In part one i mentioned the quote “What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination” and questioned how we change when we travel. Its inevitable that when we travel, especially to different countries, that it changes us in some way. When we travel abroad we adapt to different ways of living, cultures, environment, food. As well as adapting to the environment the activities that are done while traveling or when the destination is reached, can change someone in subtle or in deep ways.
I am still processing all that has occurred in Thailand and the lessons learned so far. I wanted to document some of what I learned, that you all can get something out of, before I move on to India tomorrow.
I can see that working in the tourism industry such as a resort or cruise ship etc can be exhausting to spend time getting to know someone on a deep level in the short period of time, only to have that person leave and go there separate ways perhaps never to contact you again. Spending three weeks on Koh Yao Noi where most visitors are on Holiday for two weeks or less gave me an opportunity to practice letting go and non attachment without fear of connecting on a deep level while I am with them. That connection with the people we meet while traveling brings a sense of community, and makes the experiences we have at our destination more memorable and prehaps wanting to go back to that location in the future.
When we travel, and do activities like yoga or other personal growth activities its easy to get to know someone fast on deep level, especially when we are open to letting people in without fear, instead of keeping people at arms length because they are leaving or live far away. The trick is to practice letting go and non attachment of those people or connections without having expectations. Knowing that the connection that you have when you are together with that person, is happening for lessons to learn about ourselves. When we bring gratitude for having that connection, it becomes less draining to have such connections because we are not spending so much energy protecting ourselves from getting hurt, having heartache when they leave, or being venerable. What if we just gave and let people in our lives without fear? I feel we would have more meaningful relationships. Relationships with wonderful experiences where there was much to learn from eachother, to grow and we change eachothers lives and its well worth the effort.
Out of all the experiences i have had in Thailand, I would have to say that going through a Shamanic Ceremony, Rock Climbing, riding a motor bike, traveling alone, and taking classes with yoga teacher friends Kristie, David and Akkiko have been the most transformational for me. Meeting and connecting with so many wonderful people especially Julie Patzwald. Julie is a wonderful TV and movie actress and actor coach from Vancouver Canada who was on a healing journey on her travels to Thailand, Lao and Bali. I learned so much about myself from looking in Julie’s mirror from our very similar experiences, thoughts and my experience might not have been so deep if she wasnt there. I am so grateful Island Yoga attracted us both at the same time, it was perfect divine timing. I just realized i do not have many photos with the people who made this trip most transformational probably because i was too busy experiencing it with them.
One of the huge things i have noticed about traveling and reaching your destination is to be present, take it all in and absorb what we are experiencing where we are experiencing it, in the present moment. One of the things i have noticed about having conversations with backpackers and people who travel a lot is that…. often times our minds, conversations seem to be at another location or time instead of the destination and time where we are at. I often had conversations with people about where they are coming from and where they are going next or what there experience was when they were at another place. I had some great conversations and advice on traveling alone, places to go etc and really appreciate all that people have shared with me. At the same time, when it was all people were talking about, it took me out of the present moment where i could truly enjoy where i was at, the beach, the views, feeling safe grounded in that moment of time and space on earth.
Once i felt truly safe, grounded in the present moment after concurring some fears after rock climbing a tremendous amount of joy and vivid awareness of everything around me occurred and I wanted to stay there as much as I can. I became aware of patterns, behaviors and actions that take me out of that feeling and take me into the past, future or another space instead of the space I was at in the moment. The new present moment feeling that i get is feeling the vibration of everything with so much love and gratitude instead of sadness, pain or fear. I now know that we can be grounded in our root chakra in the physical body and physical space we are located, in the present moment without suffering. My desire to continue to feel this the NOW moments is strong enough to not engage in those patterns, behaviors or actions that take me out of that space. This may mean that how I relate to other people could change, and if those of you who are reading this are not in that same place you could be irritated, or hurt, by this. Please dont take it personal and see the lesson about yourself in this.
One thing that I was reminded of the more I felt the present moment without suffering was how our mind chases after things, people, places or feelings we don’t have in that moment. If the world is a reflection of ourself… then if we chase after things, people, places that are unavailable in that moment; Are we being unavailable to ourselves? Un-available to accepting the present moment just as it is, instead of wanting something you don’t have in that moment. Is the challenge or the chase after something we don’t have just a reflection that there is something missing within ourselves?
The job, the relationship, the money, the car, good health whatever we are striving for in the outside world that is not currently available, is not accepting the moment, not loving and being grateful what what we do have and could take what we do have for granted. For an example food to eat, a place to live, clean water to drink and bath in, hot water are things that we all take for granted and also strive to have or keep. It seems to be what we strive for beyond basic survival needs, but don’t have in the moment is just an attempt to feel something on the inside about our life and about ourself. Once we realize that looking outward for these things is looking too far we can go more inward to feel these things about our life about our self. Sometimes it takes having those experiences of chasing those things like a cat chases its tail to see that your just going around in circles and the only place to look for these things is more within.
Perhaps even basic survival needs in the root chakra is also something we need to feel within. To feel safe, secure enough to feel grounded to be able to survive here on earth. We can see the experiences we have as reflections of ourself, to learn more about ourself to heal the things that prevent us from seeing the love, light that we are. To often we dont see those reflections and lessons around us and we blame, point fingers, or play the victim of circumstance. If you been to my classes you would know that doing lions breath we can invoke the fierce lion energy instead of the prey or victim and take responsibility for everything that occurs in our life and use that to empower ourselves to learn, grow, bring what helps us on our path into our lives.
Ok after reflecting so much on what i learned from this trip i need to rest and be present. I am still reflecting the rock climbing experience and how empowered, grounded and glad to be alive it made me feel. I will climb again. Part 4 i will talk more about fear and rock climbing and my time in Bangkok vs the islands of southern thailand.