It is hard for me to believe that my first blog post about The Seven Pillars appeared in December 2014. Now, just over a year later, here I am at the last pillar, The Pledge. The crossroads at which I started are replaced by the clarity of knowing where I want to go, and the final act in this journey is to make a pledge. I want a pledge that will act as a torch in the dark times, allow me to celebrate the good, and remind me where I am headed when I feel lost.

I have made many pledges in my time, some that are still alive in me, some that I could not keep, and others that were only meant for a certain period . . . and yet I have a sense of not knowing how to make a pledge. So I decided to read over my six blog posts to mine the map of my journey so they could lead me to the treasure that is my pledge.

At the start I was a woman at the crossroads of life with many questions. By staying there I learned that I needed to give up the mechanics of finding answers for the art of being present in the moment. I learned that by doing this, answers could reveal themselves to me.
*My pledge needs to have that quality of presence to the here and now.

In journeying back to the land where I was born, I discovered by connecting to the land and the stars, and wandering beside the living beings who make up the ecosystem, that I belonged to no nation, but instead I am the Universe.
*My pledge needs to have that sense of wholeness and ever-evolving expansiveness.

The living Universe opened me to the gardeners of my soul: the prophets, prophetesses, saints and masters (especially Krishna and Radha). I opened to the vast playing field of my inner life. I was no longer alone, accompanied by the illuminated ones of many traditions and none, whose presence acts as a torch on my life’s path.
*My pledge needs to be a companion of light.

And then I found my resting place by falling into a river! This humiliating experience from which I could not hide led me into the arms of silence. Here I was cleansed and purified by the Great Mystery from which all arises. In this place of surrender, I found the strength to start out once more in search of Love.
*My pledge needs to reside in the comfort of silence.

This Love is what enabled me to hear the silent cry of my heart as well as all the cries in the world. As the tears fell, my heart softened until its rawness and vulnerability melted away the fear of the other and gave me the space to taste the freedom that we all long for.
*My pledge needs to be tender and vulnerable so I can fly.

By staying close to those who have fought for freedom, I embraced the courage of our imagination to show us all that is possible when we let ourselves be guided by beauty. Here I rediscovered that innocence and play are essential in the fight against injustice, for they allow us to bear the pain while at the same time we need a steely determination to help us stay the course.
*My pledge needs to ensure that I have no wiggle room, no way to give up.

With each sentence I have written I have felt myself come closer to why and how I want to live my life now. My heart is beating faster as I hear the faint echo of words that will not just be my friends, but will keep me awake and true.

I am not sure if I have found my pledge or my pledge has found me. The most surprising thing is that the intimacy that I feel with these pledging words means that they will remain a whisper in my heart, and will only be revealed through my actions.

Image Credit: J. M. W. Turner, The Morning after the Deluge, 1843

It is hard for me to believe that my first blog post about The Seven Pillars appeared in December 2014. Now, just over a year later, here I am at the last pillar, The Pledge. The crossroads at which I started are replaced by the clarity of knowing where I want to go, and the final act in this journey is to make a pledge. I want a pledge that will act as a torch in the dark times, allow me celebrate the good, and remind me where I am headed when I feel lost.

Deepa Gulrukh Patel