After two months on the road I have begun to shift my focus to a journey of a different kind: the journey within.
Some people like to travel to many places, tick things off an ever-growing list and head home with an album of photos to remind them of sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. This trip, for me, may have begun that way, but it is now taking a different turn.
I am beginning to learn about life in a whole new way: the way of the East. I’m opening myself up to it, and its underpinning philosophy, through yoga.
For although there are many, many things I am grateful for in my life in the West, it is the philosophy, religion and spirituality of the East that I feel for me, is key. I want to stop this elusive search for more (filling the void), slow things down, stop doing things because it’s just what you do, and make a change.
It comes back to having appreciation for small things, taking time, and learning how to find what we are looking for – within – rather than through retail therapy, booze, new gadgets, quick fixes and the like.
So day one of my month long intensive course begins. I am excited about stepping back from the influx of external challenges, and shifting my focus.
I am dedicating this month to simply being.
It will consist of early starts (hopefully beginning with a hot shower) followed by meditation, pranayama, ashtanga yoga, breakfast, philosophy, lunch, anatomy, hatha yoga, meditation and dinner.
Sounds extreme? Perhaps. But perhaps we could all benefit from stepping up and making changes in our world. It’s tough. But how do you know what’s on the otherside, unless you push your boundaries?
So after two months of indulging, it’s time to apply some discipline. A clean diet, study, physical activity (four hours a day minimum) and no more lazy cigarettes. That’s the aim. Not only is it the aim but instead of viewing it as taking things away from myself, I am viewing it as giving things to myself.
This shift in my life is considerable. I am hoping to find ways to calm the mind chatter that has become a very real part of my everyday, up until now. And I am hoping to find the stillness I have been searching for, within. Or at least scrape the surface.
I have asked questions, and searched for answers. I have searched high, and dug low. I have travelled to many places in my life, only to return home with the same restless feeling that initially drove me to leave.
So I’m taking some responsibility now, for me, and for my own happiness. For if there is one thing I have learnt, it is that you cannot expect other people to make you happy. You are responsible for your own growth, your own experiences, how you perceive the world, and ultimately your own happiness.
If something is not right for you, if you are finding yourself struggling through your day, complaining or wishing things were different – only you can change it.
And that’s what I have come here to do.