I crossed the street toward a lonely little building, where there was an older man outside, smoking. “Do you have the time?” I asked. He looked at me and then behind me. “...did you know your boyfriend is following you?”
I looked at the man as he was putting out his cigarette on the ground outside the coffee-slash-ice cream store. He was about 70 years old, African, a friendly face,
kind. “Sorry?” I was about to turn around when he told me not to. “I wouldn’t do that. You don’t know that there’s a man following you?” “I’m on my way to school.” I was a little panicked.
He told me to come inside and sit with his old-man gang and see what happened. It was early morning in the middle of the week. I was 14 years old and I had been running to school but I forgot something and had to run back to the group home I lived in, and then, like I did every day, I took a different route to get to school. This was something one of my counsellors at the group home taught us. So here I was standing with this man as he told me to come into the shop, wouldn’t let me turn around to look, and I had to make a quick decision.
Trust him, or trust whatever was following me to not hurt me in some alley. “You’re not a psycho killer who is going to try to kill me, are you?” He looked at me sideways, then he took the handle of the door. “In an ice cream parlour?” He chuckled and shook his head. I went inside with him. He took a look at his friends who were all watching us as we walked toward their table, “This young lady is on her way to school and she has a man out there she doesn’t know following her. Let’s pretend we all know her, gentlemen. She’s someone’s granddaughter.” They quickly went from staring at me to resuming their game.
We were the only ones in the shop, sitting at a round table and they were all holding playing cards. The man outside came up to the window, looked inside, took a drag off his cigarette. The whole time he was staring me in the eyes through the glass. He put his cigarette out and then pressed his face against the window, his hands cupped around his eyes.
He stood like that, leaning on the window and staring at me for what seemed like forever, and I started to cry. The old man who brought me in told the lady at
the counter to call a taxi and have it come to the back door. He shoved some money in my hand and he and some of the men at the table went outside to keep the scary man occupied. The cab came when it came, and just like that I was in it and on my way to school, and I never walked down that street again. I never saw that good man again either, because I wasn’t meant to. Something told me to cross the street to talk to that man, so I did. And it probably saved my life, or saved me from something really bad happening to me.
I have trusted this gut feeling, this intuitive voice inside me for most of my life. Before I lived in the group home, I was a homeless kid at 12 years old and was homeless on and off like this until I was 18.
Every single time I had a gut feeling to go left, I went left. If I felt like I needed to wait to leave for five more minutes, I listened to that. If I met someone dodgy, I listened to my gut when it told me to run. It got to the point where, when I couldn’t find my keys and I needed to leave right now, I knew that I was being saved by something or made to run into a specific person for a reason, so I went with it. I learned that every one that was put in front of me, or I was being put in front of them, was there for a bigger reason.
In every interaction, I was both student and teacher. Most importantly, I learned
to stop relying on only myself, and allow that higher consciousness to guide me in everything I did. You might know what I’m talking about here, and you might also think that it’s luck or pure coincidence. In 2005, when I was living in London, England and was running out the door to catch my train, something told me to stop and ask my husband a question, which turned into a fight, which turned into my being late, which turned into me narrowly missing the train that blew up at Edgware road, and it was my train car that blew up and I was six months pregnant.
I listened again to my intuition that same morning, minutes after the Edgeware explosion, when I had to choose one out of three buses that were taking passengers to work. Nobody knew that the explosions were terrorist attacks, so we all went on with life as usual. Train wasn’t working, so everyone went to the surface to take buses. I picked the bus in front of the one that blew up at Tavistock Square.
I was 25 feet away when it blew up and my life was saved twice that day. I’m telling you, and I’m not trying to convince you, but when we choose to be still...to
be quiet and listen to that voice inside us and we learn to let it guide us, anything is possible. There are far too many of these moments for me to mention in this one article, but trust me when I say that I believe we all have access to this, no matter who we are or where we come from and if you’ve ever had these moments, you know that you’re being guided by something bigger than you. A guiding angel, maybe? A spirit guide? A guardian angel?
There’s a reason that a person can walk away with only scratches when they get into a car accident that they clearly shouldn’t have walked away from. I learned to let this guide me through everything I do, and I always listen. When I don’t listen, there are always consequences, so I know that I am being guided to do the things that I want to do with my life in response to the questions I ask and the thoughts I am having.
I know it in my life, and I know it in my business. You’ve been guided your entire
life, you just may not be aware of it. And when you turn away from it, and think you can do it on your own and you stop listening, there’s a price to pay. It’s not always big, but it’s never small, either. I personally feel like that’s what one-hit wonders are. Who remembers Macarena?
Remember that old adage: like attracts like. It’s what happens when you spill coffee on yourself and everything goes on a downward spiral from there. And for when you get the greatest news of your life and you’re on a high for a week and everything works out.
Getting into the feeling of gratitude, happiness, and joy is literally what will help open the doors for your spirit guides to come to you and start helping you with the load, but more importantly, to stop putting yourself in the positions you do so that you have a heavy, painful load to carry in the first place. Good thoughts, wanting the best for everyone.
All of that good stuff opens the doors for your inner GPS to start guiding your life. But you have to give yourself the quiet space to hear it, to connect with it and to let that spiritual connection connect with you. I do this through prayer,
meditation and practicing gratitude.
Years ago, someone introduced me to the idea that we aren’t humans with a soul, but we are souls in a human body, in a vehicle. And that we live over and over again, hundreds if not thousands of times. Our souls are searching for experiences to grow, to develop spiritually and it’s our job to get out of fear and learn to fill our hearts with love.
