Get Lost, Find Your Way

Photo taken in a beautiful cafe on the top of a mountain along the Camino de Santiago in Spain

Photo taken in a beautiful cafe on the top of a mountain along the Camino de Santiago in Spain

Written in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

"In order to find your way, you must get lost" - Charles Eisenstein

She walked with her head down under the heat of the sun. Gazing at the tall grasses which surrounded her, she saw the palms swaying in the distance. With their coconuts that looked like specks and the splinter-like body of the trunk, she was overcome with an awe of nature’s beauty.

She was raised in a small town, one which had about a population of 3,000 and not much knowledge about the life that lived beyond that. The hustle and bustle of the city seemed to be a distant dream, only to be played out on the movie screen. Unbeknownst to her, her fate would have her end up in the very place she didn’t long to be for much longer. It was a place much like where she was born, a place that held similar small spaces, but special spaces nonetheless. One which was home to beautiful people with beautiful hearts. They had the capacity to transform and illuminate a love that was perceived as foreign to the rest of the world.

When she finished university, she set out in the world, only to find places that called her more. She traveled with her meager savings and gifts from her parents to find more about the places that she saw in brochures and magazine covers. The pristine beaches and enormous mountains called to her and brought a new beauty to her life. The wind carried the songs of the tribes that once inhabited those distant lands. She was brought to life by these songs and seldom questioned if they were even there. She knew, somewhere in her heart, that those songs were a frequency brought to life by generations of tradition, love, and care for not just their own people, but also for the land. The land which cultivated medicinal herbs, food, and the water that nourished them enough to dance around the fires in the night.

She transported herself across distant lands, letting her heart take the lead in the process. There was something about those lands which allowed her to be free. It was a longing she held within, to be free of the things that forced her to be in one place, with one job, and one partner. The beliefs of the past that once worked for generations seemed to haunt her. Somewhere, deep inside her heart she knew they didn’t fit. She loved tradition, but knew they spoke a different truth from the very traditions she admired from those tribal songs carried by the wind.

There was a time and place, she thought. She had choices to see the world and let her heart take the lead for the rest of her life, if she let it. Was she ready to let go? Was she ready to let the invisible forces which surrounded her take the reins?

She imagined her dreams within reach of her fingertips. She imagined herself on her tippy toes, stretching up to the sky, to brush them at first. Then, slowly, she would touch their edges, then slowly find herself embracing them as they found their way into her hands. They would slide from the palms of her hands to the middle of her body, only to move with the soft beating of her heart.

Life has been graceful and it has been loving, she thought. She let it, but when the fear let loose, she was overcome with an ambiguity and a paralysis that put her accomplishments to shame.

As she pulled herself out of the shame, she found weakness upon weakness. A haunting and questioning of each step. The answers didn’t seem to come so easy as they had that moment she left the rolling hills of her home. It didn’t seem so clear as it once had because then, she didn’t feel the pressures of age and money. But now, she wondered where following her heart had taken her. Now she knew too much to go back. The life she would have had before she left didn’t seem like much of an option. It felt like a trap that would pull her into the endless frenzy of the life that others would want her to live rather than the life she herself felt she needed to live. The authentic life that she knew was true to herself and herself only.

Slowly, the answers came in silence. Like bubbles, they moved to the surface of the waters. The bubbles froze for some time as she frantically searched under stones and bushes. Those bubbles, of course, weren’t under the stones and bushes. It wasn’t possible. For bubbles, unrealized dreams, don’t have a home anywhere else except for where they are made. They were created under the depths of the water and they will rise out of the water itself when they are ready.

As she frantically searched for the answers in other people and parts of the world, she knew the calling was within. That people were there to support, but never to fully uncover all the answers to her life’s questions. The questions could disappear instantly, had she had faith to let them simmer for a while.

She remembers a moment, sitting a bit aggravated with a fellow travel companion. Silently sipping their tea, they looked at one another and he told her his unrealized dream. Now two years later, it might not be there anymore. It may be shown in different ways, but she now knows she has many unrealized dreams. Like the bubbles, they haven’t yet reached the surface. They have yet to come out and show themselves. But the clearer the water, the faster the bubbles would come up, some wise people had once told her. So she spent her days clearing the water and eventually, there was no expectation for the bubbles to come. 

Rina PatelComment