I have been moved and inspired and opened up by each and every one of them. Through their words and images they have offered me examples~permission~the go-ahead to move toward my dreams. I am taking an online course right now, offered by two of these remarkable women, that has split me in two. And rather than feeling torn apart, some magnificent treasures have emerged from the very center of my being. It's awesome. Giving myself the space to dream VERY big has already gifted me with results, who would have thunk it? And we're only just starting week two!
When first discovering their projects, blogs and websites I was especially drawn to Jen Lemen's Picture Hope. I poured over the photos, the words, the history. I found myself in tears. Why? Why such a strong reaction? Was it the lives, the challenges, the beauty of her friends' stories? Or was it her journey, her experiences, the images she's shared? Yes, it was all of those things. But I knew, deep down, on a different level, it wasn't about the people I was learning about, or the story that was unfolding in her life. No, when I sat with it, I knew. Africa was calling me. Somehow. In some way.
I have been to Africa twice in my life, during my 20's, both times through a friend that was living there, in different places, in different jobs. The first time she was a peace corps volunteer in Kenya, and I spent six glorious weeks in Kenya and Tanzania. I am sure I learned more about myself during that time than anything else on that journey. The second time was when she and her husband were in the diplomatic corps in Senegal and I spent four weeks discovering many parts of the country and even helping in an official evacuation of Liberia. I had my world turned upside down both times. Filled up. Fabulous. And Grateful.
But that was quite a few years ago. And yet, when I look over the past 15 years or so, I see there were other times where, if I had been paying attention, Africa has been knocking on my heart.
So here I am. With my Mondo-Beyondo-Dream-Big List, and Africa was the first thing that went on it. Without a doubt. Without knowing why. I don't know what it means. And I don't know what part of Africa, which country. And I don't know how. But it's there. For some reason, it has to be there.
I have been learning, s-l-o-w-l-y, that when you are on your *path*, when you are in your groove, when you are doing exactly what you were put on this Earth to do, the Universe~Spirit~God delivers exactly what you need to continue. If only we pay attention!
And so I'm paying attention! Last week at work, right next to my box of tea, was a Dixie cup with Diego (of Diego and Dora fame, if you have children this makes sense to you), and the cup had Diego and his African Adventure. Hah! That cup now sits on my desk. Permission to remember that something is calling to me and to be open to it.
Then, yesterday, too wild! From the mail, THIS was sitting on the kitchen table, a thank you postcard from a dear friend, who lives just over the hill from me:
Okay. Yes. I'm awake. I'm paying attention. I am Open. And ready!