In 2001 my husband and I took a giant leap of faith. In our mid-forties, we quit our jobs, sold everything and closed down the life we had built in the Bahamas to embark on a new adventure in India. Being on staff at an ashram had been a long held dream and we were thrilled to be grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
Fast-forward two years. While the experience at the ashram was transformational, we knew it was time to start looking for work. We also knew that as challenging as closing down a former life might have been, finding new work opportunities would offer a unique set of challenges.
Thankfully, we quickly secured teaching positions at schools on Grand Bahama, an island we had never visited before. However, initial feelings of gratitude dissolved the moment we arrived.
I was shocked. My first impression was,“My God, this place has an energy of depressed neglect,” and these feelings were dramatically reinforced a few days later, when the island was hit with two hurricanes, arriving in quick succession.
At that point in my life I had been on a spiritual path for several years. I had a regular hatha yoga and meditation practice. I understood the importance of self-reflection and I knew how important it was to offer dakshina, monetary offerings in support of worthwhile causes.
However what I had not grasped was how every aspect of our lives is a mirror, reflecting the way we treat ourselves ‘inside.’ In other words, “The energy of depressed neglect,” I was seeing in my physical environment was my own internal landscape, barren and laid bare from a lifetime of disregarding my intuitive gifts, skills and talents.
To galvanize this lesson, my new teaching position was highly stressful. I had unconsciously created working conditions to reflect inner patterns of self-neglect and was handed a schedule that was almost impossible to maintain, leaving me exhausted and depressed.
It was at that moment I suddenly woke up. For the first time I could see that everything was my own creation and with new-found understanding I began asking,