Atalwin has traveled the world to discover “the only terrain that is still relatively unexplored is the journey inwards.”
This was previously published on Basic Goodness.
Srithanu, Koh Phanghan, Thailand.
I have little time to write but I felt quite inspired so I should give it a try. Why do I have little time? I am in Thailand, on an island called Koh Phanghan. I chilled out at a quiet beach the first day, yesterday I arrived at the yoga school (I had my first classes today). I have a hut on the beach, there is white sand and turquoise water. And there are neighbors too. And my neighbor, who is also in the yoga school, persuaded me to with her to a Black Moon Party (in case you are not on the island during full moon). But since we are yogis and healthy and stuff, we are going at 05.00 in the morning. She says that all the wasted people will be gone home, it won’t be crowded, just terrific music and the sunrise. In my experience wasted people don’t even go home when you threaten them with sticks and the later you go to a party, the more zombies you see but we will see. (Check the pic. I rest my case.) I haven’t been out since February and I think I should tick off at least some kind of “blah blah Moon Party.” When in Rome …
So the faster I type, the more I get to sleep before I have to go dance.
I am not good at yoga. This morning I had my first class and as I try to do the poses sadness came over me. Doing yoga reminded me of the girl I was in a relationship with. She was enthusiastic about yoga and I hope she still is. A healer told me that I have unhealthy subconscious attachments to her (“chords”) and these chords need to be cut. So now I am in the process of cutting chords because supposedly it is better for both of us. But on a morning like this I just miss her and I wish she would be here and we could do the class together and have breakfast and cafe lattes afterwards. But now I am concerned that these thoughts are how the ‘chords’ manifest and that just missing her is not good for both of us. So not only do I miss her; I feel guilty for missing her and worry about interfering with her happiness just because I miss her.
Luckily the Universe is kind enough to cheer me up in another way. This morning I received another email from somebody who is inspired to leave her home to journey into the world. I never had these messages before but this week she is the fourth one. When I expressed my disbelief and amazement to somebody else he told me that I don’t realize the impact I have on lives. This is true, for a large part I have no clue. But this goes for all of us, I guess. Regardless, it is very, very nice to hear that people are touched and moved and are making changes in their lives. And it is a principle that I deeply trust: when we live our truth we unconsciously inspire and thus liberate others. Still, receiving hard evidence that it is true keeps amazing me. Which is good, I guess. Better than becoming full of myself. I prefer being amazed over being unamazed.
Talking about change and the necessity of change: I have two friends who very recently did something very cool and daring: they quit their jobs even though they are young and were—according to conventional parameters—extremely successful. They also will start traveling (but I am not taking credit for that). In his email of this morning my friend explained what happened. He ended with a question: if I have any suggestion or an interesting angle or take I should let him know.
Well, I do. My suggestion is to deliberately look outside of your comfort zone. This is what I do. As I just mentioned I am not good at yoga. And doing yoga not only makes me feel physically uncomfortable and limited, it also makes me sad because it confronts me with facts I find painful to face. But after the second session I felt great. I would never have found out if I had walked away from it. Doing things outside of our comfort zones allows our paradigms to shift. My success in Hong Kong made me realize I never have to limit myself to Amsterdam ever again. If I keep doing two yoga classes per day for the next two weeks I can probably kiss my belief that I suck at yoga goodbye.
I feel we should aim for the ‘high dream’ and not settle for less. Why go for personal happiness if we can make a contribution to world peace? My goal, wish and intention is to make a contribution to the rise of human consciousness. I fully realize that to be able to contribute I must devote myself to my own growth; if I don’t mature I have nothing to offer. With growth I mean to open my heart more. I feel that every human being should devote himself or herself completely to opening up and to serving humanity and planet. If you choose to do less you are betraying your potential. To be honest: I feel that it is a sin to not do good. The only reason not to do good wholeheartedly is because we are afraid to give ourselves. We hold back. We only want to give as much as still feels comfortable. The point is not to give as much as your ego, fear and stinginess allows you to but to give as much as you can, unconditionally, without wanting to make a profit. Conditional giving is not giving, it is trading. There is a compromise there. Giving doesn’t deplete us, compromising ourselves does.
So my friends, aim for greatness and aim for full realization of Self. Be unconditional and uncompromising in your search for wisdom and compassion. Share the journey with others. You have the creative talents to reach the masses. Now instead of reaching them and manipulating them start thinking about how to touch and inspire them. Experiment with that wholeheartedly and unwaveringly.
Don’t let the big words scare you. It is not that hard. It is not about becoming an inflated megalomaniac but about becoming more and more honest. Just go step by step but be mindful when you judge something as impossible or too far out of your league. When I was unable to find funding for my journey I thought, “now I can’t go.” And on that moment I realized that leaving without sufficient funding was far more scary and daring than to wait for safety. Realize that uncovering unknown terrain is what feels rewarding and creates expansion. Also realize that in the year 2012 the only terrain that is still relatively unexplored is the journey inwards.
Enjoy the ride! And I look forward to meet you on the way.
Do you appreciate what I am doing? Please support me and my journey by recommending and sharing my posts on Facebook. It is such a small effort and really important (let me explain). And please consider making a financial, moral or relational contribution. Your help means a lot (read here how amazing it feels).
—Photo of roller coaster courtesy of opticalreflex/Flickr; photos of Koh Phanghan beach and wasted people courtesy of the author