Early yesterday morning, I was headed to an appointment when my route took me past an elementary school. The new schoolyear had recently started, and it was lovely to see the children playing in the schoolyard before heading into their classrooms to start the day. The sight brought memories of my own school days when I was a boy in Bayside, New York. I was always so excited to start the school year – I’d rush to my desk with my fresh notebooks and perfectly sharpened pencils, eager to find out what new lessons I’d be learning. The routine settled down after a few weeks and I wasn’t in quite such a hurry to head to my desk, but I still remember that initial sense of excitement and anticipation.

Even children who are too young for school learn important new things every day – numbers, colors and letters, as well as lessons about compassion, responsibility and kindness. When my young niece and nephew were visiting this summer, they spent some time watching the Magic School Bus. I have to admit, that’s not a show that’s in my usual rotation, but I found myself drawn in as the magic yellow bus took the children on some amazing adventures. They explored everything from the solar system, to an anthill, to the cells in a human body. If you’re not familiar with the show, the flying bus, guided by an eccentric school teacher, has no limits and can go anywhere, immersing the students in the various experiences.

A magic school bus for your soul.
It made me think about how we, as souls having a human experience, are continually growing and learning. You’ve probably heard me say that because of the difficulties and challenges that are presented to us here, Earth serves as a schoolhouse for the soul. Every experience we have and every person we encounter is an opportunity for our soul to grow and evolve.

As I watched The Magic School Bus, it struck me how much life on earth is JUST LIKE that enchanted bus! We ride with our family, friends and co-workers, with our guides, angels and mentors up front, playing the role as teachers. Their goal is to help us to break old karmic patterns so that we can move forward. “Teachers” plan the lessons and chart the course, but free will determines if we get off the bus when it stops and embrace the next experience.

Your seatmate is a teacher too!
Even the people who share our seats in the bus are an important part of our soul journey. Some ride with us the entire way, while others may get on late or jump off early – but they all have something to teach us. Are you dismayed to be seated next to the “class bully” or the “kid that doesn’t fit in?” That is no accident! They’re with you for a reason, and you can learn about strength, compassion and courage from them.

Make the most of your soul journey
Next time you spot a school bus or drive by a school, I challenge you to think about your own soul journey. What lessons are you learning? Are you embracing the opportunities to grow that your teachers/guides are putting in front of you, or are you watching passively from behind the cloudy glass of the school bus window? Are you interacting with the other people on your bus, or are you keeping a safe distance from anyone who seems different or makes you uncomfortable. I encourage you to get out there! Don’t let fear of the unknown and unexpected prevent you from experiencing the lessons that are before you. When you’re faced with a difficult person, welcome the opportunity to apply compassion, love and kindness so you BOTH can grow and benefit.

Never stop learning!  The JVP School of Mystical Arts  offers so many fascinating courses to explore – everything from mediumship to mindfulness. Even if your days of composition books and pencil cases are behind you, you’ll find plenty there to inspire and enlighten you.