The traveler of here.
One of my very dearest friends in the whole world; Jennifer Pastiloff is in Italy for another one of her amazing Manifestation Yoga Retreats.
Before her travels started she wrote a blog about kindness that inspired me to write this.
I love exploring and traveling into hearts, minds and into life itself.
When I came to the U.S. from The Netherlands at age 21, I took trains and busses and hitch-hiked to California from New York without much of a plan. From 2003-2005 I traveled a big part of our physical world and have gone on many 1-3 month trips before and since.
On these trips through Central America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe there have been many moments with people who picked me up and gave me rides. New friends who showed me secret spots, who translated for me and had conversations in hand-signals and facial expressions. People took me in for lodging and for food.
These “strangers” showed me “their world”, I was wide-eyed and grateful, at times we sang and we danced together. Kindness was always there in abundance !
When traveling, my eyes and ears, my mind and heart are wide open to experiencing the world and the people around me.
I expect nothing yet I expect everything !
High expectation to have great experiences, yet no expectation as to what they should be has me say “yes” to almost everything.
This creates potential and manifestation; this creates pleasure and learning.
Our mind has an amazing filter: our senses take in more than we can consciously process so only small amounts of what “the system” perceives comes into our awareness.
HOW this filter is set up is how we see our world!
The world is a reflection of ourselves.
Remember when you bought your most recent car? Remember how in the first few weeks you saw that same model everywhere? There weren’t more of them on the road; your filter was just tuned into seeing them more.
Are you a parent ? Do you remember how when you or your spouse were pregnant it seemed like everywhere you looked there were pregnant women? Same thing.
This is what happens on a trip. The filter is set-up to see the new, the good, the beautiful, the playful, the interesting, the delicious and the kind.
Thus we see and experience them more.
I can bring this into my day-to-day life as well. The place I call home is a destination that many people dream of one day visiting on their “vacation of a lifetime” !
I LIVE IN A PLACE I COULD EXPERIENCE AS A TRAVEL DESTINATION if I set up my filter to look at it that way!
When I choose to I look at the things around me with (literally) wide eyes and feel a sense of wonder. I check out buildings, people and their body-language, trees and flowers, etc., and I remember when I just got here and the city was new and how it filled me with interest, hope, excitement and joy.
I can experience that kindness here at home as well !
One of the ways it came to me this week was in the form of the stranger who gave me a $20 bill so my daughter could camp next to hers.
(I erroneously thought my back-country pass covered that campground and appropriately they don’t “take plastic” in the woods).
We can’t all be in Italy with Jennifer this week, but WE CAN choose how we filter the vacation destination we live in.
Meditation, prayer and affirmations are all exercises to entrain our conscious mind to perceive the world as it’s best for us.
Make this playful “Traveler of Here Meditation” your practice of the week.
Spend 10 minutes every morning looking at things around you as if you’re a child, as if you’re on vacation, as if it’s all new to you.
Really exaggerate it !
Look at the world with your eyes a little strained open and your brow pulled up. Do it with a smile on your face. See new things and things anew.
Have you seen the frescoes at the top of the buildings downtown ? How about the way that biker is humming to himself as he zips by ? The woman’s original shoes in line at Peet’s Coffee ?
Feel like a traveler while you’re here; in a greater spiritual sense you already are anyway.
Feel the pleasure and gratitude of knowing that wherever your home is, if you didn’t already live there you would be the traveler there right now!
To the people around you, you are the kind stranger I ran into so many times all over the world. We are the same people !
Tomorrow I will smile at people as a kind stranger on my travels and will look at my world again as the “traveler of here.” Meet me on the road ! Let’s tell stories, eat a meal together and look at our world in wonderment.
To Jennifer, my sister: have an amazing trip, take it all in with wide eyes and share in the kindness as you always do.
Happy travels to you all,Click here to sign up.