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Let me tell you a little about Sophia…

October 5, 2010

Here’s the thing… Sophia won’t leave me alone.

She’s like a kid who won’t stop begging and pleading and stomping her foot until she gets a big red lollipop. But she’s not just an annoying neighbourhood kid who goes home at the end of the day – OH NO – that would be too easy. SHE HAS MOVED IN AND IS TAKING OVER MY LIFE! She doesn’t just want lollipops, she wants everything I’ve got to give!

No, I haven’t mysteriously given birth to a fourth daughter named Sophia, and yet it sure FEELS like this is something that is being birthed in me.

A few months ago, I shared an epiphany about how I felt called into a new space, a new vocation… something I tentatively called “Sophia Leadership”. It was based on a pretty strong sense that what the world desperately needs right now is a whole lot of people (women and men) who will step forward in courage and trust their feminine, spiritual wisdom. I believe that this wisdom can shift the course of leadership and help the world move in a direction toward light and hope instead of darkness and despair.

I believe all of these things, but… a whole lot of doubt and fear keeps drawing me away from that beautiful epiphany. Even though I finally took a BIG step and moved away from my full time job with the intention of more fully committing myself to writing, teaching, and consulting, there was still a huge piece of me that thought “I have to be practical. I have to pay the bills. I don’t have enough skills for this work yet. I won’t find work in Sophia Leadership – at least not right away – so I have to market my other skills in communications, public relations, blah, blah, blah.”

But here’s where things get interesting… You see, every time I let myself follow fear into that tunnel called “practicality and paying the bills”, Sophia finds me and lures me back.

First, there was the horse.

The day after I’d told my boss I was quitting my job (in July), I went on my annual pilgrimage to the Folk Festival. As I often do at some point when the crowds have begun to overwhelm me and I need some quiet, meditative time, I wandered to the edge of the fenced-in area where there’s a labyrinth, some outdoor art, and very few people. As I wandered, I wrestled with just what I was going to birth once I’d walked away from my job. The argument was there in full force… “I’m pretty sure I’m being called to do this Sophia work.” “But that would be foolish! Nobody will get it and you won’t make any money and your family will hate you and… blah, blah, blah.”

Standing by the fence, I watched two horses and riders approach. It was a mother and daughter out for an evening ride. They stopped near me, and we began a conversation. I grew up with horses and have always felt a strong pull toward them. This moment was no exception.

“What are the horses’ names?” I asked. Well… you’ve probably figured out by now… the bigger of the two, the most magnificent horse I’ve seen in a long time, was named Sophia.

“Why did you call her Sophia?” I asked the woman, trying not to let on that this was hugely significant for me. I saw the woman’s eyes light up. “Well, I named her that because I’ve been reading about how Sophia means wisdom and how there were knights in King Arthur’s court who used to worship the goddess Sophia.”

As if that wasn’t enough, the next thing she said sealed the deal. “It’s a good thing my husband isn’t around,” she said with a blush and a sideways glance over her shoulder as if she expected him to vapourize out of thin air.  “He hates it when I talk about this stuff and doesn’t want me to talk about it in front of other people. He thinks this goddess stuff and feminine wisdom is a bunch of horse shit.”

And then it came to me, like a lightening bolt… “It is for women like this – women who have been taught not to trust their feminine wisdom – that you are being called into Sophia Leadership.” Gulp.

I wish I could tell you that was the end of the internal arguments, but that would be a lie. Apparently I’m a slow learner, because even after that encounter, I spent the rest of the summer wrestling with what to call my business, whether to be a generalist or a specialist, what kinds of contracts I should look for, etc., etc.

The truth is, I need to pay the bills, and that keeps weighing heavily on my shoulders. I created a generic website. I started accepting contracts that I knew I could do quite easily, but that weren’t really on the path Sophia was leading me down. But then, once again, it seemed Sophia had different ideas.

I was supposed to be working this week, but the contract got taken away. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I breathed a sigh of relief, and began to focus on taking October as my sabbatical/thinking/learning/growing month before jumping into any kind of work.

Which leads me to yesterday, my first day of self-employment. I decided it was time for my annual pilgrimage to my dad’s grave in the town where I grew up (two hours from where I live now). I enjoyed a lovely drive out into the prairies, wandered around the almost-ghost-town where  I once lived, spent a little time talking to my dad, and then headed to Neepawa, the nearby town where I’d gone to high school, to find a place to eat lunch.

For reasons I can’t explain, I felt an inexplicable desire to visit the Stone Angel (a monument in the cemetery that was made famous when Margaret Lawrence named a novel after it). I’ve never been a huge Lawrence fan, so the Stone Angel never held much significance to me. I don’t think I’ve visited since high school. But this time the thought wouldn’t leave me alone. I had to visit.

I drove into the cemetery, and before I even realized that I’d reached the monument, my eyes fell to the base of it. Guess what name was there? Sophia. She was the wife of the founding father of Neepawa in whose honour the monument was erected.

I stopped my vehicle, stood in front of the monument, and started to cry. There was Sophia, in beautiful weathered stone, looking down at me and nudging me once again.

As a bit of a postscript to all this serendipity… today, things got even more freaky.

I got a note from my friend Desiree telling me someone she knew online thought she should connect with me because we have a lot in common. She chuckled when she told her we already knew each other. Then I got a note from my friend Lianne, inviting me to join a blog party. One of the other women she had invited turned out to be the same woman who’d told Desiree she should meet me. She said she’d never heard of me before, but had been inexplicably drawn to my blog today (through a link on Jamie’s blog) and then found out both Desiree and Lianne are connected to me.

