Traveling is an amazing experience. I always learn something about myself when I am in a different culture and away from all that is familiar. On the recent Spirit Guided Journeys trip to India, I learned about releasing control in order to care for myself. This isn’t a new struggle for me. I have a great need to control my circumstances. After all, I do what I do best. According to me. But after close to two weeks of nonstop action in India, I had to face the fact that I needed some quiet time, to reflect and assimilate all that had happened on the trip.
India demands a lot from visitors. The sounds, sights, throngs of people and bustle of traffic jar us out of our comfort zone. Added to that, the SGJ trip has a strong spiritual element supported by the many teachers who guide us in workshops and meditations. There was much to process, but I had not taken the time to do the necessary inner work for me.
I deny my needs in many ways on a daily basis, by holding back my thoughts so as to not hurt family and friends, by doing something I don’t want to do just to keep the peace, or by forgoing my own desires in order to make sure that the needs of others are met. I believe that women often stuff our longings deep down inside because we are expected to meet the demands of others first. When we finally have time to take care of ourselves, we are out of energy or time.
I know that I have a breaking point, an edge that I reach when I either take care of myself or I lose it. I don’t often express anger loudly but I become quiet, moody and miserable inside. I came to such a place late in our travels in India and I recognized all the symptoms. Yet, I was hesitant to release control, to take a break for myself, to express my needs. After all, Spirit Guided Journeys is my company and I am the woman who made a commitment to guide and care for the others on the journey with me. Fortunately, I am also a woman blessed with dear friends who sense my needs and offer assistance, and one of these friends was traveling as a co-guide at this portion of the trip. She saw, even more clearly than I did, my need for a few hours off and suggested that I take the evening for myself.
When I released my need to control all the aspects of the trip and allowed my friend to take over for an evening, I felt a tremendous sense of peace flow through me. She took the group to a nearby restaurant for dinner where they all had a wonderful time and I stayed in the hotel and enjoyed some alone time to journal over a blessedly solitary meal. The next morning we all reconnected, everyone refreshed and happy, and headed to our final workshop.
As I reflect on this experience, I realize that I am learning how to balance this new business so that I can offer my best to others and feed my soul at the same time. I am thankful that I had the support I needed when I needed it. And I am committed to scheduling a little more down time for all of the sojourners on the next Spirit Guided Journeys trip. Because caring for ourselves is a must as we travel on this spirit guided journey called life.
Blessings and Namaste,