Decades ago as a junior in high school, I read a book called “A Walk Across America” by Peter Jenkins. My future took form in front of my eyes as I turned the pages. I too wanted to journey across America! I wanted to travel from place to place, working as I went along. Not forever, maybe for a year or so, and just for the shear adventure of it. As a young woman I realized that walking alone may not be the safest mode of transportation, so I was going to buy something small, like a used Chinook camper, then drive everywhere so I could hike and explore. Four years later, at the family Thanksgiving table, I announced my post college graduation plans, and far from being enthusiastic about my plans, my family was horrified. They left me with no doubt that they thought I had completely lost my mind. This was quite an eye opener for me, as I realized for the first time in my life that my family really did not know who I was. I thought that they understood how much I loved to travel, to learn from other cultures, and to have adventures, especially given that two days after high school graduation, I took all of my savings from working in the Shakey’s Pizza Parlor and took off on a European backpacking trip for the whole summer with one of my best friends before we started college. I couldn’t wait to get back on the trail! Sadly, I was intimidated enough by my family to put my dreams aside, and do the dutiful thing. I graduated, got a job, and began my career working in the theatre. I had always wanted a career in the entertainment industry, (I was only going to postpone it,) but I threw myself into it, and I did indeed have a marvelous time.
Over the years I would re-visit this dream of adventuring in a motor home, but in the meantime, I did plenty of traveling on my own, going back to Europe several times, working and living onboard cruise ships for several years, traveling to Asia a few times, living in London England for a year and a half, and certainly exploring the United States when job moves took me to various parts of the country. Then I found myself working in retail. I was grateful for the job, but felt I had fallen into it by default because of a job with the circus that I did not enjoy, and left after a year and a half. It took me awhile to get the hang of the retail world, but eventually I realized that The Universe had a plan for me, and it began to unfold. Working in the store kept me stationary, allowing me the time to spend with my aging parents, to immerse myself in spiritual studies that had come to mean so much to me, to examine and re-shape my own beliefs, and to come into contact with the people who would change my life as I explored the nature of reality and illusion, metaphysics, and the like. This is when I truly began Living The BhakTee Life, I just didn’t know it yet.
It became more and more important for me to spend my precious spare time doing things that made my soul feel joyful and happy, to be around like minded people that lifted me up, especially when life got bumpy, or scary, or challenging. For meditations, I began playing Tibetan singing bowls, and crystal singing bowls, and the gong with The Sound Sisters, with other friends, and sometimes on my own. My world was expanding in ways that I had never imagined, and I didn’t have to take one step outside my door if I didn’t feel like it.
Years passed as I continued to learn a lot about retail, about merchandising, fabrics and designs, and I began to develop The BhakTee Life. Of course, the wanderlust was still very much inside of me.
Then, in January 2018, a very dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly, and on the same day my landlady also passed away. I was heartbroken. My sweet landlady, Jean, was 97, and with her ill health, her passing was not unexpected, but Scott was another matter. We had just talked on the phone three days prior, on New Year’s Day, and we usually spoke on the phone every couple of weeks, sometimes more often. He would tease me and invite me to come visit him up in New Hampshire. Our courtship from years ago had turned into a very warm friendship. And now he was gone. Our conversations had evolved over the years to talking about what we would do as we got older, our plans for ourselves, our dreams. Scott wasn’t finished, or so I had thought.
That was the kick in the behind that I needed, to stop planning to live my life, and to go live it! Both of my parents had been gone for awhile now too, and I had become disenchanted with my job. Then one night I was sitting with my friend Carol, talking about what to do next, and she asked me, if I could do anything, what would it be? And my old dream of traveling in an RV popped up. She said, “Well it looks like the Universe just opened the door so you can fly. What’s stopping you?” And that was it. I woke up the next morning knowing that my life was about to change drastically. I felt alive again, and back in alignment with what Spirit had in mind for me.
Within six months I had a used RV sitting in my driveway. Her name is Charlie, (short for Charlotte,)- named for her ’67 Chevy Chevelle namesake I had in college. My years of working in theatre scene shops came in handy as I spent my free time renovating Charlie, and making her “mine,” just as I had done with my ’67 Chevy after my dad taught me how to do auto body work.
Having stepped into the flow of Divine Guidance, I needed a place to live because the new owners of the home I was renting wanted the house for a relative. As it turned out, a couple I know own five acres outside of town, that “just happened” to already have a concrete slab for an RV with all of the hook-ups, and the fellow that was living there “just happened” to have left recently. (You have to love this stuff!)
So here I am, one year after that conversation with Carol in my living room, having left my job in the store, and now devoting my time and energy to working on The BhakTee Life, while living my Bhakti life. It isn’t just planning what festivals to attend, and designing tee shirts with bits of wisdom and cool designs, but it is a way of life. I finally let go of the expectations and allowed Spirit to guide me to my authentic Self. I do not pretend to tell people what to believe, but I do encourage people to believe in something that is far greater than themselves, and to follow their inner guidance. What is your dharma, your true nature and purpose for being here? Everyone has that inner guidance, and it is up to us to listen to that “Still Small Voice.”
I have two sayings from Abraham/Hicks that I keep posted on my bathroom mirror to make sure that I read them every day. “A very good career choice would be to gravitate toward those activities and to embrace those desires that harmonize with your core intentions, which are freedom and growth – and joy. Make a ‘career’ of living a happy life rather than trying to find work that will produce enough income that you can do things with your money that will then make you happy. When feeling happy is of paramount importance to you – and what you do ‘for a living’ makes you happy – you have found the best of all combinations.”
And the other is, “Let your alignment (with Well-Being) be first and foremost, and let everything else be secondary. And not only will you have an eternally joyous journey, but everything you have ever imagined will flow effortlessly into your experience. There is nothing you cannot be or do or have – but your dominant intent is to be joyful. The doing and the having will come into alignment once you get that one down.”
And that, is the philosophy of Living The BhakTee Life. Trust your inner guidance, trust that there is a Divine Power that wants us to be happy, to continue to grow, to expand our consciousness and be joyful in the journey back Home. As I begin this new phase of my life, I know that I am going to be meeting amazing people, and have wonderful adventures as I travel to festivals and fairs to share the experience of The BhakTee Life while selling our tee shirts and bringing awareness of the Divine Power that resides within each of us, raising global consciousness, and knowing that we all have the opportunity to live a Bhakti Life.
In some ways I need to thank my family for putting the kibosh on my dreams all those years ago. I didn’t really know what I was looking for then, but now I do. Now I am seeking not just adventures, but adventures with like minded people, - I am looking for fellow Truth Seekers who also want to connect with the global community of people who are actively, intentionally living their lives in ways that help raise the consciousness of the planet, for all Beings.
We are all fellow travelers in this journey of life.
May your journey be filled with wonder and magic, kindness and bhakti. And should you happen to wake up one morning and find an RV in your driveway that you recently purchased, don’t panic! It’s a good thing, and it may be just what your Inner Guidance ordered for you!