“Sometimes what you are most afraid of doing, is the very thing that will set you free”
I think my journey has reached an odd stage. Its good but at the same time a little odd. I say the journey in the metaphorical sense, the journey has all been within. Physically, I’ve always been right here.
It can only be described as a metaphorical pushing off from the shore, a feeling of leaving something behind, I don’t really know where I’m going, It’s a feeling of being in between places. It’s the same feeling I got when I left home back when I was 16. Excited and curious to what life holds in store.
As you know from my previous blogs, the vehicle I chose to take me on this journey to a happier life was mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. There are hundreds of books about mindfulness, for me it can be summed up as a continual return to now. A complete acceptance of life as it is right now, the pain and the pleasure, seeing everything with a gentleness, without judgement.
I started to delve into a different way to see life after several wake up calls. The one that gave me the biggest kick to get my life back on track was seeing the life of a close relative fade away in front of my eyes. People go through this all the time I know, but the day I saw that life stop, I didn’t grieve in the conventional sense. Instead, I decided to wake up once and for all and to stop sleeping through life. To stop kicking myself, to push myself from the shore and back into the sea of life.
For quite some time I have been preparing to set off. I’ve been holding onto the ropes afraid to let go, it’s cozy there by the shore. I have been tricking myself into thinking I am actually already on the journey, but I have just been looking out, watching, preparing myself.
The mind is good at tricking you into thinking you are doing something when really you are not. My mind wanted to make me think I was already out there in the sea of life. A clever trick, I am glad I saw it but this is all fine, everything is fine, it has to be this way.
Mindfulness has enabled me to see whats going on, like holding up a mirror. If I had just slipped the ropes straight away when I first started out on this journey, I would have floated out into the sea of life, but I would be too anxious to experience it fully. I would be trying so hard to get back to the shore that nothing else would have mattered. Its happened gradually, I’ve been working at the edge of comfort each time, pushing a little further each time, slipping the ropes gradually so to speak, a little more each time.
Those times when I don’t want to meditate, I go do it. When I feel sad or angry or anxious I sit with it and feel it. When I feel lost in thought, I breathe, feel my feet on the ground and come back to the moment right there and then. I don’t push anything away and there is no judgement.
Mindfulness and meditation are subtle, sometimes its easy to miss what it’s doing, but something slowly and quietly changes within. It quietly builds an inner strength. You don’t know it’s happening until one day your floating out in the sea of life, free from the shore and you’re not struggling to get back, your just floating, looking around taking it all in, fully experiencing it.
There is more to this I know, this is just where I am at the moment. There will be storms to get through. I might even find myself back on the shore again, but that’s all ok. The inner strength and courage that Mindfulness and meditation brings, will never go away.
So I say, enjoy every part of the journey, even the journey you haven’t started yet, it is all meant to be.
Never give up and always wake up, don’t go back to sleep.