Week 4 - Vagabond Or Warrior Princess?

Whoever said that being on a journey to personal freedom was a thrill-seeking experience, may have been mad.  But, that is just one girl’s perspective.  

Exciting?  At times, yes, but not thrilling like waking up every morning waiting for the next riveting experience to present itself.  Not at all.  My journey to personal freedom takes patience and a willingness to be open on a much higher level than I have done before.  Not like in the past, where I would afford myself the opportunity to take a break and let myself breathe before the next turn on the path presented itself.  Interesting, because that is exactly what showed up this week for me.  Breathing and taking a proverbial breath have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.  And travelling the journey isn't a part-time job.

Last week I wrote that I would allow myself to witness the ugly and the beauty of what is happening around me, and engage steadiness so that the abundance of synchronicity, knowledge and wisdom would be able to come through.  I kept my promise.  What I found was that there is more to it than I had initially committed.  Far more.

I know very well that we should respect every step we take and honour the power of what we receive.  Because what we get will not show up with a smile on its face and a pat on the back to tell us that we did a great job.  Instead, that which we receive is not emotionally attached to how we are feeling.  It isn’t going to be patiently waiting for us to pull it together so that we can win just for having asked.  What I didn’t put together was that it was a continuous action of awareness that is required.  

I can’t lie and tell you that it wasn’t exciting to witness both ends of the spectrum and be granted the guidance I would otherwise not be able to have.  It’s quite humbling really.  But sitting back and witnessing just a single moment is not nearly enough. Neither is doing the same for one and then another and then another.  Not at all.  The hard lesson I took in this week is that there is truth to the concept that no moment is separate from another.  In fact, this week I have been able to experience the certainty that there is no tomorrow.   Believe me, when I realized it, the first thing that came to mind was “I’ve heard that before.”  That in itself was a rather silly thing to say because something that intense deserves a lot of attention.  

While in Mexico, I have every intention of working on developing more of what I share.  Of course.  But I have been very clear on giving myself every opportunity to experience more.  Not just a trip to the ruins, or a ride along the coast, but also what will come with each experience that isn’t visible to my human eye.   When I headed to Cozumel for the first time ever, I sadly let my spiritual guard down, and as a result, I was crushed. Emotionally I mean. None the less, the crushing was very difficult to take in.

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Don’t get me wrong.  In many ways, joined with a friend, it was an incredible couple of days.  I have never seen such a beautiful shade of electric blue offered up from the ocean in my life.  And to swim with stingrays, hundreds of fish and starfish two times the size of my head was off the charts.  But, letting my guard down meant that the entire experience came at a great cost.

To get to Cozumel, we chose to venture across the federal highway on a motorcycle.  An experience that I can tell you scared the living sh** out of me.  (By the way, where is all the fear coming from?). We missed the first ferry.  No biggie. There has to be a good reason.  Right?  A boat tour along the coast and enjoying the wonders of Mother Earth is a heavenly experience.  Riding the coast across the island on the back of a motorcycle, stopping here and there to meet interesting people from around the world is top notch. 

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Helmet in hand, I peeled myself off the bike (at least that’s how it felt) and ate way too much local food in an authentic setting that had some of the most gorgeous dream-catchers I had ever seen.  Hmm…Was that the first moment I wasn’t paying attention?  I doubt it.  Missing the last ferry wasn’t either.  Who cares.  So I stay overnight and get to spend the next day in a place that reminds me of Havana.  Not too shabby a deal.  Eating breakfast in a restaurant named Hog Town owned by a couple from Toronto who could be my neighbors, and bumping into the couple I met the night before at dinner on the other side of the island while they jogged past my table while I sipped an elegant and rich coffee; well that all went over my head as well.

You see, what I failed to recognize was that missing the ferry, experiencing the fear of riding the highway like a vagabond and the woman on the boat tour getting arrested for stealing (nothing of mine thankfully) was not external of me or my experience.  Not at all.  What this taught me was that while there is a balance between beauty and ugly of each moment, and that patience is required see what would come through, it all comes with a great responsibility that only I can manage.  It is my journey after all.   The responsibility is taking action.  Life isn’t a movie that you can buy a ticket to and watch from the back of a room while sipping a soda and eating popcorn.  It is a continuous stream of moments that simultaneously become one that requires diligence as I had never thought before.  Awareness is a gift and one that should be respected because I will let my guard down.  I’m human.  

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When I returned to my apartment at the end of the second day, I wasn't mortified by the experience at all.  Instead, I was tired, in need of a shower, and ready to own my journey.

There was a lot more to the two days, memories that I hope will never leave me because this was one very valuable experience.  But for now, I will end with this...

Life IS a gift, not a right.  It takes great strength, courage, a willingness to pay attention and continually trying.  The alternative is to commit to a lifetime of wondering "Why" and "What happened." I was reminded a number of times this week of Chris Rock and his stand up "I Take Care Of My Kids."  A little brassy for some, so I share it with a warning that there is less than loving nature vocabulary used.  But the point is clear.  Being in motion doesn't imply moving forward.  

If you don't own it, your journey I mean, nobody and nothing will.  So, be prepared to work for it, and really hard.  Because that which you long for can easily turn out to be a pipe dream and stream of regrets that you can otherwise one day whine about.

Leigh BurtonComment