I just wrapped up month 4 of traveling alone. I have visited 3 countries in 2 different climates with 1 overhead suitcase and 0 surfboards. Amazingly, I have had more than enough clothes to wear no matter what temperature and a board to ride whenever I've wanted to surf. Even after ending my career as a Visual Merchandiser before embarking on this journey, I have still managed to creatively source an income without having to return to a 9-5 environment or sacrifice my happiness. Abundance has definitely been a major theme on this trip of mine…but if there's one lesson that has stuck out above all others it is definitely:
❊ ✧ ☽ ✧ S E L F L O V E ✧ ☾ ✧ ❊
It's an ongoing practice for me, one that's progress fluctuates daily right along with the swell and weather patterns. Some days I feel so much respect for this crazy journey I'm on that I'm compelled to write myself love letters just to fully express how much I honor my own courage. Other days I want to shake myself thinking, what the hell am I doing?! Who do I think I am?!?! Feelings of unworthiness arise, who am I and what am I doing with my life? Fear and self doubt corner me from all angles, how am I going to continue this lifestyle?…At least then I have the love letters to refer back to for some sense of peace! (Great exercise by the way, I highly recommend it.)
But it's all part of the adventure right?? The ups and downs of this relationship with myself have been wild, unpredictable, and at times I just have to laugh out loud. The expectations and pressures we put on ourselves to achieve perfection, to constantly create and produce and acquire and gain; when observed with perspective just seem kind of ridiculous. A wise friend once told me in a moment of anxiety, "Lex, stop trying to DO so much. We're not Human Doers, we're Human Beings." It was quite a brilliant piece of advice, and so I did just that. I allowed myself a little over 2 months in Australia to not work, or blog, or think about who needed me or where I'm going or what I'm doing in the next stage of my life -- to just stop doing and thinking and just be. And when I was finally still, usually in nature, just being…I saw the true beauty of my soul that did not feel a need to ask or answer any of those questions. I felt a deep love, trust and connection to myself that I had never felt before. I stopped identifying with false concepts like job title, abilities and accomplishments, physical appearance, possessions, relationships…I let it all go and took a nice, long look at what lied beneath. Although absolutely terrifying at first, I discovered more about the beauty of who I truly AM in that couple month period than I ever had before in the 27 years prior accumulating terms that described the more superficial aspects of my life.
So after about 2.5 months of blissful surf and strenuous soul searching in beautiful Byron Bay, Australia (of which I promise to blog about when the time is right), I decided to go back to Bali and take a two week, self motivated Artist Residency to be Me in full manifestation. To create in a sense that is true to my newfound self. The goal of this trip (of which I am currently on day 2), is to enjoy some serious alone time with the predominant focus in all forms of creative expression; surfing, drawing, painting, writing, and any other outlets that may unexpectedly come my way. So I came back to my favorite bungalow in Bingin Beach, the spot that started it all, the place from which my intuitive voice first emerged and has guided me successfully ever since.
Its fascinating to me then, and I can't help but laugh, that the first thing I wanted to do when I landed in Denpasar was call all my friends that I know are here at the moment!! On my own self requested, self imposed personal hiatus from the outside world that I've had planned for weeks and have been so looking forward to, why on earth am I wanting to connect with anyone but myself?! It goes back to the same principles of self love that I learned by being and not doing. Being, to the ego, evokes wanting. Wanting to do something, wanting to be somewhere else, wanting not to be alone but surrounded by people, wanting anything other than to just be! Eckhart Tolle describes it perfectly in his book, A New Earth:
"The ego identifies with having, but its satisfaction in having is a relatively shallow and short-lived one. Concealed within it remains a deep-seated sense of dissatisfaction, of incompleteness, of "not enough." "I don't have enough yet," by which the ego really means, "I am not enough yet." … The thought forms of "I want," "I need," "I must have," and of "not enough" pertain not to content but to the structure of the ego. The content is interchangeable. As long as you don't recognize those thought forms within yourself … you will believe in what they say; you will be condemned to seeking and not finding -- because when those thought forms operate, no possession, place, person, or condition will ever satisfy you. No content will satisfy you as long as the egoic structure remains in place. No matter what you have or get, you won't be happy. You will always be looking for something else that promises greater fulfillment, that promises to make your incomplete sense of self complete and fill that sense of lack you feel within."
The difficultly of being still and the reason we want to do and not be is because of the ego's fear that just being is not good enough. It's also why many of us dependently seek relationships or companions, not always as partners to enjoy life with and compliment us individually, but to "complete" us and fill the void the ego creates by telling us we are not enough on our own. We must awaken to the ideal that we are not our egos, we are not our thoughts. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary, and WE are the light.
I encourage all you beautiful humans out there to do what you were born to do and just BE!
Stop wanting, stop trying, stop moving, stop going, stop would-ing and should-ing and could-ing! Stop DOING and love yourself enough to just BE! Feel the completeness, the wholeness, the oneness that comes from ignoring the ego and living in the light. Whether its through taking a walk in the early morning hours or blowing off a chore to read a chapter from your favorite book, have a cup of tea, jump in the ocean, have a quiet sit, watch the sunset. Stop to smell the roses! It doesn't matter what it is as long as you're not DOING anything! It couldn't be simpler but it won't be easy, I can tell you from experience you will want to run back to productivity faster than you started! But if we can at least attempt this challenge together, collaboratively we will be one step closer towards humanity's transformation of consciousness. We can heal our collective heart and affirm that there is no need to do in order to satisfy ourselves or the masses, just being our true selves is more than enough. And what would be more radical than that?!!
Let me know how it goes! Share your experiences in the comments section, I would love to know if anyone else is participating in the JUST BE challenge.
Sending endless love and light always xxx
***This post is dedicated to Ms. Lauren Lindsey Hill, for whom I have endless gratitude and respect... Without you, Lauren, I never could known this kind of happiness. You challenge me to deepen my connection and develop and nurture the love that lies within me. Thank you for being such an amazing teacher, friend, and sister. x