“You don’t trust men!” were the words that were shouted to me one night a few weeks ago. I was the passenger on a motorbike, and the driver had yelled them back to me as we zoomed down the coastal road in the late evening humidity of Koh Phangan, Thailand.
I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that I had met this stranger an hour ago in a reiki class and had hitched a ride with him because we were both going the same direction. If he had business cards, which I’m sure he didn’t, they would have read “Spirit Medium” as his job title.
I felt that getting on the bike was a pretty trusting gesture.
Still, I had been told the same thing three times in the past week and I was weary of it. It was a man who said it every time and each time I wanted to respond sarcastically, “I’d believe that if a woman said it.” But I never did.
The thing is, it wasn’t that I didn’t trust men. I just wasn’t really as free-spritied as the rest of the yoga community.
But for whatever reason, trust was the lesson I was being taught that week.
I’ve had to re-learn this lesson several times during my travel history.
The truth is, if you are rigid about your plans and don’t eventually shred your itinerary and throw it to the wind, you will miss out in really big ways. The world is especially open to those who are flexible and ready for synchronistic circumstances.
Sometimes I can be what you’d call “synchronistically challenged”.
I would also say the same is true for life outside of travel. I had this very specific picture of what my life “should” look like and I followed the formula to get to that picture. I thought I would be happy when it looked exactly like the picture. I left no room for spontaneity or flexibility.
That became a very crappy way to live.
Also, my ideas about what my life “should” be were vanilla and uninspired. #basic.
The problem wasn’t that I needed to trust men. I needed to trust. Just trust life in generally and see where it took me.
My month at the yoga retreat was significant and important in my life. But then the question became, what would be next?
I got all worked up over this and money and life until I was talking to a friend one day. He said, “Well, what happens if you spend all your money?”
“I don’t know, people starve to death every day.”
“Yes, I’m sure that’s what it’ll say on your tombstone, ‘Rachel spent all her money, and then she died.’”
This sounds ridiculous but for as much as I worry about finances, this was fair.
Less than six months ago, my life revolved around making sure every move made followed policies and procedures to ensure a predictable outcome.
It would be an understatement to say this is a drastic shift.
It’s the difference between buying an IKEA dresser and building it using the instructions or just leaving home with a hammer and figuring you’ll find the rest of the raw materials along the way.
So, I’m going to trust. I’m not going to “try to” trust. I’m going to trust.
I needed a sign, an idea, a vague notion of how to continue.
Then I made a new friend in a class while dancing around in the dark to beatless music and found out about a course happening here on the island. It was a writing course that is designed to teach aspiring writers how to blog successfully.
It was kind of perfect.
So, in my typical fashion, I hesitated for days. Being parted with money always leads to slow decision-making for me. I procrastinate. I decide not to decide yet.
But how often does the perfect thing just appear? For me, not all that often. Maybe, I need to take a little leap of faith, and may I add without fall protection.
So I’m going.
This is my down payment, signaling to the powers that be that I am serious. I am here, I made the tough choices to get this far and I’m still going.
I leapt and I feel like I’m hanging in midair to see how I land.
I hope that at the end of this leap, I make to the other side of the canyon. And once I get there, maybe there will be another stepping stone to or a hot air balloon to the next stage.
And as I’m leaping from one thing to the next, I’m leaving a breadcrumb trail of where I’ve been.
This blog I’m building, it’s just my own record of how I’m getting to a destination I haven’t yet decided on yet. It the map I’m making, the map of how to get to anywhere.
There is no miracle cure, but there is healing. Today, I feel like I’ve gotten all I can gain from this place for now. I need to go out and take what I’ve learned and keep moving and growing.
And with that, I leave the yoga retreat to find my next stepping stone into the world.