We live in a society that doesn’t talk much about being lost.
We say things like, “I’m okay. I know what I’m doing.”
When, in fact, we lay awake in the middle of the night riddled with anxiety,
trying to find our way.
We live in a world bloated with information yet starved for wisdom.
We’re trying to find our way.
When we allow ourselves to feel lost, when we give ourselves permission,
a raw, gnawing, unadulterated, stomach-churning, heart pounding power will push us, like intense labor, toward a vast horizon.
There are cultures that recognize the importance of feeling lost.
They know there’s something rich and potent that stirs just beneath the surface.
They don’t rush the process. Instead, they focus on the point at which the latitude of the mind meets the longitude of the heart.
This is the center point, the still point.
And it can be that way for us.
Our modern world often prizes the mind over the heart
but science is now discovering what native cultures have long believed.
The heart is the first point of reference. Its electrical field receives and transmits information to the brain, with high-speed intuitive intelligence.
The year is 2007.
I’m on a remote island in Micronesia to document indigenous wayfinders.
Much of my time is spent among the women.
Except for a small mirror that I’ve packed in my luggage,
I realize that I haven’t seen any mirrors on this island.
I watch as 90-year old women, with breasts to their waists flirt wildly with my crew,
flirting with unrestrained, innocent abandon.
They are ageless and beautiful.
Un-self-conscious of their missing teeth and the size of their waists,
they only know themselves as luscious and gorgeous.
They are living their lives, navigating from the heart.
In 2009, I’m in a poor, rural village in India.
There’s a woman on the side of a dusty road.
She’s squatted, repairing a pothole using cow dung.
Through a translator I comment on how beautiful she looks and I wonder out loud why this woman, who’s dressed like royalty, would adorn herself for this kind work. Without hesitation, she says to the interpreter in her dialect,
“I dress for the Divine”.
She is living life by her wisdom.
These are the moments that reorient me.
These are the stories that recalibrate me.
They grant me courage…to tell my story with my whole heart.
These are the women who, like constellations, guide me.
Our society often follows the wrong stars.
We track celebrities as if it’s breaking news.
It’s as if we’re using someone else’s map to find our way,
someone else’s measurements to determine our worth,
some fickled criteria like numbers on a scale,
or in our banks accounts to determine our value.
This is where wisdom is paramount
because it will guide you back again and again to your true course
if you are willing to trust the map of your heart.
You don’t have to travel to remote regions
to discover what’s most valuable.
The greatest expedition you’ll ever make
is to the final frontier of your heart.
Trust the journey.
Willingly explore the unknown.
Feeling lost can be powerful medicine
because it loosens and frees the parts we believe ourselves to be.
What eventually emerges is who we really are.
And until we are true to ourselves,
we offer the world nothing more than a pale imitation of who we might have been.
And none of us, not one of us, is here for that.