I spoke at the beginning of this book about being called by God. I believe this must be similar to what we term our intuition—gentle nudges that inspire, enlighten, and connect us to a wisdom inherent and integral to all life. I had always felt these nudges, always known a comforting, familiar presence that seemed to me almost fatherly (probably because of my religious upbringing, which was centered on the New Testament, and of course, God was the Father). A more complete understanding was to unfold at pivotal moments as my life evolved, and my spirit began to flower.

When I was twenty-two—a low moment in my, until then, idyllic life—I found myself back home after a short and rocky attempt at living happily ever after. I was lying on my bed, praying for an answer to what my existence was about, when I suddenly felt a rush and a ringing sensation. I was floating above my body to become one with God. I can only describe this as a homecoming, at once familiar and remembered. When we remember, we realize that we have done this many times before, and it is so profoundly our essence and true expression; once we have felt that communion, we are forever changed. There is nowhere we would rather be, nothing that we would not give, to experience that intensity of love. All else pales in comparison. We know that the desire to immerse ourselves in that oneness and love will supersede everything else from then on in our lives.

I would imagine that the experience I had is similar to a near-death experience (from what I have read of them). I returned reborn with an enlightened vision of my mission here on earth. I went on from there to marry, have four children, divorce, remarry and inherit another two children, all while constantly working on and refining my human understanding. My shortcomings had not disappeared, but they were clarified by a

firm foundation and understanding of their purpose. I knew I had a mission, and I also knew that if I trusted and followed my intuition, I would be guided toward its accomplishment. I also knew that the mission I had volunteered for had nothing to do with my own aggrandizement, but would serve the purpose and grace of God.

I know that this sounds like some sort of higher calling, but I have come to understand that in fact, we have all volunteered for our own unique and special mission that can be accomplished by us alone. We have volunteered because the accomplishment of our individual endeavors is the only thing that is true and lasting—the completion of which fulfills us, unlike any of our earthly desires.