I call a life-changing experience an ‘Unheralded Jolt’. It’s dramatic, and worthy of us, don’t you think? The fact is, I can’t take complete credit for it because I was inspired by the great Italian Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi. I did a lot of research on her before I started writing her memoir for my work, Daughters of Eve, a Herstory Book. I knew I had found her voice when I wrote the opening paragraph: I once heard a wise woman compare life’s voyage to a river that slowly twists and turns as it makes its way to the sea. I thought on it for it seemed pleasant, but I could think of no one, except perhaps that wise woman, whose life may have made such a leisurely voyage. It is my experience that life’s journey is more often thrown from an accustomed path by unheralded jolts.

She goes on to say, One can awaken on a morning filled with anticipation of a glorious day bathed in the warm Roman sun, and before the day is over, the eyes are overcast with shadow’s and life’s course has been so altered that the time before is only a wistful memory.

For Artemisia, that day bathed in the warm Roman sun was the day she was raped by Agostino Tassi, another artist and friend of her father’s; for me, it was a hot August day when my twelve year old daughter, Sharon, was killed in an automobile accident.

Many unheralded jolts are tragic but they don’t have to be. Remember, all Sleeping Beauty needed was a Prince’s kiss. I recently read about a woman who was driving to work in heavy traffic and she looked over and saw a billboard with cows in a pasture. Her family didn’t understand when she bought a farm and moved to the mid-west. I’d love to know how she’s doing now. . . and I’d love to know about you and your ‘Unheralded Jolt’.

An Unheralded Jolt has the impetus to place you on a road to self-understanding, to becoming what you can be—but you have to take it.

Read my blog: Awakening.