Monthly Archives: January 2015

Why I Travel

Travelling brings me a sense of wonder, awe and enchantment.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

When my only objective is to explore, I am in the present moment and everything feels ALIVE. I slow down and absorb every detail of my surroundings; the colours, the smells, the sounds and the FEEL.

Scene from window of train just outside Cairo, Egypt.

View from window of train just outside Cairo, Egypt.

With fresh eyes I see beauty in everyday scenes that, in familiar surroundings, I would likely pass by without a second look.  I am mesmerized by the most ordinary aspects of life in a foreign land.

Travelling teaches me to find contentment in the here and now; not waiting for anything, just living fully and completely.

As well as the magic experienced in the simple things, there is the profound impact of experiencing nature in all of its immense glory.

Iguacu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina.

Iguacu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina.

There have been moments I will remember forever, and places that stir up ancient memories that surface from deep within.  Memories that don’t belong to this life, but to a time when a connection with nature was ever present.  Now, during precious moments in a contrasting age of separation, the beauty of this bond can be perceived.

Often when I’m travelling, unexpected situations lead to the most wonderful experiences.  When the stifling heat in Marrakech forced us out of our bedroom to sleep on the roof of our hotel, I had no idea it would be so nourishing and inspiring.  Calls to prayer reverberated around us from all over the city, coming together with the dark night sky and thick warm air, to form a protective blanket around us.  Magic was quite literally in the air.  I woke up with the sun, a new person, with clarity about my path in life.  I knew what I valued and vowed to live more in harmony with this great force of peace.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

I have shared so many extraordinary experiences with special friends, old and new, knowing that we felt the same joy.  Travelling with good friends, spending 24 hours a day with them, dissolves all social boundaries and leads to spectacular amounts of fun.  These times have brought me so much happiness, and to begin to describe them here would turn this short post into a novel.

Along with this peace, wonder, contentment and connection with nature, travel provides the opportunity for something that is even more valuable to me.  Adventure.

I sometimes suffer from quite debilitating anxiety.  If it weren’t for my love of adventure, my mental state could be a LOT worse than it is now.  I still have my struggles, but knowing all the crazy things I have done (and survived!) really helps when I’m having a crisis of confidence.

I’m not what you might call a dare devil.  I have a healthy amount of caution, but my desire to experience new and exciting things has put me in some pretty hairy situations on more than one occasion.  I could do without adventures like being stuck halfway up multi-pitch rock climbs, or escaping The Great Fire Of 2012 in Laos; but they have taught me how much I can actually cope with.  I’ve overcome my fears sky diving and bungee jumping, and survived many a minor accident while testing my boundaries white water rafting, handstanding in inappropriate places and riding mopeds on potholed roads.

White water rafting in Peru, just before we flipped over and smashed my face on the rock!

White water rafting in Peru, just before we flipped over and smashed my face on the rock!

These things are all great learning experiences (some more fun than others!), but it’s the feeling of limitless possibility that being out of my comfort zone brings me that keeps me coming back for more.  Whether I’m looking out over a new city from a tall building or viewpoint (one of my favourite activities), trekking through beautiful unknown landscapes, or pushing my physical and mental limits, adventure to me is about possibility.  That is what I find so exciting.

When I do something out of the ordinary, I experience a feeling of expansiveness, and I know that there is so much more to explore and do.  I know that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was, and my heart longs for the next adventure.

View from the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

View from the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

 

 

 

SHARE
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

FOLLOW
Facebooktwitterpinterestrssinstagram

The Super Power Of Visualization

I used to have absolutely no clue how to use visualization.  I tried it in guided meditations, yoga classes, and in attempting to manifest things I wanted in my life “Law Of Attraction” style.  It always felt forced and frustrating.  Instead of slipping into a peaceful relaxing meditation I would spend the whole time wondering why when I closed my eyes I had no clue what anything looked like.  I wished my inner world was vivid, detailed and bright, but all I saw were fleeting shapes and the colour of my own eyelids!

I think previously, because I didn’t believe it would help me in any way, I didn’t really want to visualize what was being suggested to me.  I had to come to it on my own.  It sounds corny, but I had to find the magic of reaching for the stars within my own imagination in order to access the ability to visualize.

Ability to use the imagination comes so easily to some people, but even as a child I never really got it.  I remember being so bored writing stories or drawing pictures in school.  I only really enjoyed doing things where there was a clear right or wrong answer, like maths.

Now I use it constantly, whether I’m singing, massaging, making jewellery or writing.  It started with my yoga practice.  After thinking my yoga teachers were all a little bit crazy talking about putting roots into the ground with our feet and opening our hearts to the heavens, I now regularly out-metaphor them on the mat with the wild imaginings of my beautiful mind.  Because it works.

I had to really dig deep to tap into it though.  Sometimes I can feel so lacking in energy that I don’t even want to get up and make a cup of tea, let alone do a handstand.  But one day something clicked.  I imagined myself as an other-worldly yoga goddess, and for a moment I wasn’t limited by any of the beliefs I held onto about my body and its abilities.  I rolled out of bed onto my yoga mat, and bunny hopped up gracefully into the most elegant handstand I’d ever managed to do.  It revived me, and it definitely didn’t feel like exercise.

I’m not trying to suggest that if you’ve never done a handstand (or some other crazy yoga posture) before you can just visualize it and then you’ll be able to do it perfectly.  The point I’m making is that one image in my mind made a massive difference to how I felt in that moment, which consequently changed my whole day.

That moment, and countless others since then, have changed my view of visualization completely.  I actually sing better when I visualize.  I don’t know if it’s just the distraction from worrying about what I sound like, or if there’s something more complex going on.  It doesn’t really matter to me.  The results are what I care about.

We’re subconsciously visualizing whatever we’re doing constantly.  I’m becoming more and more aware that a lot of negative emotions, that seem to come from nowhere, are actually coming from deeply held beliefs about myself which play out as images flickering through my mind, so fast I barely notice them.  The emotion is a reflection of these images in my body, and I tend to become the things I am imagining.  So now I make a conscious effort to constantly challenge these pictures of myself and replace them with ones that feel good.  Low and behold I feel better, and can function much much better, as a result of it.

I’m sure this is just scratching the surface of the potential uses of visualization, and I look forward to continuing my exploration of the super power of the imagination!

SHARE
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

FOLLOW
Facebooktwitterpinterestrssinstagram