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by Rachel Perry

Recently I was considering the possibility of short term pioneering, but was unable to fulfill my intent.  I was consulting with my dear friend and life coach Rachel Perry (yes, even life coaches need to be coached!).  She sent me the following email and it was so wise and filled with a perspective on pioneering I hadn’t considered before, that I wanted to share it with my readers. Here is her email:

As you know from having met me, my desire to physically dwell in a location that is a benefit to the Cause is strong as well. So you can imagine that when I was given the opportunity recently to move across the country I thought it would be good to re-locate as a pioneer. In my prayers and meditations around this topic, my soul continued to prompt me to not travel as a pioneer. Instead, I was guided to focus on my health and well-being, to put my focus on being an effective parent, to put my attention on developing a strong co-parenting partnership with my ex-husband, and even…to enjoy the companionship of a new relationship. It didn’t make sense to me at the time. But I followed the “song of my heart” and gave up the role as pioneer in order to give my attention to my little divided family, and my health.

What I found when I got here was that everything was tested! In every way I was tested! My skills and character as a mother were tested because my daughter went into crisis that lasted several months and I had to be there for her as a parent in a way I had never done before. My skills and character as a co-parent were tested because I was forced to live temporarily with my ex-husband and I challenged myself to do so in a way that was peaceful and nourishing for my daughter. I was also tested as a Baha’i since I found that I was falling deeply, deeply in love with a person who was not a Baha’i and finding balance in this relationship was like trying to navigate a ship in a storm. Baha’u’llah’s plan for me, which I clearly see now, was internal spiritual development, and not community development – which is what I would have achieved if I would have been “pioneering.”

Having gone through these momentous tests, I find myself a new person. I find myself completely transformed. I find myself healthier, stronger, more balanced than I have ever been in my life. I find myself being the person I had always hoped I would be. This could not have been achieved if I had pioneered because when we pioneer externally, our focus is on sacrificing ourselves for the sake of our new community. In my situation, I see now that what was needed was careful consideration of myself because there were some very significant things about myself that I needed to learn about and develop. My sacrifice was that I surrendered the bounties that come to pioneers; however, I found that I was rewarded with tremendous insight into myself and my life path.

That being said, still there is this deep calling in my soul and it says to me “You are a pioneer. You are a pioneer. You are a pioneer.” How am I a pioneer? I know the answer now. I share this because maybe it will be meaningful for you too.

It starts with a dream I had when I got here – briefly, the dream was that I had a bone-deep wound on my left hand that went across the base of my middle finger and my ring finger. It was horrifically painful. At first no one would take me to the hospital, but finally I got there and then no doctor would help me. Finally a character from my favourite TV show approached me and he said he could help. He took me into a room and began applying a balm that eased the pain. Richard’s interpretation of this dream (which had more details which I have omitted for brevity’s sake) was that the wound represented the issue with my marriage – on the on one hand I have to cooperate with a man who I’m not married to anymore for the sake of raising our daughter well, and on the other hand I want to say “back off” because of the difficulties that we have. The dream is telling me that I am healed and healing is no longer needed, so now the next stage of development is actually in my character (thus an actor relieving the pain and not a doctor).

This makes so much sense to me! Yes, and it has given me a guiding light throughout the tests that I had in the 4 months after the dream.

So, how does all this relate to pioneering? It relates because:

1.    Not everyone is willing to sacrifice pleasure in order for character development (which is what happens when we choose to follow the Writings and the Law of God – we know it is good for our character development even though it may be difficult or hurt)

2.    Not everyone that tries is successful

3.    Not everyone that is successful is conscious of the whole process and why it is significant to the spiritual advancement of the human race

4.    Not everyone who is conscious of it’s significance to the human race has the passion and skills for talking and writing about it

5.    Not everyone who has the writing and speaking skills wants to use them in the promotion of character development or knows how to use them (for example, how the Internet can be of assistance in teaching the Faith)

THEREFORE…….It is my life path to keep making these sacrifices in order to develop my character so that I can continue writing about it and continue to teach other people how to do it too…and this is pioneering into the land of my inner self which is just as important as pioneering into the land of the earth because with the treasures that I find and bring to the surface I can empower an entire generation….

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY SECOND POINT ….the question becomes this….”why is it so important to develop my character and tell people about it?” the answer is this…..not everyone knows that developing our character brings us closer to God, and not everyone knows that the closer we get to God the more receptive we become to discovering  Baha’u’llah,…..so this is a very important message to share…..but not only that….now we have the tools to use to share a message to a more far reaching demographic than ever, ever, ever before.

With the Internet, an entire generation is being transformed. We can share a message, easily, and within seconds it can be delivered to ANY ANY ANY place on the globe! That is just amazing. And when we share our message, via the Internet, we are “traveling” to that place and spreading our message. So, when we send our words to China, to Australia, to Japan, to India, to France, to Africa, via the Internet we are doing what Abud’l-Baha longed to do when He said He wanted to travel to every place on the globe to share the Message of the Baha’i Faith and when we do it for Him then we are fulfilling His wish.

In this time, Susan, everywhere we live on the globe matters. Being a Baha’i and living anywhere matters because we live in a time when the whole world is connected.

So to summarize – I am pioneering when:

  • I chose to develop my character by following the Writings of Baha’u’llah and the promptings of my soul guiding me to manifesting my greatness – my True Self.
  • I observe the process and write about it for sharing.
  • I use the Internet to promote the experience for the benefit of others so that they too may become aware of the process and continue to make positive changes in themselves and their lives towards inner and outer peace.

So few have ever done this before because the Internet is just brand new and the opportunities before us are brand new too, as a woman, as a single mother, as a Baha’i. Never before in the history of the world have there ever been the opportunities available to Baha’is. We are on the forefront of a huge transformation and the Internet is an integral part of this evolution. Not the only part, but a big part.

When I accepted that this form of pioneering is just as important as physically moving somewhere I found a deeper level of acceptance with myself and my life path. And the thought occurred to me that if my writing is successful, and if my speaking becomes as motivational as I feel it can be, then I will indeed find opportunities to travel all over the globe and I can perform service when in these areas and I can choose to have short or long term pioneer posts at any time of my choice. But first, I have to develop my character, and write about it, and promote it…and then when I pioneer physically my message and my teaching efforts will be much more effective in transforming the hearts of men.

When the most recent Ridván message is read with this in mind, it becomes a very inspiring message to keep doing what we are doing.

How have you pioneered to the land of your inner self?  Post your comments here: