Where am I going next? What am I going to do when I get back home? How am I going to earn money to keep travelling? I hate my job back home but I don’t know what else to do with my life!
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
These are all questions that come up as we travel the world, broaden our perception and discover new aspects of ourselves that are eagerly waiting to be expressed.
Travel can precipitate one of humanities greatest challenges. The ability to step out of the known into the wilderness of The Great Unknown.
The space that is seemingly dark and empty, is ever pregnant with infinite potential.
Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable is an art in itself. In order to be familiar with the unknown, we need to step into it. Nobody else can take the risks for us, walking with eyes wide open yet seeing nothing as we step into The Great Abyss.
Quitting a job that we don’t like, ending an unfruitful yet familiar relationship or letting go of an old habit can seem scary as the human psyche wonders...‘what will I do without my boyfriend / smoking habit / the comfort a monthly salary gives?’.
This is human nature. Sometimes we just get scared. Everyone who’s gone before us and gone beyond what they thought was possible for themselves has gone through a similar process.
Feeling scared and a kind of nervous excited?
It’s the feeling as travellers we yearn for. When those butterflies in the stomach start and the smile that lights up our face appears; we know the decision is right… in our gut… in our heart and in our soul.
When this knowing is present, we can often take the risk as we ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.
But what if that’s missing? What if all you can feel is fear and all that’s present is an uncomfortable... 'I don’t want what I’ve got, but I don’t know what else to do!’
An exasperating and tiring state to be in. I’ve come through it myself many times at varying intensities. I also work with many people that are experiencing this. It’s highly uncomfortable but does get easier to work through the more we face, heal and transform our fears.
Let’s say you don’t want to go back to the job you had, or are meant to be going back to, but really don’t know what else to do. You know the alternatives but none feel even remotely right. Everything feels a bit tight, in your body, in your mind and there’s a sense of being lost whilst everyone around you seems to be having a good time. Sound familiar?
Rest assured it’s an indicator that you’re pushing your own limits. This is part of the process of growth and you can learn from this experience.
Here are some guidelines for what to do when you’re feeling fearful and stuck.
1. Breathe easy…
Take a few deep breaths... When we experience difficulty, we tend to hold our breath. When we hold our breath we can’t feel as much, but whilst this contraction moderates the emotions, it also contributes to the feeling of "stuckness", as the breath is literally stuck.
A very direct way to open to our own flow again – is to breathe. Note that when you do breathe deeper, the emotions that were being moderated will arise. But fear is much better processed out than stored in the body, festering away.
So breathe, breathe, breathe deeply. Into the belly, expand the ribs and up into the chest, then exhale slowly and steadily.
2. Learn To Stay with Space
If there’s space, in anything, anywhere, we try to fill it. Consider how comfortable you feel not talking to anyone for a day, not listening to music or maybe – no internet for a week! This last suggestion may sound small but it’ll likely make a big difference. No internet for a whole week? Are you up for the challenge? I recently did this with amazing results!
For example; if you wanted to refurnish your home, (even if you knew which new furniture you wanted), you’d have to clear out the old furniture first, to make space.
The same applies in life. There has to be space for something new. Space in the heart, an openness in the mind and a willingness to not be in control or have everything planned.
You could meditate on a picture of a black hole, end unsupportive relationships, delete old emails, give away belongings, drop unhelpful habits. In fact clear anything that’s not supporting your growth and weighing you down. Send whatever it is on with love (e.g. giving old clothes to a charity shop) and feel yourself getting lighter and more spacious in the process.
It is essential to stay with the new space you've created. Don’t fill it (with food, people, experiences, internet), just feel the space, set your intention for the essence of what you want... AND WAIT.
Be with the feelings and reactions you have with curiosity and notice anything that distracts you and re-focus. This is extremely powerful if genuinely and consistently practiced.
3. Set Your Intention
After becoming more familiar with ‘nothing-ness’ you can then set your intention for what you do want. i.e. a job that you feel fulfilled in, where you use your gifts and you feel good. It can be helpful to create a vision board for what you want; don’t worry about HOW to get whatever it is for now. Simply set your intention and wait. Stay with space, the nothingness that is raw potential… and wait…
4. Then be patient and wait for something that makes your Heart sing and your Soul shine and accept nothing less.
Written by: Melanie Swan, Soul Seekers Ambassador. Melanie offers specialist Deep Healing and Transformation work for Backpackers, Travelers & Digital Nomads online via Skype. Check out her site for more info and tailored packages.