Sometimes we are so overloaded with things to do and people to meet and daily routines, that we forget to listen to what our hearts and souls are trying to tell us. In most western cultures, it is actually seen as a badge of honor and success to be “busy.” We complain to others about how much we are doing and how little time we have. Others commiserate saying how busy they are too. And we go about our daily lives as if this is somehow an ok way to relate.
What about our connections?
What about feeding our inner-most desires?
What about forming, feeding, and developing our relationship with the divine?
For me, I was easily sucked into the business of busy-ness while on my journey. I found myself saying “yes” to so many things that I was no longer being true to my inner call to simplify and find peace. Eventually, the universe finds ways to speak to us even if we are not listening to the smaller signs from our hearts and our bodies. In my case, it was after months of traveling when I was finally alone for the first time in months. Suddenly, it hit me.
I had left DC for a reason.
I had run away from my “real” life for a reason.
I had chosen to travel and get out of my comfort zone for a reason.
“I am cruising because I have dedicated myself to all that is creative and destructive in my life right now, and I am equally in love with every aspect of my life right now, and all the ingredients that have caused me turmoil, and all the ingredients that have caused me glory. I am the living whispered warning in the Roman general’s ear, ‘Glory is fleeting.’ And in that verb, that active verb, fleeting – there I live; there I reside, at this moment. I’ve dedicated myself to the idiom I don’t know.” ~Speed Levitch in “Cruising”
There was an immediate financial impact. Leaving my job had already meant leaving behind a monthly paycheck. But then when Victoria jumped ship, I was also left paying for the moving company and paying for my full mortgage in a now empty condo.
While the financial burden was great, it was nothing compared to the emotional toll. From the moment the words “Victoria’s gone” were uttered, I was in a state of mourning. My closest confidant, my best friend, and my little sister was gone, evaporated from my life without a word or explanation. I can see now, looking back, that even though I handled it well due to the benefits of having just returned from ten days of meditation, I still fell into a pretty serious depression.
For the few months immediately after, I was unable to find joy, unable to move forward, and unable to see options and choices available to me. I was reeling from all the changes and setbacks resulting from Victoria’s decisions - including delaying my sabbatical travels. The man I was dating was a constant reminder of how depressed I was. Christopher* didn’t see my sadness. He didn't see my need. He didn't seek to encourage and support me or to console and comfort me. He chose to see me as negative. He played a game of push-and-pull by spending time with me but then detailing all of the things he didn’t like about me. I suppose I kept inviting him back into my life because the depression left me feeling so alone. Because I did not know how to deal with my anxiety on my own, I kept the man I was dating around even while he continued to judge me for being in crisis.
By the time I pushed myself out into the world, I was still suffering from the fatigue and inability to make decisions associated with depression. I was going through the motions of being on sabbatical without really being able to let go. Because my condo had not been rented, I was constantly checking my email and making phone calls back to DC. Because I was paying for my mortgage, I was constantly worrying about money running out. I was doing everything everyone invited me to do. I was going every place I had the opportunity to visit. And even though I was outwardly embracing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of traveling the world, internally, I was dying for peace, space, calm, and the freedom to say no.
After arriving in Pune, alone, and with no agenda, I finally stopped to catch my breath. I realized I had been staying busy and creating drama around money and renting my condo in DC because I didn’t want to deal with the real struggles facing me. I wasn’t yet ready to seek out answers to the real questions which had propelled me on this journey: Who am I? What fuels my soul? What am I supposed to be contributing to the world?
“True abundance is the experience in which all our needs are easily met and our desires spontaneously fulfilled. We never need to seek abundance. We simply need to notice and open up to what is already there and allow the bounty of the universe to flow through us… In Nature and within us there is no such thing as scarcity or lack. ~Deepak Chopra
For a week, I stopped worrying about what people would think or say and I just stayed put. Some days I didn’t get dressed. Most days I didn’t even leave the house. I sat, I slept, I read, and I worked through my shit. Then, after more than a week of this routine, the most amazing thing happened…
The lessons I had learned in meditation about equanimity in all things finally sunk in and I accepted what was. I embraced what wasn’t. I welcomed what was to be.
Synchronicity started to manifest in the things I was reading, people I was meeting, conversations I was having, and even plans for my future.
By accepting that doing nothing felt good and that seeing no one felt comfortable, I allowed the universe to speak to me of the things it most wanted me to hear.
By giving myself the time and space to just be, I opened my heart to the possibility of what was.
The ripples of change had begun with my decision to leave my job. The waves intensified with Victoria’s choice to screw me over. And a tidal wave finally spread outward as I struggled to let go of control. But it’s a funny thing the ripple effect: By allowing the ripples to flow, they ultimately grow larger and stretch away into the universe. And then, if you don't fight it, if you don't try to stop it, if you just let it be, as the disturbance spreads, the present moment actually grows more still.
*All names have been changed to respect anonymity.