In my van I was listening to the playlist my friend Ralph has sent me. Marcel’s list was completely different. Marcel and Ralph are both good friends of mine. It is beautiful to listen to their playlists and it is beautiful to notice the difference in character the selection shows. In Ralph’s selection the lyrics are very profound. One of the artists is Jason Schulman and one of his songs is called “The Long Journey Home”. The first line is “the long journey home has started”. I realized this was true. By traveling to the furthest country I could go and in that country going as far as I could and then turning around means that the long journey home has started.
I turned around 2 days ago. I made it to Townsville (where the picture is taken before I went skinny dipping in the morning). Where earlier this week I was telling myself that my purpose here in Australia couldn’t be just driving up North for 3000 kilometers and then turning around: I did exactly that. After my kind of disappointing tourist experience in Airlie Beach I decided to give myself permission to do what I thought I shouldn’t: just drive around from National Park to National Park to walk for a couple of hours. It is funny that the symbolic turning point coincided with the literal and physical turning point (do we still believe in coincidences?).
I had an insight today, and I hope it proves to be true and lasting. I was aware of the big difference between today and yesterday. Yesterday the doubt came up: what the hell am I doing in Australia? It culminated into a moment of feeling sad, lonely and lost. Today I was just happily cruising around. And what I realized was: I don’t regret the sadness of yesterday. I am not happy because it is over, I am happy because I became acquainted with it. It was really a kind of a light-bulb-flicking-on-in-my-head moment.
I am not in the most romantic place imaginable: in a Subway sandwich shop with a view over a parking place (with lots of empty spots). I had a salad here and was able to put some electricity in my laptop and phone. With the help of Personal Hotspot (the tethering function on my iPhone) I have access to the internet. So that’s nice. And there is a beautiful full moon in the sky. That is nice too.
I just uploaded to YouTube a couple of clips I recorded today. I have not much better to do than talk to myself during this part of my trip. Because I took the decision to not censor myself you can see me cry on one of the videos.
This morning I went to collect my hippie campervan. As we are going through the procedures and they are trying to sell me all kinds of additional insurance we find out that I have to pay a bond of only $2550,- which is €2039,-. My credit card bounced and this is – most likely and hopefully – because it has a limit of €2000,- (I am not broke but the card could be broken, that would really suck). And the company regulations allowed for ZERO alternatives. Fucking annoying. I could not pay cash, nor via their website, not via PayPal and I certainly could not just give them $2499,39 (equals €2000,-) with my credit card and give them the other $50,61 out of my back pocket. Bureaucratic obstacles and stupid rigidity makes me want to smack people.
My landing in Sydney was a hard one. After meeting my host and going through some trouble to get myself connected (first thing to do in a new country: get a local simcard to get your iPhone working) the first email that I saw with my jetlagged eyes was a message from my now very definitive ex-girlfriend: she moved on. I think it’s for many people a painful moment in the completion of a break-up and it certainly was for me. I had barely landed and I was already hit over the head. I felt numb, sad and disheartened. And I certainly wasn’t in the mood to cheerfully post whatever blabla I wrote on the plane. To make matters worse: the weather shifted from to nice to completely crap and seemed to reflect my state of mind.
I could barely eat yesterday. This morning I woke up literally sick in the stomach but I managed not to throw up. Isn’t it amazing how profound an email from the other side of the world can influence the body?
I was on a secret coaching mission, working with a lady who owns a villa here. She left today so now I am all alone in her spacious ocean view condo. In my eyes the house is big but I realize my brother’s house was bigger. I think I still have my Dutch sense of scale, I guess. Everything abroad seems big to me (except the people).
I kind of liked the format we had: 4 days of intensive work. Normally I see a client once a week for a while or give a workshop that takes 1 or 2 days. I can’t really see what happens with my people after a session. But by living in the same house for a short but not too short period of time I could keep her focused and she had the opportunity to ask a million questions. We could create a beautiful mix of coaching, meditation and profound conversations over meals.
Satya guided us through a meditation. She asked us to localize the place where we feel our father in our bodies and asked us to connect with the feelings that came up. My brother became emotional. Satya started chanting. Sahaj made a little fire and burned our letters. Then we put seeds in the fire, symbolizing a new beginning for our father’s soul. My brother brought weed seeds. I thought this was a good idea: to provide our father with the kindness and forgivingness of marihuana. We extinguished the fire with water from a special coconut that we drank from first and we put a bit of milk on the fire. This way the seeds could grow and his soon to be unborn baby soul would have some milk. The ashes were gathered by Sahaj and put in the coconut. My brother and I walked to the sea in front of the temple and after reciting a mantra he threw the offerings in the ocean and I threw the coconut with the ashes in the waves.
If we don’t fully accept and embrace where we come from we can never fully accept and embrace who we are. Even if our parents were less then perfect we have to learn to fully accept them. It is not so easy. When we start our path we find out pretty soon that most of our destructive beliefs and patterns are inherited from and installed by our parents. But when we don’t forgive we can’t heal. But we also can’t fake forgiveness; if we pretend to forgive by denying that we feel resentment we are violating ourselves. This makes us miss the point. Forgiving is not burying our pain in an anonymous grave and pretending it never happened. We can only forgive when we truly and completely acknowledge the damage done and then see that the perpetrator really could not have done any better (and would have done better if he could). Then we can drop the load. Damaged people cause damage, healed people heal people. By getting rid of our load we can stop repeating the cycle.
Ha! I am back again. I don’t know for whom it is harder to believe, for you as the reader or for myself. I don’t now if it is entertaining to see somebody bounce back and forth but for me it was not funny. Let’s hope I recognize it sooner when the storm comes next time. Ideally I become identified with the depths of the ocean instead of being toyed around by the waves.
One of the things that helped me shift was talking to Satya. She embodies what I am still learning: unshakable trust. As I learned from her last week: everything is perfect and everything happens exactly as it should happen. She is not afraid of losing her house or her business or even her life. There is complete flexibility and no attachments. In her world it is truly all good. Today I could see and feel some of those things again.