Her name? Tara SOPHIA Mohr! One of her deepest passions? Convincing women that they should be trusting their wisdom and changing the world. Oh my! Goosebumps!!

For some reason that I don’t fully understand, Sophia chose me for this work and she is NOTHING if not persistent.

I GET IT Sophia! Here’s that big red lollipop, and here’s ME!

So… guess what I’ll be doing for the rest of the month? Hanging out with Sophia and letting her guide me down this path.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2010 9:22 pm

    huge grin, tears, happiness and also goose bumps! Wait til you read the post I was writing when you were writing this! Plus I just meet Tara when sent me that post that mentions the post I wrote.. this is so exciting!

  2. October 5, 2010 9:23 pm

    Sometimes the universe just keeps whacking away with the clue-by-four till we get it.

    When the call comes, what can you do?

    I’m smiling. This is a really beautiful story, Heather, and I can’t wait to see what happens with what I feel is going to be a beautiful partnership between you and Sophia!

  3. desireeadaway permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:26 pm

    OMG! The Universe is all but begging you to do this….and I am so proud of you for listening! I am thanking the goddess that your contract fell threw and that you were available and present to experience the magic of your life.

  4. October 5, 2010 9:53 pm

    Amazing, Heather! What synchronicity! It will be exciting to see what is birthed! You are being called. How beautiful. Love to you, O

  5. October 5, 2010 10:46 pm

    Chills!!! Goosebumps!!!! Just amazing and beautiful.

  6. October 6, 2010 2:37 am

    Love it. It takes courage to follow the path, but sometimes it takes active resistance not to, she can be so persistent. Just take one step at a time.

  7. Mary Ellen permalink
    October 6, 2010 6:26 am

    Heather – I love the story of your journey! I am here within the confines of a government bureaucracy trying to build my own strength of women’s wisdom for myself and then bring it to others. I have a group of other managers on the journey with me (men and women) and we are making a difference. We don’t name it as Women’s Wisdom per se but it is the very same.

  8. October 6, 2010 7:36 am

    Ah, welcome Sophia and welcome Destiny. You are on the road, my friend. ((bighugs))


  9. Kirsten Alicia permalink
    October 6, 2010 8:18 am

    Heather, this gave me chills! Sophia is obviously not going to give up, so I think it’s best that you listen to her. 🙂 ) Enjoy your ‘sabbatical’ & keep an eye out for more messages. Hugs.

  10. October 6, 2010 9:06 am

    The beautiful thing about surrendering to a calling is that we don’t have to work so hard anymore, in the struggling, icky, harsh, sandpapery kind of way. As Lianne would say, we can be drawn not driven.

    When we stand with our calling, we are automatically on the same team as the universe itself. And playing is so much more fun when you are on that team.

    And, you are in such good company – great folks from the beginning of time have struggled and doubted and denied their callings before surrendering. Perhaps it’s even part of the process.

    Of course, it’s only the ego and our plans that need to be surrendered. The soul has just stepped on it’s surfboard!


  11. October 6, 2010 9:37 am

    Heather, congratulations on listening to the calls of Sophia, and thank you for sharing your serendipity. Looking forward to what happens next!

  12. October 6, 2010 10:55 am

    How blessed to have that many signs… the beginning of the path is clearly ready for you to step onto. I wish mine were so clear!

  13. October 6, 2010 12:53 pm

    Feeling so much love for you right now, Heather.

    Loving the way we are all throwing our pebbles in the pond and watching as the ripples intersect and combine.

  14. Bev permalink
    October 6, 2010 12:58 pm

    what an wonderful post, Heather! I especially like the bit about the Stone Angel… I’ve read the novel, but didn’t know there was a real monument. Must go see it.

    It occurs to me, and I’m sure you know it, too, that you’ve been following the path of Sophia wisdom for a long time already… you’re just committing to it in a new way, and I wish you the very best! May it sustain you as you nurture your calling.

  15. October 6, 2010 5:03 pm

    don’t make her have to get a 2 x 4 . . .

  16. October 6, 2010 7:36 pm

    What a beautiful post. YES to assisting women in trusting the feminine form of leadership. Yes to interdependence – men and women working together in their strength of leadership! And then there is the horse. I have partnered with horses for years to teach women about the leadership dance. I have started a new venture that I am unfolding – The Divine Cowgirl Retreats & Training. She called me in much the way Sophia called to you. Her mission is to “heal the hands that touch the future” – it is a horse metaphor…

    I have a spiritual mission and I am answering the call.. (I almost needed the 2 x 4 – LOL)

    I will be keeping tabs on your work.. I can’t wait to see where your adventure leads you.

    Many blessings,
    Rev. LeeAnn
    The Divine Cowgirl

  17. heatherplett permalink*
    October 7, 2010 12:23 pm

    Thank you SO much for all of your encouragement, kind people! I feel so energized by all of your comments!

    Onward and upward!

  18. October 8, 2010 9:18 am

    You’re an inspiration. I feel what you’re talking about. I want to tell you Thank you for listening to your heart and following your spirit. Even, especially when it’s scary.

    I’d like to offer a little mantra that helps me ….”Just coz I don’t know now, doesn’t mean I won’t know then. Just coz I don’t know how, doesn’t mean I won’t know when.” (repeat, repeat, repeat)

    Thanks again for your courage. xoox Pam

  19. Renee permalink
    October 8, 2010 2:54 pm

    Wow! What a tremendous story of serendipity! Thank goodness Sophia didn’t have to put you in traction for the message to get through, lol. Congratulations on finding your life’s work and an angel called Sophia to guide you. Tara’s comment really resonates with me, too.


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