CUSCO: The Gateway to Inner Wisdom
My earliest childhood memory that I still picture so vividly is myself at three on a swing in our backyard. It was one of those incredible spring days in Cincinnati when the sky was a brilliant blue that cannot be painted and the sun was radiant, warm, and gentle. The air was alive with fragrance and the sound of birds singing. All around me was that green, that new green of everything as it first appears. The breeze caressed me as I swung higher and higher into the sky, as if I could fly with the birds. I was alive, I was free, and I was filled with delight that God could create such an incredible thing, this earth, this life, and the beauty of all of it. More powerful still, was the sense that I was a part of this creative miracle. The utter joy and wonder of such a moment is the connectedness you feel and the connection to God and nature and the understanding that you are a part of it all. Somehow important. I was completely present to God at that moment, and God present to me.
I was raised Catholic, so I’m sure at three I knew of God’s existence and probably prayed each night some rote prayer supposed to give me clear knowledge of the might and power of God. But this God of the swing bore no relation to anything I had been taught at home or church. This God was love and acceptance and delighted in my being. This God got a kick out of my willfulness, my playfulness, my naughtiness, my imagination. This God was bigger than anything anyone had told me and I knew this God was in me and I was in God.
But growing up in the fifties my life experiences taught me more about limitations than expansiveness. Though I was being taught to think small and do as the others were doing, I had big dreams, secret dreams that I was sure my God of the swing supported. I wanted to be an actress, not so much to be rich and famous but so I could touch people’s lives, make them laugh and cry.
I got married instead deciding I could live the life for which I was programmed and be an actress on the side. Neither the marriage nor my acting career was very successful. But living in New York, I discovered a whole new world where expansiveness was allowed amid the anonymity. When acting proved too frustrating, I started a theatre company, thinking I could touch people’s hearts with the plays I produced.
Still there was something missing, something pulling, something prodding. It always seemed to be just around the corner. If I could only get there I knew I would be happy. What was it, that illusive something? Was it a big theatrical hit? Was it fame and fortune? Was it a man to love me? Or something more?
I was yearning, a deep wide yearning that had no name. It felt like a sense of destiny calling me, a puzzle that had only a few missing pieces. If I could only find them and put them into place then I would be complete, then I could rest, then I could live happily ever after. At that time, the search for a soul mate came closest to embodying this mixture of longing, mystery and destiny, this thing that eluded me.
It kept me moving along a path of discovery that led me to an even greater understanding of love. Eventually I realized that I was searching for my highest self, not another person or soulmate. I was seeking the oneness I felt with God and all creation that I first glimpsed on the swing. I was longing to discover my deepest calling, my life’s destiny, a sense of purpose and meaning one can only find by expanding consciousness.
This book is about the mysterious proddings and unexpected adventures, that somehow were directing me, encouraging me, awakening me to new possibilities.
What I have now come to know in the deepest part of my being, that I didn’t quite understand then, is that there is a wonderful powerful force in the universe (that I call God or Divine Creator, but known by many names), that conspires to assist us in our life’s search for purpose and meaning.
The story of my discovery is a great adventure, filled with twists and turns, setbacks and surprises. This story however, is not just about me. It is about all of us learning to tune in to that unseen power and to see it, know it, and use it as an instrument of healing and transformation and to use it to discover our own inner wisdom.
Perhaps you’ve had some inkling of what I am talking about or you have a nagging suspicion that there should be more, some yearning that is not fulfilled by your current relationships with money, property, people, or things. By learning to access this mysterious power of nature itself, your journey can be no less fantastic or miraculous than the one I am about to tell you.
If you are aware that you are already on the path, I hope that this book may give you more steps to take which speed you on your way. If you are not aware of your own great adventure, this book is an invitation to go exploring, to be more alive and more yourself. In my memory of the swing, I knew that I was important, put here for some special reason. Of this fact I am more clear than ever.
I also believe that everyone reading this book has been put here for something special, particular to this moment in our cosmic history. We are perched on the edge of a great shift in the way we live, the dawning of a new era. As we discover our connectedness, not only to the mystical forces of nature, but to our oneness with all living and created things, we can recognize our special part in bringing about this amazing transformation.