I was inspired to write this blog after having come across the phenomenon of people choosing to pack up their bags and move to new lands for exploration and adventure, to find a new life that will hopefully be more promising and will help us find a place in the world.
I was inspired to write this blog after having come across the phenomenon of people choosing to pack up their bags and move to new lands for exploration and adventure, to find a new life that will hopefully be more promising and will help us find a place in the world. Perhaps a place that can provide more ease in helping us find their passion, somewhere out there in the wild and the exotic or perhaps somewhere with a milder climate.
At this point I should let you know that myself in a slightly different fashion and at 19 years of age, I ended up moving into the UK to study in London alongside a good portion of other young fellow Greeks, a place I ended up staying and creating a life for myself. That was 18 years ago.
On the outside I was moving to further my education and enjoy a new culture, but underneath it all, my real intention was to get away from what I had known so far in order to give myself a new life in a new culture that was particularly known for diversity, creativity and music, the last of which was a big passion of mine.
So for the purpose of this blog, i would like to explore this phenomenon of 'packing up and going' particularly as something taking place within the spiritual community, whose circles I seem to find myself part of and whose attitudes I feel to be more equipped to comment on and share my observations about.
I notice that the phenomenon 'of packing up and going', seems to be increasing within the new age community as the years go by, with more people choosing to move to easier, warmer climates aiming for softer and less complicated lifestyles. It appears in fact, as though people's search for identity and travel go hand in hand.
Now I need to say that the gypsy in me actually understands the fun and learning that comes with travel and I say yeah to this. The amount of experience and insight into life that can be accumulated from traveling, especially earlier on and before life's responsibilities kick in, can help create a great foundation for the life we build, through the resources we access and experiences we accumulate. Traveling can help us fill our tank and continue our journey as a more enriched and fulfilled person walking this path.
So with that in mind I can appreciate the desire to experience something new and different through a life of travel and adventure. I understand the appeal and how sometimes that is even in some cases necessary in order to create conditions that are going to be more supportive in helping us actualize our dreams and desires.
But there is something else I want to focus on, which is about what we could be missing out on when we choose to pack up and go. Here's what I think. By choosing to pack up and go...
We Could Be Missing Out On The Opportunity
To Ground Into Our Greatness
And Transcend Our Limitations,
Creating A Life Of Real Value And Excitement,
Right Here In The Mess Of It All.
We could be missing out in an opportunity to live a full life in a way that maybe we wouldn't be able to do if we didn't stay put.
Now, maybe its the earthy aspect of me - Taurus with Virgo ascendant and Capri moon - oh yes that is indeed 3 earthy signs in me. And maybe also something to do with the fact that as a mum to a small boy, the calling to grounding has been stronger than ever before, despite my own defenses around it, asking me to make the most of my conditions in a way that allow both me and my family to flourish in all ways, physically, mentally, spiritually.
What i am finding however is that grounding, as hard as it can at times feel and of course as a work in progress, is actually a beautiful beautiful thing.
Grounding and allowing ourselves to find our place in this funny crooked world is actually a much more satisfying experience that we might initially think it to be..
It Offers a Much More Diverse and Interesting
Palette of Colours And Textures
With Which To Paint Our Life's Canvas,
If Only We Are Willing To Explore And Play With Them.
Yet irrespective to all this, we still seem to avoid exploring it as an option... But why is that?
I guess there are too many stereotypes muddling our reality more often than not. Let's face it, grounding is not exactly the most sexy word we know now is it. But here's what I think:
Stereotypes Could Be Killing Our
Chances Of finding Out The Truth of Something For Ourselves.
Or more to the point, we could be using them as a way of avoiding finding out the truth for ourselves.
A cliched stereotype I personally know to exist around grounding is often linked to having a 9-5 job, being married, having kids and getting a mortgage. Now of course there is nothing wrong with these choices if chosen consciously and not out of conditioning, yet grounding is so much more than that. Plus with so many marriages failing and often 9-5 routines being linked to jobs that people actually dread, it is not surprising people reject wanting to have anything to do with grounding. How useful is this stereotype after all?
The spiritual movement is the one that often advocates the responsibility we hold towards the creation of our own reality and the need to bust any pre-existing conditioned notions of how to live life. Yet when it comes to us doing the work in order to create this reality, it seems we don't hold back in using tired stereotypes to define us, instead of working within pre existing norms and doing something different and exciting by creating our own rules.
I.e creating a relationship/ marriage that actually works because we work on it, or finding a vocation we actually love that turns our 9-5 into holiday.
So we choose to believe in stereotypes that will give us a good excuse to avoid doing the work in creating our own reality and instead we take their ideas as a given.
We fear that a grounded life will kill the spark and flatten the desire within us when we don't realise actually that:
The More We Ground,
The More Life Will Unveil to Us
The Wonder and Magic Hidden In The Every Day
Through Its Kaleidoscopic Lense.
