by Bryce Downey, graduate of Southwestern College, Santa FeNot for the first time in my life do I find myself here: my physical surroundings are incredibly beautiful & conducive to frequent adventures, I am blessed with a sweet, conscientious, & peppy roommate, sharing a spacious, comfortable, quiet home. I have three jobs to earn income. As if all this were not more than enough, I have the reason I moved here, found this amazing home, and got all these jobs: love, of course! Well, Love in the form of higher education: Southwestern College. Is this even the first time I’ve chosen into loving by way of higher education? Nope. I’m fortunate and thankfully wise enough to have chosen attending, or rather being transformed through the University of Santa Monica. This, however, is a different-new-exciting-unique journey. I feel graduating from USM has allowed me to participate so much more fully and authentically in my life, making Southwestern first a possibility, then a real, live choice. Perhaps everyone doesn’t need quite as much work on the front end as I did . . . . When I was younger, I experienced a lot of fear about simply being me–living in the world. As a result or consequence of my adventures & choices, I am here, ready to move forward (upward & onward?) in this: the calling of my heart, of my life–becoming/being a counselor–a heart-centered listener as my vocation. What does this mean? It means I am ALL IN. Regardless of what shows up, here we go! What does this have to do with all the background I wrote above, choosing to move from my home where I was comfortable, if not pursuing my dream, and not moving to live in the same city as my beloved partner? It has to do with faith. Not blind acceptance, but trusting the process and trusting my heart. As my spiritual teacher John-Roger has said (along with others, many times): “99% is a bitch; 100% is a breeze.” So what I said to myself was, “Let’s just go for it.” Because if I’d decided to move here to this quirky town & attend this non-traditional school with its equally quirky president and not go all in (as in hesitate, keep harboring doubts or let myself indulge in negative fantasies about what *might* happen) I could never truly know. And I owe that to myself. I suspect you do, too. And this goes beyond deserving or questions of worthiness. We are inherently worthy & deserving–that was decided long ago and we simply forgot. But just because we forget something doesn’t mean we can’t just as easily remember it again. I do this by calling in the Light and going All In. In the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl, he and others are faced with life in a concentration camp and losing their families, losing their way of life, and physical death. Frankl points to the simplest, yet not always easiest awareness: choice. How do I choose to live, regardless of circumstances? What voice do I listen to: that of my heart or zillions of people who say I shouldn’t be so happy? I ask myself this many times every day; and though I may get confused or discouraged or scared sometimes, my answer keeps coming up the same. My heart sure knows what it is talking about (and I bet yours does, too).
What does it look like when you follow your heart?
What does it look like when you go All In?