West Coast, United States
Do you see yourself writing? Do you see a garden, growing herbs and tending the animals? Do you envision sunshine, or feel its kiss upon your cheek? Do you have a profession that helps others? Perhaps you live in a cabin and spend your springs in Colorado and your winters in the inner cities. Maybe you wake up every day and go into the office, which is actually across the hall from your bedroom, next to your studio overlooking the water. Do you walk down your dusty driveway, wildflowers outlining the path, to try out the town that day and pick up smiles from the people you've come to know so intimately? You don't think about cigarettes anymore, but you do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. You hear the little birds cheep and the leaves outstretching their limbs and you have grown fond of children, though you haven't yet any of your own.
My heart does not stop or jump at the thought of it and to me, that is how I know. That is how I have always known.
Remember that the challenge is the vigorous confrontation with yourself. Stare at your life in the face with every waking moment you have. This is a body experience. Make it yours and make it count. And cry, cry, cry, cry! Feel it all and feel it slow, let it build like a pyramid, watch it stand the test of time. Do what you love and follow your gut -- please follow your gut -- and the rest will follow you.