I used to think that changing my environment would make a big difference to my life… But is that always the case? What happens when we do change our home/work space, move abroad or travel and find the same issues coming up? Here are some of my personal reflections…
To be fair, in many cases travelling or changing environment does make a huge positive difference. Maybe we were in a space (work, home, location etc) that we no longer felt served our needs now. It might even be a toxic environment (maybe quite literally too) that is costing us too much (happiness, our health, stress etc). There are many times in my life when travel and even just changing my local environment was the perfect solution.
“You can’t out-run your shadow”
I can’t remember where I saw this written down – As with luck or pure magical synchronicity, I read this right at the time when I was trying to work out why things were still very much the same, even when I had moved abroad to a beautiful new city.
The deepest lessons have been during the times when I have had to face my shadow Self alone. Especially during travelling!
On a deeper fundamental level, there are some things that we can’t change by hopping off with a suitcase. Travelling and changing environment can actually highlight our issues even more as we might not have as much support (through friends and family nearby) that we might have usually relied on.
This is when the direction becomes clear: Let’s get honest and face our deepest fears, our true needs and our passion.
Here are some reflections that have helped me in the past:
What patterns keep coming up?
OK, you might be miles away from where you started and yet, the very same patterns are coming up in the form of new situations and people. Why?
This is a deep invitation to finally break those cycles, habits and patterns that no longer serve you. You can’t out -un these because they will keep showing up until you face them fully.
Bring awareness to it now, write it down and how it might be similar to the past.
What can you do now to change your reaction and take responsibility for the change? Take this time to acknowledge, go through the emotions and take small steps forward.
You can only be responsible for your side
Get clear about what your responsibility is – Or what you are avoiding at this point.
This will make it very easy for you to find the healthy boundaries between you and others on what needs to be faced. Maybe you are actually taking on many other people’s responsibilities and their stuff (emotions, stress levels etc) which can often happen to empaths.
Your vibe attracts your tribe
You won’t get along with everyone – And not everyone has to like you. It’s not or business what other people think anyway – We will attract who we need in our life at any given time.
The best approach is to go within and hold space for our Self first. I read this beautiful post recently about this. When we hold space for our Self, there seems to be a wonderful shift that happens – we open space for attracting new things into our life that serve us now.
Loneliness can creep in – You could be alone or be with someone/people and still feel it. But there is a big difference between feeling lonely and being your Self. As you hold space for your Self, maybe this is exactly the time you need to be alone. Be by your Self, fully being present to your Self and what comes up. In the process, (re)learning to enjoy your own company and step out of our comfort zone. I call this the “healing cocoon” phase, where you are shedding/changing/transforming into a soon to-be butterfly (your next stage). Making friends is also a channel of energy, so by being in new places and around new people, it won’t be long before you will connect to others.
As you value and grow, you will attract beautiful people into your life. Travel is a wonderful extension of this as you more forward into new environments that will inspire us further. This is a great time to observe the shifts and watch who/what leaves and what you gain in return.
Trust your Self – You are always making choices and you have a chance to grow in trust in your Self as you do so.
Trust your growth process – You are growing. Any time you confront your shadow, you are expanding and growing – it may be challenging but it’s such a good sign! Be gentle with your Self as you move along.
Trust your intuition – Are you tuning in? Are you allowing your Self to listen to that inner voice fully? Try to hold space for your Self by bringing awareness to your intuition as you move forward. As you travel, your intuition will also lead you to amazing places/people.
Find your home within
Travel will offer you many homes. For each of us, “home” will mean a different thing. Let me share what I recently faced as I went on a travel journey to teach yoga…
For me, home is the feeling of connection. I used to think it was a location that made me feel safe and completely comfortable to be my true Self. And as I continued to travel, I found that this constantly changed. I was always left wondering why. Underneath it all, I realised that home was a feeling of connection. So as I was growing and learning, my connection to what used to bring me this feeling was constantly changing. I used to re-seek a new location to “complete” this connection again. But now I know that for me, home is something I can rely on fully, because it is within. Finding connection is an inside job and as I travel, the feeling of home is already present. I now just use locations to extend this further.
What does “home” mean for you? Take a moment to go within and see what lies behind the word “home” for you. You could use this as part of your meditation, yoga or creative routines to explore and release. I like to journal at the same time. Once you get to the root of this, maybe you can see how this can fit into your travel plans.
A meditation to try!
As an extension to the last tip, I want to offer this meditation for you to try to connect to home within.
Take a moment to sit in a quiet place, put on your favourite music if you like. Make sure your spine is straight and you are connecting to your breath.
Set an intention before you begin: What would you like to explore in this meditation session? If you don’t have anything in mind, you can just have the intention to be open.
Take a moment to visualise the last time you felt at home. It could be a physical location, like a place you travelled to. It could be a situation or even a person that inspires that connection to home.
Now allow your Self to feel your body and your emotions as you visualise it – How is your body feeling? What thoughts and emotions are coming up? Take a quick note and just observe it fully. Take as long as you like with this and get as deep as you like into this visualisation.
When you are ready, ask your Self: How can I explore this feeling of home in my life right now? It could be the most simplest thing in our life that brings up the very same emotions, feelings and thoughts. For example: Enjoying a huge cup of raw cacao does it for me lol 😃
Use a journal to explore, write and release! Use a journal to write down afterwards what your experiences are as you do this meditation. You could try doing this for a time period (like a week~), even just for a few minutes a day. Write it out and see what comes up and how you can try different things in your daily life to enjoy the very same thing that brings home to you, no matter where you are or how far you travel.