I used to think that if I could just move somewhere else, everything would be better.
And believe me, I sure tried.
On average, I lived in a place for four years although sometimes my stays could be as short as a few months. I bounced around for years until I had my first child. Then, one of my friends finally scolded me. “You can’t keep moving, it’s bad for the baby.”
At first I ignored her. Infants cling to primary support not place but her words rang in my ears and I finally had to stop running.
Because that’s what I was doing. Running away from me.
I was convinced that each new place was the answer to my unhappiness. It wasn’t that the dissatisfaction was within me, NO! It was the pollution, the traffic, the unaware people, the lack of opportunities.
God forbid I actually take a look within.
I exchanged traffic for trees, noisy neighbors for none but I still always brought my emotional baggage with me; my procrastination, unresolved issues or negativity because, they were all a part of who I am.
I finally stopped long enough to look inside and began the work of healing.
That’s the secret.
We think our happiness, value, love, or belonging all lie outside of ourselves. I ought to know, I travelled across the globe and back looking. But all I ever found was lack.
Because everything I saw mirrored back my own inadequacies, unresolved issues and lack of self-love.
When you’re ready to stop thinking that your next destination will solve all your woes and do the inner work, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Look Within
Contrary to what we might think, we have all the answers within us.
We just forget or get afraid to ask.
Get quiet, light a candle, put on some soothing music and get back in touch with your heart.
Go within and allow yourself to reconnect with you. Ask your heart for guidance.
Sometimes we’re afraid to ask because it might mean we have to change – change the way we relate to ourselves and to others. But if we want to live authentically, this is the only path, through the heart.
Pray, sit quietly, journal or even try vlogging to get back in touch with you.
2. Seek Guidance
There are many people, books, and on-line courses that can help guide us to unlock the mystery that lies within.
One of my favorite authors is Joseph Campbell. He writes extensively about mythology and linking it to the soul’s journey. His interview with Bill Moyers entitled, The Power of Myth is a great place to start.
Another book like Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass can be insightful and help illuminate the internal path. He is a wonderful teacher and has plenty of experience to share.
Anything by the Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron will offer guidance and instruction too.
The trick is to find an author or speaker whose words speak to your soul.
3. Find Your Tribe
A local teacher or community of like-minded people can also help.
In the Hindu faith, this is referred to as satsang, in the Buddhist, sangha. Both words are derived from Sanskrit. Sat refers to truth (satya) and sang means community or gathering.
The idea is to find a group you can connect with - of people wanting to live a spiritual life, understand Truth and support one another on this path.
A great place to start is with your local yoga studios, churches, temples or meditation groups. Go online and check them out. Then follow up with a visit to see if it’s a good fit for you. Do you like the people and can you make a connection? Feel free to join my global community here.
We’re all afraid of doing this inner work but it’s the reason we’re here.
To truly understand our place and purpose and reconnect with the Universe- Oneness- God- the Supreme Being or whatever word is comfortable to you.
The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
By reading about other people’s journeys and finding like -minded souls, you can get lots of help, support and guidance.
As the saint Ramana Maharishi stated, “Instead of indulging in mere speculation, devote yourself here and now to the search for the Truth that is ever within you.”
If you’ve decided that the next place is going to have everything you desire or, if you’ve recognized you’re ready to stop running, it may be time to take a good look in the mirror. Undertake the ultimate journey and find out what is within you instead.