow, despite being an avid traveler, hopping from state to state and country to country, I never made it over to these islands of paradise—until a few weeks ago.
When my fiancé and I planned our honeymoon, and it was decided that Maui was where we would go, naturally I was ecstatic. Something told me it would be a majestic trip neither of us would forget.
I was right. From the moment we landed in Maui and stepped into the bright sunshine, our bodies instantly relaxed and our smiles widened. We couldn’t wait to see what Maui had in store for us.
I could write about the amazing weather—how every day feels like something from a movie. I could go on and on about how the pineapples are the tastiest we’ve ever had or about the luau we took part in one evening. I could tell you how warm and inviting the Pacific is or how we snorkeled at sunrise and swam besides sea turtles. I would have to tell you how we rented a car to explore the island and dug our toes in the rocky coast of a black sand beach. I could tell you all this and so much more, but it still wouldn’t capture the essence of this special place.
So I will tell you something else.
On one of our first days in Maui, we began talking with our waitress. She was outgoing and friendly, just like everyone had been so far. At one point she revealed she was originally from Idaho. I asked what brought her to Maui and she explained that about fifteen years ago she came to Maui on vacation.
“I felt with every part of me that I belonged here.”
So what did she do? She went home, broke up with her boyfriend, packed up her things and moved to Maui. No plan in place, no job lined up, just the persistent belief that’s where she belonged.
When I asked what happened when she got to Maui, I loved her answer.
“For the first time in my life everything lined up and came together. I swear Maui is a magical place.”
Hearing her conviction and looking around at the neon blue sky and the sparkling ocean, it was hard to disagree. Something about Maui does feel magical and surreal.
As the days went on, we heard similar story after similar story. It was our driver, our sea captain, our bartender… they all had come for a visit and decided they had to move there.
Some moved right away, while others waited for their kids to go to college or for all their things to be sold, but somehow, some way, they all managed to keep that promise. They felt called to Maui, and they never forgot it.
I thought of how crazy they must have seemed to their friends and family. I thought of the moment they quit their jobs, broke up relationships, sold their possessions without a plan, just a feeling. I thought of how everyone must have thought them to be ludicrous, and how some must have tried to talk them out of it. I thought of how they wouldn’t be swayed, so certain even if no one else was supporting them or cheering them on. I thought of how they went anyway, despite all the doubt that swirled around them.
And then I thought of how happy they all seemed. They had no regrets—none whatsoever—just utter happiness that they had listened to the voice and honored their intuition.
Being called to do something—talk to that person, go on that date, take that job, follow a dream—can be scary. More than that, taking the leap can be terrifying, hard as hell and feel like we are doing the craziest, most insane thing of our lives.
So maybe we don’t answer the call. Maybe we say no, play it safe and continue on content with our lives just as they are. What happens then?
Maybe nothing. Maybe we forget what that voice wanted, what that force felt like.
But maybe we don’t. Maybe in the wee hours of the night, when silence consumes us, we hear it again. Maybe on that day when we feel like nothing is going our way, and that we’re not where we are meant to be, we wonder—what if?
The thing is this. There is no expiration date on that call. We think there is, but there isn’t.
It’s why I started to publish my writing way into my adult years, even though I knew I wanted to write when I was a little girl, scribbling in journals and notebooks.
It’s why I left a job I knew wasn’t right for me—not the minute I figured that out and heard the voice—but six years after I started.
It’s why I broke up a dead-end relationship, long after I instinctively knew it was time for it to end.
There is no expiration date on that call.
Honoring a call or following a passion sometimes comes to us easily. Suddenly we feel a hundred percent certain of what we must do next. And when we do? It’s magical.
That magical pull is what allows us to dive head first into a new adventure. It’s what allows us to shake our head at the naysayers, and drown out the voices of the doubters. We just go, go, go, moving forward, trusting it will somehow all work out.
But more often than not, I think we have a hard time feeling one hundred percent certain about leaps of faith.
We doubt, worry, analyze, overthink, play out every possible outcome, ask for as many opinions as possible, stress, agonize, repeat, repeat, repeat, until finally we have to make a choice.
But what if? What if we doubted less and trusted more? What if we started to believe that the best person to steer us in the right direction is not a friend, a family member or a lover, but ourselves?
What if we started small, paying attention to the little pulls and following those so that one day, if a bigger message comes to us, we will have an easier time in trusting it, and listening to our intuition?
Maybe it doesn’t feel realistic to steer off the path and leap into a new direction.
But following our dreams isn’t always about feeling realistic; it’s about feeling real. (Tweet that!)
All the times I finally decided to listen to my gut, to follow through and take a chance on another path, felt like finally I was doing the right thing for me. Sometimes I started with small changes, taking baby steps in a new direction. Other times I went all in, never looking back.
The strategy doesn’t matter. What matters is taking action.
Taking action doesn’t necessarily mean that things will immediately fall into place (though they might), but it may not matter. You’ll be so excited about discovering what’s next, that you probably won’t care about the little hiccups along the way.
The pacing of your path unfolding is always exactly right. (Tweet that!)
Somewhere along the way, there will come a moment when you find yourself saying something like, “I feel with every part of me that I belong here.”
And it really will feel like something magical is taking place.