Have you ever considered the defining moments that have changed the course of your life? We all have them. They are the moments that impact us so deeply that they transform how we think, what we believe, and how we live our lives. I have had quite a few in my 52 years of life. One, in particular, I would like to share with you.
In May 2018, I had a defining moment that changed the very fabric of my being.
I went on a Vision Quest. A Vision Quest is a rite of passage. It is a powerful ritual where you spend time alone in nature without food (only water) and minimal shelter. To be more descriptive my shelter consisted of a blue tarp from Home Depot that I tied to rocks and shrubs. Its only purpose was to keep me dry if it rained and out of the sun at high noon. Pretty rustic and minimalistic.
I went on this journey to seek a deeper meaning and purpose for my life. Most people thought I was crazy. I am not a true adventure seeker but do enjoy spending time outdoors. I am terrible with directions and my husband might tell you I could get lost in the backyard. In my defense, we do have 50 acres of land, so it is possible. For the people in my life who care about my well-being, their concern was somewhat legit.
My Quest was a 10-day journey. The first six days were spent with a group of seven individuals from around the world and three amazing guides. We spent five days in counsel, having open discussions about why we were there and reflecting on current and past moments in life. During this time, we were also learning the ins and outs of spending time in solitude. Buddy system, safety protocols, and what to do if we encountered a mountain lion, rattlesnake, or tarantula. We also hiked the desert to locate our individual solo camps. People chose camps anywhere from one to two miles from the base camp. I was just over a mile away surrounded by boulders, sage bushes, and mountain views. It was beautiful.
Spending three days alone in solitude may sound maddening for some. Fasting may seem impossible. Not having shelter and the comforts of home may be an unlikely choice for many. But for me, it brought peace, clarity, and time to reflect on my life’s real meaning and purpose. These are defining moments.
When you strip yourself of all necessity the ego is relinquished. There is nothing for it to protect you from. All you have left is your soul, your truth revealing the true meaning of your life. It all sounds mystical maybe even magical, but it’s not really like that. As you sit alone in silence, stillness, and solitude all you have is you. No noise, no distraction just pure peace and calm. It is truly a beautiful moment you all should experience.
On the second day, I went on a hike through the desert and returned to a visitor. It caught me by surprise and I will admit I had a moment of panic. The panic went as fast as it came. What I discovered was a six-foot snake right in the center of my camp. It was stretched out long and napping in the sun. You would think that my instinct would have been to run, but when you are fasting you enter this really amazing, dreamy-like state where you are calm and peaceful. After I concluded it was not a rattlesnake (thank goodness for the safety training) I settled in with my friend for a chat. Yep, I talked to the snake for about two and a half hours until it decided to slither off between some boulders. Talk about defining moments in life.
Animals are part of nature and have energy and meaning.
If you are unfamiliar with an unusual encounter with an animal, look it up. They are bringing you a message. The message the snake brought to me that day was about shedding my old skin, new beginnings, and renewal.
After my three days and three nights of solitude, I returned to the base camp. It felt like crossing a threshold into a new life. I left something in the desert back in May 2018 that I no longer needed. An old narrative to a story I once believed about myself. A narrative that no longer defined me or served me.
Once I returned home, I cannot explain in words how my life began to change. It was this slow metamorphosis like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon. With each day that passes, even today things are changing, my life is transforming bringing me closer to my true purpose. Today my soul is shining, and my heart is open.
Consider the defining moments in your life and how they have transformed your thinking, beliefs, and life.