What is home? Part 2...it's not what you think

The great irony about my last blog post, talking about moving to Portland, Oregon is that the very day I made that post, the plans I had been making for months completely fell through. I don't need to go into much detail about the reasons why, except to say that nothing in this life is certain, least of all, people's behaviors.

I actually was pretty calm when I found out I had to come up with a new plan after months of work, a week long trip right after my honeymoon and visions of greatness and the positive effect I could have on countless souls. My wife however, was not calm. Things did, as you will soon see, work out.

I will diverge from my train of thought for a moment to say that I had some profoundly spiritual experiences in the days and weeks following the sudden change in my life plans. I am a practicing Unitarian Universalist...a religion that encompasses many spiritual paths. I am drawn to Earth based spirituality (Pagan) and Native American spiritual beliefs. With the help of some friends who are shamanic practitioners, I was able to reconnect with my soul group in a profound way. In my way of thinking, we all have groups of souls in the Afterlife that help guide us through this life...if we pay attention.

During another one of these sessions, one of my friends identified coyote as one of my power animals...an animal whose energy and characteristics resonate strongly with us and can guide us. Coyote is a trickster...those of you who know me personally realize how perfectly that energy vibes with me! My soul group gave me guidance on how to connect with them during that work too, but it seems I wasn't paying attention. It took another session for my soul group to give me the spiritual equivalent of a slap in the face. Under the right conditions, when I concentrated, I began "hearing" in my mind, many voices with words or phrases of guidance. To some, that might sound crazy...I should know, I was put on anti-psychotics for a while when I told the wrong person something like that...but it is how I am experiencing my spirituality.

I was reassured that I would find the right job for me, that I would be of service to many people and the phrase that really caught my attention..."it's not what you think."

During my time of being unemployed, I was looking for music therapy jobs. Not long before my soul group and I reconnected, my wife found a staffing agency that hires music therapists for places all over the country. She got the bright idea to look for jobs for teachers of the visually impaired. Yes, as well as being a board certified music therapist and neurologic music therapist, I am a licensed music teacher and certified teacher of the visually impaired.

Within three days of submitting my resume and cover letter to the staffing agency, I had a job offer. Out of all the positions listed on there website, there was only one left...and it was in New Mexico...Four Corners area.

One of my shamanic practitioner friends, after telling my Coyote was one of my power animals thought for a moment and said, "Portland, huh? Too bad you're not moving to the Southwest."

So I'm finishing up my second week here in New Mexico. I've already learned a lot. I've learned what it feels to be a minority...I've learned that there is less road rage here. I've learned most indigenous people are very friendly and they give directions by the moon and stars instead of by street names and GPS coordinates...and often they expect white people to get lost (and rightly so in my case). There is a rugged beauty here and I sense that the indigenous people here hold an ancient wisdom that the modern world could do well by listening to.

I've learned that it is possible for me to be homesick. Does that mean this is not home? I don't know. I'm trying to be here now and some days I succeed better than others. I cry a lot, missing my wife and my children.

Could I ever feel at home here? There are a lot of great people, amazing culture and awe inspiring natural beauty, but my family is elsewhere. Without my family, something is missing. This space and place won't be a permanent change for me. I won't always be away from my family. For now, this is home. Maybe home, slightly bittersweet home. Even so, I'm doing my best to embrace this journey I'm on. Coyote and my soul group led me here...I have to believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. For now, maybe that's enough.