Last year, I mentioned to a friend that I was interested in going on a spiritual retreat. I knew that she had attended a few women’s circles in warmer climates. I was looking for a place with no distractions from my everyday life. A place where I could become quiet and listen to my inner self for direction.
A few days later, my friend came back to me with, “What do you think about Bali?” Bali? I had read Eat, Pray, Love but never considered going to Bali. That was Elizabeth Gilbert’s call not mine and besides, it is half-way around the world.
Babs (my inner critic) immediately picked up on my fear and began listing how crazy that would be and all the reasons I shouldn’t go: It’s about 24 hours on an airplane, it’s a hot, humid jungle, wonder if you got sick and couldn’t get home? Wonder if the connecting flights didn’t connect and you became stranded in a foreign country? The volcano on Bali has been spewing ash, it could erupt at any time. You could be stuck or die there. On and on Babs droned.
But my heart whispered, “Bali, Bali, Bali.”
So, I bought the support stockings for the long ride, received the hepatitis A vaccine, took the series of live Tetanus pills, bought bug spray, anti-diarrhea meds, insurance that would cover bringing me home in emergency and a ticket to Bali.
This was so far out of my box that I couldn’t even see the box from where I stood. There was nothing else to do but pull up my big girl panties and pack.
Babs continued her assault on my decision. I spent time talking myself down from the upper branches of my terror tree. When I couldn’t do it, my husband talked me down. We had traveled, this was not that new. I wasn’t going alone. It will be a great experience.
My thoughts turned to a question someone had posed: What is the thing you most want that lies at the bottom of your heart?
I think that is an important question.
I wasn’t really yearning to see Bali, I was searching for a way to recover my place of peace, of knowing I was doing exactly what I was meant to do with my life. Writing But He’ll Change was one of the things I was meant to do. Writing the 82 blogs posts was also part of my mission. Lately, I’ve asked myself, “What more do I have to say?” There are many women and men speaking up since the #MeToo movement. Is it time to pass the baton?
While in Bali, I asked myself if I was ready to pack away all the memories from my own experience and all the knowledge I’ve acquired through my healing process? The work I’ve done has given me a sense of pride, made me feel important, connected me with many amazing people. Is it time to do something else?
That brought me to the question: How do I want to live the rest of my life? The big 7-0 is tracking me. What is at the bottom of my heart, now? What am I meant to do during this period in my life?
The point I hope you take away from this post, is that we each have a dream, hope, wish that lies at the bottom of our hearts. We may not know what it is but stepping out of our comfort zone may move us in the direction to discover something about ourselves that we didn’t know, were afraid to see, or a new direction for our lives.
I don’t think we need to go half-way around the world to find it (though, Bali was amazing—perfect weather, beautiful country, lovely people). It’s not an outer thing. It’s found in the quiet. Prayer, meditation or silence can give us the answers we seek. We can choose to learn how to sit in the stillness or believe that we don’t have time and continue rushing through our hectic lives.
I plan to take more time to live and less time on social media. I’ll still be around, though not as often, and will blog when I have something to share with you. I’m stepping out in faith that the next thing for me will come when it is time. I’ve always believed that life teaches us what we need to know so we are prepared for a coming task. We just have to pay attention.
What is the thing nestled deep in your heart? That thing you may not even know is there?