As I type this I am sitting on the balcony of Sherin Cottage guesthouse in Kerala, India. It’s just gone midday and it’s 30 degrees outside, but there is a light breeze so for me the temperature is just perfect. I can hear various different birds squawking in the trees and in view is a lush foliage of green palms and fuscia flowers, surrounding brightly coloured painted houses that line the part-tarmac, part-rubble road. The occasional motorbike or tuk tuk drives past and a few locals and tourists stroll by, but as we are set back from the hustle of the beachfront cliff, it is very peaceful here.
This morning I got up at eight and went straight to a one and a half hour yoga class, the second of which I’ve attended led by a teacher I discovered yesterday morning when wandering through the alleys looking for a place to practice. After that a friend from the hostel and I enjoyed a delicious fresh juice by the sea front, then came back here for a simple breakfast cooked by the very friendly and hospitable staff who work here. After I finish writing this I’ll probably head to the beach for a walk or to start reading one of the numerous books I’ve already been recommended by fellow travellers (or spiritual wanderers I might call them: so far the people I’ve met are here for a purpose much greater than a vacation).
It’s just day three of my ‘trip’ and already I am learning and experiencing so much.
I say ‘trip’ in inverted commas, as this is not the start of a holiday for me, but the start of a new chapter in my life – the beginning of a new journey – or perhaps the continuation of the journey I began when coming to Goa in January. As I’ve explained in previous posts I made a decision to make big changes to my life this year. I left my job, and not only that; I have made a conscious decision to turn my back on the type of job, the type of life, which I was living before. I have a vision of how my life could be going forward – of how I want it to be – and it is very different to the one I was living before.
I won’t say too much about my plans right now as they will grow and evolve organically over time (that is actually part of the ‘plan’). In essence though, my goal is build a new life for myself, one that complements my passions and skills, develops my spirit and nurtures my soul. I want to build a life where every day I wake up with a feeling of purpose – my purpose – not someone else’s. I want to look forward each day to the next because I know that whatever I will be doing will be part of my journey and my destiny. I want to leave behind the anxiety, stress and insecurity which has tortured me for so long because I felt so burdened by feelings of obligation, guilt and fear, trying to fit into a ‘system’ of a living that I never really felt was ‘me’, in which I never felt I truly belonged and could reach my full potential.
(If all of this sounds like airy fairy bullshit to you by the way, that is fine ;) You might want to stop reading now though as I think there’s more of this to come!)
Essentially what I’m saying is that I want to find what it is that I can bring to this world that will make the most of me – so that I myself can feel fulfilled and also so that I can bring something positive to others around me. Because I have a lot to give, there is a lot I want to learn, and I believe that there is a purpose for me beyond working behind a computer in an office job in London. Although I don’t know exactly what that is yet, I have finally put some of the pieces of the puzzle together and realised what the ‘ingredient’s are that must play a role in getting me there.
If I had to summarise my goals, or intentions, for the next few months it would be these three things:
One: to really get to know, trust and love myself. And I know the only way for me, personally, to do that, is to do what I’m doing now – to travel, alone – to take myself away from my security blankets (home, friends, family, work etc.) and rely on myself, observing as I go my feelings, fears and dreams – then acting on them according to my own intuition and judgment.
Two: to keep learning and discovering the world and the people in it. I thrive on the discovery of and sense of understanding of myself that comes from meeting new people, having new experiences and being in new surroundings. And I know it’s not that you can’t meet new people and have new experiences when living in one place…but for me, to travel is the best way to do this.
Three: to extract from the experiences and knowledge which I absorb along the way, the elements which will fuel my own creativity and help me build a new way of living and working in the world. I believe the key ingredients which I mentioned above include, but are not limited to: travel, writing, yoga, meditation, alternative/healing therapies, and connecting people… From that I have an idea of what I could do, build, and create…and am going to start working towards it, starting now.
If you’d like to follow my journey I’ll be sharing it here.