Grounding Vs Routine
I think we often tend to confuse grounding with routine and with structures associated with daily working, commuting and disciplinarian ways of expression.
Though there is a link between grounding and routine, not everything about it needs to be dreadful and boring.
Routine is actually another way of grounding important rituals in our life and in a way that can be truly enriching and liberating. The problem is that many people fail to understand that:
As Architects Of Our Own Life,
We Get To Choose What These Rituals Are
And How They Get Performed.
If we realised how mindlessly we end up adopting certain rituals in our life we would be realising where we are getting it wrong and would be turning things around much more quickly, saving ourselves a ton of blood and tears in the process. However, that takes courage and this makes perhaps a subject for another blog to be explored some other time.
Point is, we need to choose our rituals in a highly personal and individualistic way, as rituals themselves require us to put our stamp and customise them in a way that suits who we are and how we wish to live life down to the T. At least that should be the case with the rituals that make tup he fabric of our daily existence.
Ritual - An Act of Love
Another thing that will determine the success our life rituals play in our lives, is the level of love involved in their creation and execution and to the extend we allow them to be an act of love in our life.
To find out how much of your love is invested in your rituals is easy. Simply notice how many of the things you start doing are followed through. If you find yourself dropping out of things too often it doesn't necessarily mean you're doing something wrong. It often means you do not love them enough to see them through or that you've reached as far as you could go with that particular ritual and activity in your life.
For instance, I studied classical piano for 8 years of my life, something I put a lot of love and energy into even when the going got tough. However there came a time I did not have the same desire around my studies and I found that although the love for the piano was still there, my love to study the classics was gone. I was ready to graduate and move on to different things. I still play the piano and can read music to this day but now I enjoy writing my own music and doing it my way as opposed to being a student of music.
Let Love, Not Obligation,
Be The Guiding Factor in What You Do.
If I had continued with the ritual of studying classical music beyond what my heart and soul was ready to support me in, it would have turned into the most horrendous chore and something that would have probably turned me against music all together. Thankfully it didn't have to be the case.
Grounding Vs Free Flow
This is actually very similar to the point made earlier on fearing getting stuck in routine and is based on the notion that by grounding we will not be able to free flow as we wish.
If you look deeply into it however, you will find it does not have to be true. To avoid getting stuck in routines, we just need to allow for spontaneity and freedom in our day to day movements and life plans in a way that honors the fire within.
Become The Master of Your Own Rituals
A great way to do this is by allowing what you love in your life claim the space it needs to in order to grow and thrive. To give you an example, I have a love for writing and im currently doing a writers' course to develop my skills and knoweldge. In terms of my commitment to my writing however, I decided to do it as and when i feel like it in the week rather than every single evening, as I find that even when it comes to a serious commitment such as doing a writing course, flowing with it allows me to keep the spark alive.
Interestingly, I find that my writing continues to remain consistent nevertheless which to me indicates that by allowing freedom around all the things/rituals we love they continue to be faithful companions in our lives for years to come, as we've given them space to breathe around us. Same thing applies to the people we love.
Your grounding does not need to stop your free flow, honest. You just need to make sure you don't just get stuck in routines you actually don't like as much, as let's face it, so much of our life is evidently geared around establishing them. To achieve that you only need to be discerning as to what you invite in your life in order to avoid the trap, that's all.
And here's a thought... Could it be that this need for free flow could have actually more to do with not wanting to take responsibility for our lives? Unfortunately that is often the case and particularly around the desire for so many 'to pack up and go'.
Not Being Present
I feel that the times I don't get to appreciate the intricacies of my life as much, are often the times im least present in my experience. That might be due to stress, working too hard or not looking after myself as well, all of which can be resolved simply by allowing myself to rest and become more present. Being more present of course does not just mean not connecting with the good stuff but it also means connecting with the crappy stuff and the mess that is life.
Which is why so many people I guess choose to 'be present' in a nice Thai beach whilst sipping a large coconut, thinking about emptiness, meditating and connecting with the community of the many travellers that wonder past, as opposed to choosing to be present in a stressful community, whose external activity can end up being too much of a reminder of our hectic minds and lives.
Unfortunately however, not being present shuts off all the good stuff, and it can mean feeling more distant from life's magic. And that is quite a price to pay.
When We Are Not Present Enough,
We Cannot Appreciate The Gift
That Each Moment Has To Offer Us.
And instead we end up daydreaming of a reality we don't even know we actually want to create but serves as a great escapism from our life's banality and struggle.
I often feel that when us humans find the courage to find our own place in this crooked world, warts and all, when we seek the patience to learn slowly and love what is within and without, then our spirituality cannot but enhance our life, bringing more meaning and value than we ever imagined.