Once that sunk in, everything started to make sense. If I’m losing you here, bear with me because I’m going somewhere with this. Let’s say that we do choose this life simply for the experiences. That would mean that everything that happens along the way: bad parents, bad spouses, bad experiences are the same as good parents, good spouses and good experiences. It’s in the word we use, the labels: good or bad.
How about this: they are just experiences, simply put. And they’re not meant for you to get stuck on in your human journey, like getting lost in chapter two of a book and having it mess up your life forever. Can you imagine if you started reading a book and that book took over your life and that was it for you? Sounds
a bit ridiculous, right? Look at your life that way.
Why are you getting so caught up with what someone says about you, or if you failed at something? If we started to look at all our experiences like classes in university, wouldn’t it be easier for us to do the work, learn the lesson and move on to the next class so we can finish the degree? Here’s the thing: when you get caught up in one lesson, you’re slowing down your development big time because something in your future is going to need you to use what you learned in the lesson you’re now stuck on.
This is why we can’t take things personally, we have to be impeccable with our words, we have to always do our best, and we can’t live off of assumptions in our heads. If you’re wondering where you heard that before, it’s from the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Taking things personally is making you the center of someone else’s world instead of your own and making them wrong to make your ego right. Being impeccable with your word means how you think about others and the things in your life, keeping your word and how you use your words to lift someone up or bring someone down, including yourself. Being impeccable with your word is showing up for hard conversations and setting boundaries. Always doing your best means keep learning, keep growing and keep taking steps to put what you’re learning into action, regardless of whether it’s difficult or you fall down.
And not making assumptions means that you slow down your obsessive thoughts, you look for the proof of that thought and if you can’t find it, then you don’t use that thought as fact to drive your relationships. It all makes sense right? It’s easier to do when you make meditation and prayer a part of your life and you practice gratitude as soon as you open your eyes in the morning and when you go to bed at night. Allow failure to be a part of your existence because if you change the perspective, failure is just the willingness to fall down and get back up so that you can learn.
Thinking this way has set me free in my world. It’s allowed me to see people for who they are. We are all souls figuring it out and looking for ways to find love, aren’t we? And that doesn’t have to mean romantically. In your circle of friends, and in your opportunities, in your sexual experiences, you want to be seen. You want to be taken seriously and you want to be able to express yourself and get out of the prison you’ve put yourself in.
That’s how I felt and that’s what I used to journal about. Not being able to fully express myself or be taken seriously was a huge thing for me, and until I learned that that was fully within my control by slowing down my mind, paying
attention to my thoughts, changing the direction of the negative thinking and learning a new way to be silent and listen, I wasn’t getting anywhere. It was the same crappy relationship, the same nonsense work, the same conversations over and over and over again. I couldn’t find the purpose of it all.
The way you are now is exactly the way you’re meant to be, regardless of whether or not you want to lose 30 lbs or grow your hair, or fix your acne or build some muscle. This vehicle of yours needs the same thing any good vehicle needs: the right gas, oil changes, and tune ups.
When you start looking at your body the way you look at your car, you start to see that all it needs is maintenance: eat only things that get your energy up and
moving, drink lots of water, take it out for a spin every day, don’t get rusty. The empowerment in this helped me get through the nastiest divorce I have ever heard of and it showed me how I got myself into that nasty divorce.
My spiritual practice showed me how I was willingly putting myself through unnecessary pain: my thoughts drove my feelings and my feelings led to my actions and those three things were drawing the wrong kind of energy to me because that’s the vibe I was sending out. It was like I had a big flashy sign above my head everywhere I went: “Not aligned with my self worth! Open for business for anyone who just crawled out from under a rock and wants to mess with me.” They came in droves. It showed up as false friends who I got hurt from, needy people who needed me to fill up their lives somehow, horrid boyfriends and some really scary physical situations, and meaningless opportunities with people who didn’t care about me at all.
I did this for a long time. It was because I wasn’t taking care of my soul. I wasn’t living out my purpose and instead I was looking to the outside world to give me things to make me feel alive, loved, pursued. The real work is the inside journey: sorting out your stuff one thing at a time so that the world starts making sense in a way that works for you, with you.
Figuring out your purpose and stepping into your leadership instead of taking whatever life throws at you. Having a life that you love living, even if it’s hard to do at first, even if it means you have to walk away from toxic relationships that you’re used to. It’s worth it in the end when you’re surrounded by like-minded, happy, positive people who are making things happen in their lives. It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating. “It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are - not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within - that you can begin to take control.” -Oprah Winfrey
If you’re struggling with this, email me for a list of books to start with. This work will truly change your life. The goal is to look back in a year and see a whole new, self directed, aligned and empowered you. You get to choose, don’t forget that. xo
-Tanya-Marie Dubé, Born into the foster care system, living in 8 homes by the age of 2 years old, and homeless on and off for six years from 12-18 years old, Tanya-Marie Dubé is a show host, a motivational speaker, published author and online educator. She has a powerful paid membership for women entrepreneurs called Soulful Entrepreneur Membership teaching women entrepreneurs how to master their influence in their businesses through developing their spirituality and connection to source so that they can have lasting, massive impact in their lives and businesses. She is trained as a Results Coach with Tony Robbins, is certified as an Advanced Belief Clearing Practitioner and is finishing her masters in Metaphysical Sciences. She has been coaching for 28 years with an educational background in psychology. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and at her website