I’d eliminated the things from my life that I didn’t enjoy, and minimised the time spent with people who didn’t make me feel good. The result was that I now had the space and time for the things that did reflect the kind of life I wanted to work towards. But, where to start?
For inspiration, I reviewed my life – looking for the happiest moments.
I’d recently returned from an overseas holiday to the United States and Mexico where I toured the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, with author, scientist and spiritual teacher Gregg Braden. I’d also travelled solo through parts of Northeast and Southwest America.
I reflected on the aspects of this holiday that had made it so special; I’d visited archaeological ruins that had fascinated me since I was a small child. I was in the company of someone who inspired me. I was surround by like minded people. Aside from the tour with Gregg, I had made no definitive plans. I freely explored places and activities that I was drawn to. I was not hampered by day-to-day responsibilities, routines or timeframes. Being a once in a lifetime experience, I was more liberal with my expenditure.
As a result I had the best six weeks of my life. Magical experiences that I could never have planned occurred. People embraced me with open arms, showering me with generosity. I met people that would become life long friends. Opportunities opened up in which I saw places that I’d only dreamed of. My journey seemed almost effortless. Life flowed. For the first time I embraced the feelings of joy, freedom and awe in life itself.
Was it possible to live a life centred around this way of being?
I found that it is one thing throwing all caution to the wind in a foreign country for a few weeks, and quite another applying it to your day-to-day life, indefinitely. I was terrified, but my recent experience of genuinely feeling joy and freedom was beckoning me and I wanted to heed that call. But how to bridge that gap?
I started by including elements from my holiday into my day-to-day life.
I turned to the internet and found numerous lectures by Gregg. I thought it would be nice to have something to occupy my hands as I listened, so I started to knit, an activity I had enjoyed as a child.
I listened and I knitted. I was in heaven.
Inspired, I continued to ‘fill’ my days with creative activities, listening to inspirational lectures and documentaries, as well as freelance work that came my way. I had plenty of spare time, as full-time work had dried up. When opportunities presented themselves I explored those that I felt drawn to, rather than taking up offers just for the sake of filling in time as I’d done in the past.
Each day wasn’t a bed of roses. There were many moments in which I experienced anxiety, panic and depression. But within a few weeks, I noticed that I could think more clearly. I developed more of a sense of myself. My inner voice began to emerge.
The biggest surprise was that the structure of my day had begun to look a lot more like that of my ‘ideal’ day.
Photo by Marvin Fox