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:

  • fear of finding out how much I’m truly loved
  • believing security is not spiritual and that spirituality does not provide security
  • believing what I’d heard in school: “Sit down, shut up, and do your work!”
  • believing all my work has to be done before I can play

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.

I decided (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 vase.


I didn’t 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.


My day 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.)

following_leadings_experiment_files/IMG_Joe-StGeorgeSlayingDragon.jpg ............... following_leadings_experiment_files/IMG_Joe-mandala.jpg

Then I returned home and did 2 chores that I had been avoiding for days. I simply felt led to do them. No muss, no fuss. Just easy; effortless.

Being fond 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 called “hummingbird.” 

Here's Joe's "hummingbird," originally in his "love" gallery on


This day certainly was filled with the nectar of joy, as well as with freedom from nagging thoughts that aren’t necessarily God’s leadings.

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.

So I 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.

© 2010 Jeanine DuBois

updated 2013 January 1