The post below was written while on my flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town. At that time, I was only intending on staying in Africa for two months. It’s now been 2.5 years and I have no plans to return to Canada. Sometimes, immigration is accidental!
This post is very special to me…I hope that if you are about to embark on a similar journey, you take a few moments on the plane to write down your thoughts – it’s a moment worth capturing.
January 26, 2010
Our plane just left Amsterdam, heading for Africa. I’m having a surreal moment. It’s the culmination of years and years of thoughts, ideas, and dreams of Africa. It’s the trip my heart has already taken a thousand times, and though I’ve never been where I’m about to be, it feels like I’m coming home. I’ve lived in Asia, traveled around Europe and North America but have never felt like I was ‘home’. Why now?
Home. The idea of home is one I’ve struggled with for years. Is home where your family is? Where your belongings are? Where your ancestors rest? Is it a static location or, instead, is it something that can be assembled from portable objects? How can going to Africa feel like going home when I’ve never been there before? How can Kamloops, the place I lived for 20 something years, not feel like home at all? I’m realizing more and more that home is a place you create in your soul. It is the cultivation and care of your spiritual being, and once that being feels safe and nurtured and loved, perhaps home can be anywhere.
Home can also be felt within the context of relationship. One can spend a lifetime with people (often family) and never truly feel at home with them. Or, people can meet through the most random of events and suddenly feel at home via some kind of energetic connection. For me, my home is with a few very special people. I feel safe, loved, understood, known, heard, and seen when I am with them. Being psychologically naked with them feels absolutely natural – and essential. This is how I personally describe the feeling of being home.
I don’t know what this journey will bring me; I do know, however, that this is a profound moment in my life. My psychological and spiritual development, especially in the last year and a half, has been preparing me for this day. Actually, I suppose everything I have done before has led me to this ‘now’. All my work with immigrants, refugees, foreign students – strangers in my country whom I have tried to welcome, assist, guide, teach, and ultimately, love, in one way or another – is turning round. Now I am about to be a stranger in a strange country, looking for people to welcome, assist, guide, teach, and love me. This is where karma hopefully kicks in!
This time that I have taken for myself is also a gift – a gift from and for the universe. It has been given to me and I will gain immensely from it, but at the same time, this time will allow me to discover more and in turn give more. How can I better serve myself and the world? What more can I do to cultivate my full being and manifest it outwardly? What is my purpose here, in this lifetime, and how can I prepare my soul for the next?I have always felt so deeply that I am here to serve – to bring something special into the world that helps people become fearless and unafraid of their own light and power. Giving people permission to shine is what brings me the most fulfillment. Even so, I know I still withhold myself at times. Perhaps this trip will finally make me feel solid enough to shine as brightly as I know I can.
These questions are the ones to which I intend to find answers while I’m here. I’ve always felt like a half-brewed pot of tea…nearly ready to drink, but not quite. This time away from working will bring me to that place of readiness. I know the answers will come once I am quiet. Meditation, yoga, walking, sleeping, eating well, and building relationships with great love will quietly allow the answers to flow. It is about allowing, not forcing, and the beauty of such an unfolding is what I am so excited to see. I see this like the beginning of the rest of my life. Both a beginning and an ending, I guess, for they are always one and the same.