This post is meant to embody the rawness that is our human nature. It begins withs some personal experiences, but explores a couple aspects that can help better yourself and your relationships. After all is said and done, all we have is our souls and our connection to the universe, the planet and each other.
Last week, after feeding the possums, I lay down to sleep and was hit by a semi-truck of emotion. My body ached and the tears poured. I was filled with longing for my home, family, friends, people who mean so much to me, people that fill up my heart. I missed my beautiful niece and it made me sad to think that I am missing so much of her development. She was one of my hardest goodbyes and I am so grateful every time my brother or sister-in-law post or send me pictures or videos of her. I missed my brother and our deep talks, laughs and bike rides. He is such an inspiration to me and I love our time together. My sister-in-law is a ray of sunshine, and beams positive energy (www.carrieonearth.com is her blog). I missed my Grandmother (Grammie), and how we would sit in her garden, surrounded by beautiful flowers and fountains. She is a beautiful woman and it’s an honour to be her granddaughter. I missed going for walks on Saturday mornings with my aunties and the dogs, laughing amidst the trees and birds in our muddy gumboots. I missed my closest friend through school and our jokes, our beach walks and hikes. I missed cooking with her, talking and laughing for hours. I could call on her for anything, anytime and she would be there. I missed the people I used to work with at the gym, and the people I used to train that I became so close to. Every one of my connections at my last job strengthened me and made me a better person. I missed rock climbing in Squamish with my most trusted climbing friend. I missed everyone. I missed the mountain trails on the island - Finlayson, Hartland, Prevost, Tzouhalem, Dumont and Cumberland. I missed the freezing ocean water and the breeze that always follows. I missed the Rockies and all the adventures my brother would take me on.
I went outside to be swallowed by darkness. Still crying, I got my headlamp and journal and sat on the picnic table and wrote...and wrote and wrote. I was sad for the next couple days but then it passed and I was okay again. I still feel deep in my soul that this is my journey. I will still miss my growing niece, and the land and souls that make me who I am today, but this is my path.
The reason that I can honestly say, “this is my path”, is because I’ve learned to listen to my instincts and follow the pull of my gut. This has taken practice and many wrong turns, and will always be a practice throughout my life. By constantly coming back to yourself and listening to what your soul is telling you, you become more of yourself. You learn to push past your comfort zone and out of your routine and watch your life blossom before your eyes. If ever in question of decisions, go with the feeling, not always logic. I do not fully understand why I am meant to be traveling the world. I am still waiting for an opportunity to join the drive for environmental protection and outdoor guiding. I am still searching for a career I can invest myself into. I know I’m going to do something to help the world and the natural life on it. I don’t know what exactly that means yet. But I’m here, and I'm open. I’m traveling the world and experiencing life in different countries, meeting wonderful people, improving my bike skills, growing spiritually, and strengthening my independence. I'm not forgetting why I'm here.
If you’re ever unsure, remember your WHY. Remember your purpose, your goals, your drive, and your reason for being. It’s okay if they change - life is a constant evolution and adaptation, and so are you. It’s okay if it’s scary - a quote I just read from Estes’ book, Women Who Run With the Wolves is “what one fears can strengthen, can heal.”
Part of the reason it might be scary to truly follow yourself and your heart is that it may go against the flow of society. You need to leave that flock of sheep. Society has a skewed idea of “success”, and most people, sadly, are trying to live up to that.
- School = degree that may or may not be used, plus debt
- Job = the one making the most money that you probably hate
- House = biggest one you can afford to show off your “success”
- Marriage = a $25,000 wedding day...divorce is likely
- Kids = first cell phone at age 7...begin ego brainwash process
- Retirement = sit in your big empty house, next to your shiny car, gossiping about the neighbours
- Death = when you realize you fell into the trap, you fell into the system, and your soul has been squashed and all you wanted to do was paint, or dance, or travel, or sing
I know that is quite biased, but it still holds a lot of truth. We think we are trapped. We think it is the only way so we ignore our instincts, desires and dreams. “I don’t have a choice, I have to do this, I have to do that” are common phrases. Why? Why do you need that house that costs half a million dollars? Why do you need a new car or new phone when the ones you have work fine? Why do you need more money? How will that make you happy? So that one day, with your expensive material items you can whither away, in front of your TV screen, slowly become one with your favourite chair? We are so worried by what other people think. My opinion is that government and politics are all a joke. It’s a game of money and power. Of course there are positive aspects that keep our economy moving forward and systems in place that should stay, but most of it is all based on money and power. There are ways to beat the system, and few do it. There are always things to oblige to, but there are things to escape from. We forget how simple it all is. We are just cells. We forget that this planet is amazing and beautiful and full of life and laughter. That every breath we take is a miracle, that we are all connected by the same energy and the material things we hold with so much importance, aren’t. That we have the power to do whatever we want. We have the ability to change the world and ourselves.
You need to realize that you are not trapped. You need to realize that you have the POWER. Your feelings are not pointless - it is your soul that is trying to guide you to your full potential. It’s scary, I know, but please follow it. Great things will happen.
Since all we have is our souls and our connection to the universe, the planet and each other...communication is a huge part. Not only communication with the planet, and communication within ourselves (next post), but communication with others. It is unavoidable, and it is an absolutely necessary part of life, so you might as well get used to it and get good at it. The more you talk and are open about your beliefs, your interests and your goals, the more you are going to bring that into your life. You will attract the right people that believe the same thing and have the same interests and you will attract the opportunities you have been waiting for.
Many unpleasant encounters and relationships can be solved by open, honest communication. A dear friend of mine always used to say “to assume makes an ass out of you (u) and me”. If you are unsure about how someone is feeling, unsure about a situation, if you are holding back feelings or biting your tongue - stop it! Speak up and ask! If you are angry at someone, breathe and enter a conversation with them where you are not blaming or judgmental, try to see it from their side too, and express how you are feeling in a calm manner. Also remember to address that you are responsible for YOUR own feelings (ie: "I feel this way"). My first few times practicing this open communication was with a coworker that I felt very intimidated by. I was feeling like he wasn't hearing me, and would cut me off without be being able to finish what I wanted to say because he thought he got the jist of it without me needing to finish speaking. With encouragement from my boss to bring this matter into the light, I asked to take half an hour with him to chat. I started the conversation with stating that this was very hard and awkward for me to do, and that I was going to stumble over my words and not know quite how to explain it. I explained how I hoped this would improve our relationship in and out of the work place (we also did staff dinners where my feelings when speaking to him were similar to work meetings). I gave him three examples of times where I wasn’t being heard and provided him with solutions to how our communication could improve. My solutions included asking for a bit more patience, as sometimes it took me a while to gather my thoughts and express them in a way that I felt heard, and asking him to wait until I was fully finished speaking before answering. It went very well even though I was sweating and nervous and felt stupid and vulnerable. It turns out that he had no idea and he said he would definitely have more patience and wait until I was finished before replying. We hugged and our relationship solidified from there.
Being able to do this in all aspects of your life will create less stress, more meaningful and trusting relationships. I have brought this into situations with my parents when there has been passive aggressive comments, with friends that assume or judge, with my current work-mates struggling with situations with other employees or life circumstances. Practicing this method of communication, especially when the other person is open about it too, will help you become more empathetic. You will see where other person is coming from and notice what emotions are coming out with their wording, body language, eye contact, sarcasm, etc. It has made me ready to accept humility, being wrong, fessing up and diving deep. This is part of being human.
The secret to living well and longer is to eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure. - Buddha