Back in August I experienced what I said was the loneliest moment of my entire life. It happened in the northwestern corner of Ireland, known locally as Bumfuck. (Not actually true but it might as well be.) I had just left the Pure Magic Lodge on Achill Island by bicycle. Have you heard of it? Of course not, it’s a tiny place in the middle of nowhere frequented primarily by kite surfers who enjoy frigid water and freezing cold blustery air. I stayed there because I liked the name of it and it had a colorful logo.
From there I rode up through Belmullet, a town dedicated to country fairs and hot wheelers making donuts in abandoned parking lots, and was on my way to Ballina. At this point I had ridden over 700 miles along the Wild Atlantic Way mostly by myself. I was tired, a little bored from the repetition quite frankly, and it was a Sunday.
Not much happens in Ireland on a Sunday. One might imagine that’s because it’s the Christian holy day except that no one was at church either. The parking lots to the chapels were empty, the chapels themselves completely devoid of humans. There was no one driving on the street. There seemed to be no one home in any of the houses. And when I really needed a break and a snack, even the gas station convenience store was closed. I could not figure out where everyone had run off to.
It was Ireland in the dead of summer so naturally it was dark grey and chilly. I sat on a cement wall across the street from the deserted gas station, wrapped myself up in my hoodie and ate a yogurt I had purchased the day before. I looked all around thinking surely one car would pass by at some point . . . eventually. But it didn’t happen so I got back on my bike and cycled on to the north coast and the famed Céide Fields.
There are stories from down south around Dingle about how European explorers who assumed the world was flat considered the southwest coast of Ireland to be the end of the world. But it was up north at the Céide Fields, the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world dating back 6,000 years, in County Mayo, where I felt like I really reached the edge. What do you say about a place that just gives you a feeling that something is about to happen?
It was there that my GPS went haywire, suddenly unable to locate my position and inexplicably adding 30 extra miles to my ride that I never actually rode. It was there, in the middle of Bumfuck Nowheresville, on the northwestern coast of Ireland with nothing but ocean in front of me and freaky-deaky woo woo shit behind me, that something crucial became clear.
In that moment I had a breakthrough. I saw the part of my life that needed to switch from a should to a must (something I learned at Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within). I must find a relationship because it is no longer an option to stay single and experience that level of extreme loneliness. I will always go on ridiculous bicycle trips; it’s in my blood. But I’ll no longer do it alone. I’ll no longer tackle any part of life completely by myself.
Two days later, amidst the worst rain Ireland had experienced in 100 years, I got hit by a car. I was on my way to meet a cycling friend in Donegal and still had fifty miles to go when WHAMMO! My saddlebags flew off behind me, my cycling shoes released from the pedals and I sailed through the air over the trunk and back windshield. I landed on my back with a solid thud next to the car’s back tire and squirmed like a flipped over cockroach, unable to speak my name or stand up. I was completely stunned.
A stranger called an ambulance and when the paramedics arrived I argued with them. I still had fifty miles left to ride. I couldn’t go to the hospital for goodness sake. I had to get to Donegal!
In my head I kept telling myself, “Stop fighting. Just relax and go with these people who are trying to help you. It’s OK if you don’t get to Donegal.” But my body felt compelled to get right back on my bicycle. It took a long while for me to calm down and comply. I felt like letting my wall down allowed the fear to flood into my fortress and I was definitely scared, strapped to a stretcher in a foreign country, soaked through to the bone and shivering uncontrollably.
And then a tiny miracle happened: I called my friend who was also on his bicycle fifty miles away in the pouring rain and I asked for help. No questions asked, all he needed to hear was the waffling quality of my voice and he rushed to my side. He stepped up. He figured it out and was there in just over an hour.
Fast forward to last Tuesday, December 5th. I’ve arrived in West Palm Beach, FL for my second Tony Robbins conference. This one is six days and nights and it’s called Date with Destiny. There are 4,500 people from 80 countries in attendance and we’ve been randomly assigned team numbers that are printed on our badges at registration. These teams break us up into groups of about thirty.
At the end of the first day we’re all told where to go to meet our teams. As I walk over towards mine I immediately notice a colorful logo on one of the other member’s t-shirt: Pure Magic Lodge, Achill Island, Ireland. Not only that, but he’s wearing a cycling jersey that maps out the entire Wild Atlantic Way cycling route I took.
What happened after that was an almost overwhelming outpouring of love and support, but more importantly, a release of information that had been lodged in my bones my whole life. Crystal clear memories from my childhood that shaped the way I approach the world (and very specifically men). Scientific research about how our brains function. Exciting/difficult/ tear soaked/joy encrusted/exhausting/exhilarating exercises that woke us up to the power we have to shape our destinies. 4,500 people from 80 countries spread out on the floor of a massive convention center with poster board and markers working on their values together, dancing up a storm, jumping for joy, doling out liberal high fives and hugs for six days and nights.
Tony Robbins asks this question a lot: Was it a coincidence or were you being guided?
Unleash the Power Within → Deep memories bubble to the surface but I’m still missing vital details → I wake up a little and get to work on all the things I can do in order to move forward → I experience the loneliest moment of my entire life and for the first time I demand that it change, I turn my should into a MUST → WHAMMO! I get hit by a car and not only do I let my guard down in a terrifying moment, but I allow myself to get rescued by a good man who I trust → I wake up a little more and keep charging forward with love in my heart and a positive outlook → Date with Destiny reminds me of EXACTLY where I was and gives me the missing information I need to truly move FORWARD → → → ♥ ♥ ♥
I’m definitely going with guidance on this one.
Dear Universe, Thank you for reminding me I’m on the right track. I get it and I trust you. Love, Jennifer
P.S. Can you believe the last year of life as I know it is almost over?!
Sending love and light ♥