Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.
– Leo Tolstoy
Are you always plugged into your google calendars, iphone reminders, emails on-the-go, and never-ending to-do lists? If you’re anything like me, well I think it’s safe to assume like most people – we move through our day totally booked up, organized and controlled by what and where our portable electronics tell us to be. I often think and say aloud that “I’d be totally screwed if I ever lost my iphone” as if my life would end. And worst are the days you mistakenly leave your iphone at home and moved through your day painstakingly trying to remember what’s next on your to-do list or not being able to write your usual twenty-something work emails while on lunch break. We can get so consumed and caught up with tasks and to-dos that we create and accumulate on a daily basis that we actually don’t take a moment to look up from our screens and enjoy what’s around and not plugged into our power cords.
I recently had an “ah-ha” moment from a somewhat chance encounter with a vedic astrologer. Never having had any kind of reading before I had no expectation and no questions to ask. I was simply in for the sheer enjoyment of discovery. However, my enjoyment quickly soured when he mentioned that I was most likely not going to be married or in a long-lasting loving relationship because I am so consumed with my work and as if that wasn’t hard enough to hear he finished by stating that I’ve lost all sense of spontaneity and that I’m too regimented in my work/personal life…more so work-life. Having felt a little insulted and deflated I walked out of my friends apartment that day and decided to rewrite my destiny. For me that meant getting away and getting lost. I immediately went home sat in front of my computer and decided to buy a plane ticket to anywhere that was affordable and some place warm. Within a few clicks I had booked myself a non-stop round trip ticket to Cartagena, Colombia.
I’ve just arrived home from my trip and can’t express enough how amazing the country, people, sights, food and culture are down there. This trip coupled with everyone I met along the way, the smells, sights, warm thick equatorial air were all medicine for my soul. At first being away from my daily routine, to-dos and emails, my constant companion’s if you will, felt a bit off, almost as if I didn’t know what to do with myself. The minutes, hours, and days all felt longer and I noticed that by removing myself from my daily constraints did I actually start living. I found a sense of adventure, calm and serenity in my unplanned days, urban meanderings, random conversations with locals and fellow travelers, and most simply just siting (something I’ve always deemed lazy) to be exactly what I needed. This is where our journey resides. This is living.
When we can take ourselves out of our routine and breakdown habits and the excuses that dictate our daily existence do we start to see ourselves and our life from a new perspective. Make time for yourself to get lost, lose your iphone, and seek the unfamiliar. A journey down a path unknown creates space for new discoveries into ourselves as well as the world around you. This journey always contains goodness, possibly some hiccups along the way and unintended happy and not-so-happy accidents but we learn from these setbacks and re-align. It’s always hard transitioning back to “reality” but what I have taken away from this experience is to relish and make more time for the small things like siting, reading, and stepping away from my computer after a normal working hour. Another amazing thing I’ve discovered to help limit my email addiction is Calm Your Box, which has freed up a few hours during the day. So tell me…what journey are you on? One that includes having your head down eyes glued to a screen or one filled with endless miles of white sand beaches, arepas, salsa dancing, and so much more!