That winter of 2015, I was living in my cute, little rented house in Richmond just after the New Year kicked off. I had started a Pathwork group, similar to the one I had led in Atlanta, and I had a handful of Workers doing individual sessions, same as in Atlanta.

One day in early January, I heard an inner voice say, “Move your computer to the kitchen.” What? The voice persisted, and a week later I relented and moved my Mac to my large farmhouse-style table in my kitchen. Now the inner voice started guiding me to get out my notebooks from Helpership Training and start writing. I was to take a crack at writing a book that could get its arms all the way around the Pathwork teachings. That became Spilling the Script: A Concise Guide to Self-Knowing.

As soon as I rolled up my sleeves and dug in, I was enveloped in waves of energy that woke me up early, whispered words in my ear, and carried me forward in writing my first book. Before I left Richmond, a second book would arrive, also accompanied by an influx of energy and clear direction. That effort, a light and fluffy compendium of poetry and prose called Pithy Cakes: Quippy Confections About Making it Through, helped me find my voice for writing the seven-book Real.Clear. series that would follow. In each of those books, I rewrote the Guide’s teachings using a lighter tone of voice, with the intention of making them easier to read.

As Pithy Cakes was nearing completion, I became aware of a familiar feeling, one I’d felt before leaving Atlanta. After living there for 25 years, the last 14 of which were in the house I thought I’d stay in for the rest of my life, I found myself feeling very loosely tethered. It felt like someone could snip the threads holding me in place with a fingernail clipper. Here I was in Richmond, once again feeling attached by only a thread.

I had made a good friend while hiking, named Brooke, who lived in the DC area. I had visited her there a few times, going to see a play together and kayaking on the Anacostia River. As the summer was winding down, we’d made plans to get together the third Saturday in August, along with another friend, Peggy, for dinner and a show. There was also a meditation, led by Tara Brach, scheduled for Wednesday the week before, and I had been wanting to attend one of her offerings. Brooke had as well.

I could feel myself being called to this plan of arriving on Wednesday and then going out on Saturday. But what was I supposed to do with myself in between? For months, I had been noticing this untethering feeling and had been wondering where I was to go next. Denver floated through my mind—I love mountains—but I could see no way to make that leap. Phoenix crossed my mind too, for obvious reasons. ‘Could it be DC?’ I wondered.

On Thursday, I dropped Brooke off at her work in Arlington and then headed my car across the Key Bridge to Georgetown. The previous year, my friend Melinda had come to visit me in Richmond, and we had taken Amtrak to DC for a day of being tourists. Since it was drizzling that day, we decided to do the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, and I specifically felt called to pay extra to add the loop that wound through Georgetown. I found it to be charming beyond description.

Getting out of my car, having managed to find an open parking space along a narrow cobblestone street, I noticed a place in Georgetown that was for rent. Walking around it, I kept asking myself, ‘Seriously, what am I doing here? Is this right?’

Guidance is a wonderful thing, but it’s far from ironclad. I had been doing my best to read the tea leaves correctly since the day I’d quit Solvay, but it involved far more art than science. I called and left a message about the place for rent, then did a little shopping along M Street. Sitting in a café eating lunch, I was reflecting on my Uncle Paul’s recent experience living in a place above a shop in the charming little city of Northfield. When he’d described it to me, I had thought, ‘God, I’d love to live in a place like that.’

Sitting there that day, overlooking the apartments above the stores on M Street—the main thoroughfare through Georgetown—I mused, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to live in one of those? But I wouldn’t begin to know how to find out if one is available.’

A short while later, the realtor called back. The place I’d inquired about had already been rented. Then he asked if I’d like to see some other places that were available.

“Sure. Why not?” I said. “I’m here.”

“And you are OK with the rent?” he asked. It was well over $2000 a month, more than my mortgage in Atlanta.

Through my mouth came a voice that said, “It will be fine.”

One month later, I would find myself completely moved into a very cool apartment, located above a store on M Street in Georgetown. The unfolding process was a breeze, even allowing time to spend the week of Labor Day with my friend Suzan at her mountain home in North Carolina. Before long, I was waking up early writing my next book, called Holy Moly.

Walker: A Spiritual Memoir by Jill Loree

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