After 14 months on the road, I decided it was time to return home to reconnect with my roots. Coming home is a major balancing act.
Right after my 28th birthday, things in my life stated to shake up. Big time. I had no idea I was about to hit my Saturn Return. That is a whole other story, but lets just say I ended up treading water trying to recalibrate just about every aspect of my life after all of the grounding pillars in my life crumbled from right beneath me.
It was one night after months of battling through insomnia and anxiety I decided it had to stop. I had to take some time to process what had happened in the last 6 months. I was riding my bicycle up a hill in the pouring rain at 2am with the freshly printed documentation set I had stayed back to complete starting to soak through. I had a flight interstate to present the set at 7am. It was essentially a tart up of an existing office space to fit in an unhealthy number of bums onto the floor plate and to make it look like they were working on the set of the block. In all, they were actually a great client and an incredible studio that I had landed in, but this is just not where my passion was. Four years of design school majoring in sustainable design, global context with a passion for biofilia, biomimicry and community building meant that I was just not connecting with my work. Things had to change.
I decided to take some time out for myself and checked into a yoga and meditation retreat in Central America as a volunteer. Disillusioned with the housing situation in Australia, I decided to invest a large portion of what I had been saving for a home deposit on me, myself and I. Here I would have the opportunity to learn about natural building techniques and permaculture. Passions that had fallen by my side as I slaved away in commercial design. This was the start of a very interesting chapter. I had left my job, moved out of my apartment, and taken enough money to live for a year or two until I found my feet. I had also interestingly chosen to take myself to a country that I had no idea about. I didn’t know any friends who had been there, I had read very little about it, and I liked it that way. Essentially I had set myself up to follow synchronicity with no preconception of what my reality would be there. To spice it up a little more, I started the trip with a trip to a gathering known as Burning Man, the ultimate reality shifter.
This journey saw me dancing into the wee hours of the morning in the Nevada desert, living off grid on the side of a volcano, sitting in a hot tub under the full moon, lounging around in hillside mansions, running a circus, learning to ride a motorbike, dancing under the stars in the Costa Rican jungle, acting as a shamans assistant, launching an artist residency, climbing the cliffs around Lake Como, surfing in the lakes of the French Alps, staying on the sofas of friends homes of new friends and old across the globe, rubbing shoulders with entrepreneurs at a retreat in Phuket, taking a Yoga Teacher Training in India and teaching at a special needs school in Thailand. My reality was full of cacao ceremonies and ecstatic dance, my relationship to alcohol changed, I formalised my vegetarian tendencies, the subject of my conversation shifted, my reality had fundamentally altered. I had given myself the opportunity to reset when I took myself to a land with no grounding. I tested it when I visited friends.
When I did my YTT in Rishikesh, I was told to ask the same question as I fell asleep every night. “Who am I?” As we progress on our little life journey, we pick up layers. Like a gravitational pull, little pieces of our path stick to us. They create layers, like the leaves of a cabbage. Our name, our origin, our family, our education, our job, our political stance. Relationships, sexual orientation, travel, culture, trauma, the list goes on. These are the ingredients to the recipe of our own personal reality. If we pull all of these away, we can see that we are essentially the same. The same life source. I found that by reconnecting with moments, people, situations from the past would trigger certain behaviour patterns. In small doses, these are easy to catch as the role of our own observer. When you can see your behaviour and reactions objectively, it is possible to notice what does not serve you and rewire it. As I was going through a shift of epic proportions, I wanted to root my new patterns as deeply as possible before taking on the collective energies of home. Here, I would have triggers in every single waking moment. How could I make sure I was strong enough to catch conditioned behaviour patterns and reset them? How could I take everything I had enjoyed for the last year into the sphere on my home reality. I would be starting from the ground up.
I was having too much fun abroad, and while I missed my family and friends back home I was in no way ready to head back yet. A set of circumstances unfolded, plans changed and unravelled before me and I ended up with a month to occupy before the next chapter of my adventure. I was approximately $200 from home. All the signs were directing me there, so I decided to dive right in. I was strong, it was a short trip and deep down I really wanted to reconnect with my roots. It was only a month.
So what happened when I arrived home? Magic! All of the new leaves on this cabbage were reflected in my surroundings. Not only did I find myself connecting with my family and friends, I found myself at cacao ceremonies, ecstatic dance, acroyoga jams with an amazing acro community, aerial & circus classes, yoga philosophy discussions, collective meditations and sound healing – all of the things I had only experienced in my travels. I was blown away! Magic was with me.
As the weeks passed, however, I noticed the magic started to fade. It was still there but I really had to work at it to keep it alive. The people around me were busy in their grounded lives and I had multiple realities happening at once – one was my old life and renegotiating my relationship with it, one was my new experiences in my old life and allowing them to flow, and then I had to give energy to the seeds that I had planted across the globe. This included staying in touch with old and new friends, following up on an article that was being published in Europe, following up with photographers I’d worked with across Europe and the USA, strategic business planning for my tribe in Montreal and planning for a future bus tour I would be leading across the Americas, performance tour and Artist Residency in Nicaragua. Staying present through all of that was a challenge to say the least.
How much do you attach to and how much do you let go? I try to remind myself that there is no right, nor no wrong. There is just abundance and exponential growth. Coming home was a grounding experience and I was able to reconnect with my pillars that I want to attach to and keep in my life as well as plant new seeds in my experience there for when I return. Observing all of this reinforces how blessed we are to be able to design our own realities. When I boarded the airplane to the USA and had to list my occupation for customs, the term “designer” took on a completely new meaning.
Be the designer of your own universe.