Have you ever been on a journey? Isn’t it the most liberating experience? When you sit on the train or plane and you are leaving everything and everyone behind and go on your very own adventure?
I don’t know why, but for me going on a journey is my no. one favorite way of meditating, simply because it does what meditation does – it takes me out and away from my circumstances so that I can look upon them with fresh eyes. What’s more, it always brings that sense of adventure – of not knowing what you are in for next. Of course you also get to experience different cultures, different smells, sounds, landscapes, people… The coolest thing about journeys may be just that – meetings. You are exposed to a new person, thought, idea, food, piece of art and suddenly something new is created inside of you.
Sometimes journeys can challenge you – you may travel alone without anyone else to support you and you may be put in situations you have no clue about. I have been lost on my own in Marrakech at night. I have been without money in Paris. I have been at supposed gunpoint in London (I couldn’t actually see the gun, so I think the guy was faking it). I have travelled a lot, and I can’t remember all the crazy situations I have been in right now, but there have been a few. My main lesson: ask. Always ask. Traveling is trusting that between you and the people surrounding you, you will make it to the end of the journey, one way or the other.
Above Shakespeare & Co. in Paris there is a sign saying that “Strangers are angels in disguise.” I think they can be – you gotta learn whom to trust, but you have to trust that you will find the angel that you are looking for.
I was packing yesterday for a trip to the UK and Sweden (i.e. I am going home to London and home to Sweden and then I am returning home to L.A….uhh). For the first time in my life I am traveling fairly light (mainly so as to pick up more kitchen utensils from my attic in Sweden….but anyway it is still light…). I don’t know if you have things you absolutely have to bring with you on a journey? I have an obsession for bringing something for everything. You never know what will happen… However, I’m a tad too into having one outfit for every occasion…I mean it gets ridiculous. This made me ponder about how many times in life we bring with us thoughts from the past that are unnecessary?
You know when you have thought a thought so many times you stop seeing it? You just feel slightly uncomfortable at times. You don’t think about it, because you are so used to it. But why are you feeling like you are? What are you thinking? Is it relevant to the situation, like really? Can you reframe it? If you are doing a presentation – what are you thinking about the audience? Are they there to judge you? Or because they want to find out what you have to say? Are they there to be disappointed or to be entertained? Are they there to trash you or support you? Most people by the end of the day want to have a good time.
Usually if we are nervous, depressed or uncomfortable, it’s because of our thoughts going in a direction that isn’t helping us along. It’s like the boy in “The Alchemist” when he has his money stolen – either he can pity himself or he can see it as a big adventure.
We get so caught up in everyday life sometimes that we forget to live – we forget to see the potential in any given moment. A journey is a chance to step back from all of that and remember what you are here for. That life is a gift and that every unfolding day holds magic in it, if you just choose to learn how to play with it. Life is about turning coal into diamonds. And make yourself sparkle…