It’s moments like this – as I return home to my familiar little room for one last night’s sleep in the very bed that’s become my sanctuary over the past six weeks, that I somehow give my emotions permission to completely unleash. Tears of gratitude stream down my cheeks as I lay in the dark reminiscing about all of the nights-turned-morning in which I arrived back to this pillow; euphoric and sweaty from having danced, laughed, and sang to the contagious rhythms of Portuguese regatone music until the sun crested a seamless horizon.
One hand intuitively draws to my chest as I recall every last one of those sobering walks home along the promenade.
Arm-in-arm with the most beautiful heartbeat.
Waves crashing on the shore beside us.
Moonlight bathing overhead.
Lost in each other’s words for the entire thirty minute journey on cobblestone.
Never will I forget the invigorating feeling of waking up and surfing ourselves alive the next morning.
Afternoon naps on golden sand beaches.
And every last one of those watercolour sunsets enjoyed from atop impressive coastal cliffs; cheap beer in hand, dolphins playing in the distance, and that boisterous jambe drum keeping rhythm with the beating of my grateful heart.
I couldn’t have scripted it better if I tried – and attempt as I may, I can’t recall a time in my life in which I felt such freedom.
A period when I loved so hard, learned so much, and let go of every judgement.
Every stubborn piece of armour that was unintentionally protecting this heart from all of the enchantment that had been intended for it all along.
And, although tonight’s wellspring of emotion may have something to do with the fifty plus grams of ceremonial strength cacao that I ingested a few hours earlier ( a plant used for centuries for it’s medicinal heart opening properties), deep down I know that this feeling of abundance.
This sense of boundless gratitude.
Stems from the gift of having been so loved – so taken care of, since my arrival int Europe in early September.
The truth is, there are still moments in which I wonder what on Earth I did right to deserve this kind of adoration.
Amidst all those years of self-indulgence.
All those nights of inexcusable deceit.
All the relentless pretending to be a woman I thought everyone else wanted me to be.
I still question how I mustered the strength to wake up, walk away, and land myself here – lovingly wrapped within the arms of a man who cherishes every piece of Who I Am, ecstatically dancing without a single drop of chemical enhancer, and surrounded by a supportive family of people who raise me higher with their sheer ability to be honest with themselves and everyone around them.
And, just as I begin to lose myself down a rabbit hole of contemplation; the over-analyzation of all that was, all that is, and all that is coming – an acoustic guitar and sweet, soulful lyrics begins to flood my ears from the common area just outside my bedroom door.
I lay in total stillness as goosebumps slowly dress my sun-kissed skin.
Unrestrained tears flood my swollen eyes.
And I can’t help but think – this is it.
This is richness.
The high that I mistakingly spent years seeking out through the use of drugs, alcohol, sex, and the need to be loved at any cost without ever even liking myself first.
This is it.
Only now, this heavenly intoxication stems from something different.
An indescribable liberation in the depth of my being that unfolded the moment l softened.
And began experiencing life for the gift it is, instead of instinctually fighting with it.
For months the intention had been to return back to the mountains of Nepal in autumn; a place where I both lost and found myself amidst those majestic 17,000 foot peaks twice over the past few years. For the entire summer I gushed about the prospect of spending days alongside my precious gurus; designing and implementing trekking excursions from the very place in the clouds that gifted me all the perspective I will ever need.
But I suppose thats the funny thing about the self-constructed prison of planning ahead.
For, no matter how grand the objective.
How many aspects of the scheme seem under control.
No matter the degree of expectations that get carefully curated around the outcome.
At the end of the day, life will continue to throw curveball after curveball.
Things will divert course.
And, before you know it, you’re boarding a on-way flight in the opposite direction to where you thought, with an arrangement to present at a festival in a town you can’t even pronounce, carrying nothing more than a backpack and 20kg of Tibetan singing bowls.
By the grace of something bigger than myself, I was handed an incredible platform from which to share a practice that I believe has the power to transform lives. Little did I know that invitation would, in fact, be the catalyst which would completely change my own life.
Not just because of the inspiration I collected throughout those three-days of Spirit Festival immersion.
Not just because the people that were so graciously gifted into my life in the weeks following.
But because of the seamless flow of the whole experience which somehow encouraged me to trust again at a time when paralyzing doubt consumed every cell within my body.
I opened myself back up to life.
I relinquished the part of me that resisted and tried too hard to change the things around me.
And I simply allowed everything to be exactly as it was.
Free of judgement.
Free of expectation.
And without any urgency to know what would happen next.
In living with nothing to lose I, in turn, was given everything I didn’t even know I needed.
Like magic, I found myself in exactly the right places at exactly the right timing.
People – some of whom I least expected, began emerging from the depths of my past to support me.
I was seen for the woman I always knew I could be.
I was showered with affection.
I was treated to the lavish lifestyle I never imagined I could enjoy again.
And, from this place of abundance, I began to understand it all so clearly.
The sheer courage not to close off.
The willingness to meet every moment of this precious existence without any friction.
Without any secrets.
Without any fear.
And, just before my eyelids fall heavy for the very last time under these crisp white sheets, a dreamy smile spreads across my lips.
Has it really always been this simple?
Simply choosing not to live casually or love partially, but instead engaging in every new interaction.
Every relationship with fierce intensity.
Placing this whole heart on display.
Baring this soul wide open and raw.
And relentlessly trusting the notion that in vowing to give all I’ve ever had and all I’ve ever known, I will continue to be gifted all I’ll ever need.
“The highest state you have ever experienced is simply a result of how open you were”
– Michael Singer, Untethered Soul