Following Leadings Experiment
by Jeanine DuBois
March 14, 2010
(First Word at my Quaker meeting on March 21, 2010)
Jeanine reads this selection at
Ten days ago I tried an experiment. I had nothing on my calendar that day, and I decided to follow my leadings, that’s God-speaking-within-me leadings all day. I decided I would only do what I was led to do.
Now, first, I have to say that prior to that day, I would have said that I follow God’s guidance every day. Well, yes… that’s mostly true.
And yet, on March 4th, 2010, I discovered a depth to this process that I had never known. I’ll share a few highlights of that day with you.
That day, prior to making this decision, I had done a spiritual practice called TAT®, which helps me let go of things that aren’t the true me, the person God made me to be. It was an amazing process, including letting go of:
During that TAT, I saw a hummingbird out my window, only the 3rd time in 19 years. Because of their long beak, they are symbolic of being able to get joy (the nectar) out of anything.
So, here I was, sitting on my couch at 10 in the morning, just having seen a hummingbird and having ended my TAT with the thought that I choose being at peace accepting myself as I am.
I sat comfortably basking in the glow, when a neighbor’s cat wandered up my roof to sit on the railing of my deck. I just smiled back and gazed at Harvey. This was his first visit to my deck; however, 2 other cats had, in previous years, found their way 1 floor up, onto my deck, through the pet door, and across the living room and dining room floors to eat my cats’ food. My first cat actually died of giardia transmitted by the feral cat. But today was different. Harvey just smiled, looked around at the trees and the birds and then back at me. I simply enjoyed feeling content and looking at Harvey, delighting in his smile and his delicious purr. I was remotely aware that I wasn’t thinking my usual train of thought, like, “Oh, my gosh, I need to lock the pet door, so Harvey doesn’t come in!” or “What will my cat Buddy upstairs think? Will he feel hurt or worried about another cat in his territory?” I was simply at peace. No leadings towards worry. No leadings to lock the pet door. My only leadings were to be present with my visitor and enjoy. After a while, Harvey left, and then I felt led to lock the pet door before I left the house. No anxiety. Just a momentary action.
Before I left my living room, I saw a raven, 5 crows, and 2 blue jays. First time ever that I saw blue jays from my house.
Then I thought, “I feel like playing!” Wow! Just like that! Easy! Natural! Ready to play – even though I still had work to do.
(that is, felt led) to go to Al’s Garden Center to get
some plants for my deck. Driving down the lane, I kept
looking at the sky. The clouds were incredible: big,
puffy, and backlit. Did clouds always look like this?
They looked so amazing that I turned onto a side street,
stopped my car, and got out just to gaze at them and
eventually take pictures. Then I saw airplane trails,
thin like lasers that somehow aligned perfectly to
appear to bounce off the horizon, like a ricochet. What
was the chance of that? And what about that huge cloud
in the middle that looked like a koala bear? (not shown
here) Back in my car, I was treated to a glorious
painted sky all the way down the highway.
At Al’s, I
wandered around, found 7 beautiful plants: 6 for my
decks and 1 for inside. A piece of one of the plants had
broken off. No thoughts of the plant being ruined, just
excitement about putting that broken piece in my outdoor
find the statue that I wanted for my entry deck, but
that was fine. I knew I’d find the right one another
day. A good excuse to have another adventure. And, by
the way, a week later I wandered over to the Backyard
Bird Shop and found just the thing: a statue of a cat
clutching a latte! I call him Cappuccino, and now I get
a giggle every time I walk out my door.
simply flowed from one highlight to the next: fish tacos
for lunch in honor of my friend Joe who had just died,
stopping by his old office to discover 2 new beautiful
stained glass pieces. (Now that we can't access Joe's
myartspace website, I'll post them here.)
of symbolism, probably from teaching English for 31
years, at the end of my day, I looked up the
significance of the animals. They spoke of joy, love,
magic, accomplishing amazing feats, and creating anew. I
looked over at one of Joe’s paintings, noticed how warm
and content it looked, and suddenly realized it was
Joe's "hummingbird," originally in his "love" gallery on
I’ve decided to do this experiment every day. The first was definitely the most spectacular. Yet every day has been filled with more joy, fewer fearful thoughts, more play, and more work - but I can’t really call it work because I wanted to do it. I felt led to do it.
encourage you to try an experiment. For one whole day,
consider inviting yourself to do only what you feel God
leading and welcoming you to do. Notice how it feels,
how it’s different, where you experience freedom and a
new perspective. And enjoy.