When and whilst in pursue of our life's purpose we brave it and not shy away from accessing our raw (human) material, our spirituality will always be of good service to us and helping us ground, as opposed to having us want to run away to other civilisations for a different life..
When We Choose To Find Our Place In The World,
However Difficult A Process That Might Be
And Whatever The Form It Chooses To Take,
We Won't Be Wanting To Run Away From Anything.
Instead We Will Want To Stay Right Here,
And Work Out The Myriad Of Ways Our Song Can Be Sung.
It's all About Intention
No amount of experience and travel, moving around and adventure will be as fulfilling when done with a secret intention to escape life and its tribulations. This is because our soul, our highest teacher, does not find solace in escapism..in fact quite the opposite, it thrives in fulfillment!
Life's wonders can be experienced right here right now.. no matter what our circumstances...
Spiritual Teacher Byron Katie was a self hating alcoholic when she had an experience where due to being present she noticed a small bug on the floor doing something that facilitated her awakening which then resulted into her having a breakthrough out of her depression and alcoholism.. for good. That experience was enough for her to make the change needed and turn things around..
It might be that we just need to make a few adjustments in our attitude before we are able to access the blessing that is life, even amidst our ups and downs.
Let's Not Make The Mistake And Let Go Of A Life
We Are Yet To Invest Fully In
With Energy And Commitment
Having Yet To See The Fruits Of Our Work.
It'd be a real shame. A waste.
But it's important at this point to say this..
You can still be grounded in your life and travel the world, have a fantastic life and live the dream. As we metioned above, to be grounded it doesn't mean you need to live a life in a city doing a 9-5 job and moaning about it to your friends and family.
In fact the ingredients of a grounded life to me have less to do with the physical conditions we create and more with the attitude and principles guiding it. In particular i link it to:
Desire Intention Responsibility
To the extent we allow these principles to guide us will determine how grounded we can be in the world. But we need to understand that if they' re going to be underlying our life experience it has to be done not out of obligation and because its 'what people do', but out of conscious choice and preference. There's a big difference.
Desire is the strong feeling that guides us in our decision making and in the making of plans about our life. It is a visceral feeling, that can be located in the body and is emotions based rather than mental, though it can of course inform the way our mind acts around the things/ situations it desires. Desire exists before the intention forms and is the birthing point of the seeds that provide fuel for our life's big passions.
Intention is the energy that guides our life's movements, the guiding force that imbues our life with value and the purpose we give our actions, plans and decisions and it is constructed/ formed mentally though often it can also exist as an energy.
People seem to have a hard time with responsibility however, not so much because of its nature but because of what we choose to use it for. As mentioned above a poor decision in choosing our life's rituals means we can end up becoming responsible for things we don't desire, love or even want in our lives. No wonder then we become irresponsible and give up in our life's rituals; If we don't care enough for them, we simply will not want to maintain them. And it is totally congruent and healthy not to want to do so.
In essence what responsibility is asking us to do is find what we love and nurture it. But if we end up applying it to things not worth our time, then we should not be surprised if we end up not wanting to see them through.
So you can see here how the how if there is not enough desire to give fuel and meaning for us to chase towards a dream and goal in life, then any responsibility we take on will either fall flat on its face, or simply will have to work very hard to maintain, because the lack of desire will mean less fuel and energy to keep going.
Lack of desire, will therefore have us searching for unatural currents of energy that do not resonate with who we are as opposed to enjoying our own deep rivers of energy that flow through our souls and bodies, connecting with the vitality of our own nervous system.
The lack/ avoidance of desire will also then mean we are less likely to also then use intention as a way of helping ourselves along the way with a good navigation system and the universe's blessing, as we are more likely to have given up on that anyway.
What Holds Us Back
In my opinion, we attribute too much negative connotation to the word responsibility for two key reasons:
So what do we end up doing? We end up creating responsibilities out of things/ situations we don't like or love cause of the fear involved in the search of understanding and striving for our life's mission. As a result we end up then creating lives we don't desire, which in turn makes it difficult to put the energy into maintaining them and end up dragging ourselves half asleep and dead..
The Majority of People Out There
Are Not Lacking Responsibility
Because of A Lack,
or Defectiveness In Our Human Being-ness.
It Is Because We Have Not Been Taught
How To Look And Care For The Right Things In Life.
For Things That Are Worth Loving
And Being Responsible For.
That is right, not one of us lacks in being responsible and loving.
To end this blog I would love it if you could all have a think of at least one thing in our life you feel joy towards being responsible for, towards caring, loving and nurturing, it could be a person, a situation, a passion, a vocation, anything. Something that has a healthy mix of desire, intention, responsibility and has some consistency to it.
Once you identified this one thing (or more) then please share in the comments below.
Is your list of passions exhausted? What other areas in your life do you feel you could be discovering more of a passion for?
I look forward to reading your comments below.
Thanks for reading,
Keep loving x x x