You know those times when you feel like you are exactly where you are meant to be? Like your heart, and then your feet, were led to some place in which, once followed and standing there, you feel a tingling warmth like Heaven smiles upon you and is pleased? I heard a quote once, "Every tool you need for your journey you will be given along the way." I agree with this statement; furthermore, I think that often the journey we are meant to be on is revealed to us when we are handed one of these tools and find we know what to do with it and it feels right to use it.
When I arrived at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, which had been my dream to attend from a young age, I had this sensation often. In my classes, sometimes in Anthropology, sometimes in Astronomy or English, or History, this feeling would come. It would feel warm and exciting and fill me with joy. Beyond a love of learning and being greatly interested in the subject matter at hand, I often got the strongest impression that I was exactly where I was meant to be doing exactly what I was meant to be doing and that the things I was learning would be have great significance in the life I was meant to live. I felt like I was being handed the tools for my journey.
For whatever reason, I don't remember feeling that feeling much for quite some time--maybe I wandered off my path a bit over the last couple years. Maybe I just haven't been as "in-tune" to it. Whatever the reason, what joy filled my soul this week as this feeling came, at once subtle and immense, on more than one occasion. I had followed my heart, I guess or, no, I had actually needed to use the bathroom (maybe sometimes one in the same...) and so stopped by the local library between other errands I was completing downtown. I ran into a friend, an amazing woman--a true scholar--who I've been working with a bit on the Paths Across the Pacific conference she is putting on again this summer--inviting reputable and controversial anthropologists and scientists to our little hometown for a few days of lectures and forums on cross-ocean migration theories, one of my favorite topics. She said she would be thrilled to have me come visit her in her office.
The next day I went. We visited in her "tree house" office. Ate wasabi nori and drank tea and chatted about books and anthropological adventures and controversies and publication and the open-mindedness and integrity that must be present with a genuine desire for discovery. I got that feeling. Then wondered why I keep getting that feeling when something I am doing is connected with anthropology and writing. She told me something funny, she said, "Lately I have been surprising myself by doing courageous things. I don't know why, but I have been brave. It's fun!" Sometimes, also, when others say things they stand out and you feel like the words were meant for you to hear, and not just by that person. I left with a book and a glow.
This same week another friend has been encouraging me to begin writing and helping me see a path to take to attain some of my goals. Again, the feeling. Walking on the "benchlands" road behind my house on a glorious morning, the feeling. Randomly playing a Audio CD that was lent to my sister while I did some cleaning, which turned out to be about what? Following feelings! Again, the feeling! I pray to be able to continue to be in-tune and to keep following those tugs, finding that joy, finding those tools, finding my journey.