I started my journey on a trip at the end of September with one thing in mind, that is to “let go”. In other words, I want to take a retreat, to relax, and restart certain aspect of my life especially work and personal life. I somewhat wanted to go on another self discovery and spiritual nourishment journey. I have prioritized my work commitments very carefully up to that point and I made sure that I clear up everything on my to-do list before I packed and got on the plane.
Being a fan of Oprah Winfrey since I was a kid, I have followed O on facebook. A couple of days before the trip, a video or some sort came up on my news feed regarding an upcoming Super Soul Sunday interview with Gary Zukav in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the book entitled “The Seat Of The Soul”.
I’ve had this book since I was about 17 years old and thought it will be nice to read it again after so many years.
As I continued reading the book, I cannot help but to realized how ahead of time this thought provoking book was back then and it is still relevant today.
And as I embarked on my journey, I held onto the quote above close to mind just to be a little more mindful of my thoughts and actions hoping that I can achieve a degree of authentic empowerment during this vacation time.
I was not going anywhere new and it was a revisit of a place I have grown very fond of because of all the people I have met during my travels many years ago. Through the years we have not only kept in touch but have grown to be an extended family.
And so, my search for the seat of my soul begins…
After years of being preoccupied with what seemed to be endless of expectations in both career and life, there were so much I would like to reflect on and seek out new directions in life moving forward.
Prior to arriving at my first destination, I had much time to think about the approach I would take so that I can make the best out of this trip. Including layovers, my travels took approximately 33 hours and 14,991 km (9,314 miles). I have decided to be mindful throughout my holidays and emphasize more on the spiritual aspects of things. I told myself to look out for “signs” that are obviously telling me that I am on the right track in helping me grow mentally and spiritually.
Initially, I encountered a minor problem during the trip but it was eventually solved and things started to turn around for the better.
My first few days were spent with a group of amazing friends and I truly enjoyed myself being with like-minded people. I realized how much our similar interest brought joy and happiness to me. I continued feeding myself with the wonderful vibe being among them.
I came to realization that at every point of our lives, we ought to give ourselves the opportunity to pause and to seek out what we enjoy most in life. That helps in breaking the mundane routine.
As the days went by, I spent more time in the laid back environment surrounded by farm lands and in the country. It was the quiet that I really needed to rejuvenate. My thoughts are that should I need a place of refuge, this would be it. For the longest time, I felt at eased and relaxed. I really like the smell of fresh grass and cornfields.
The beautiful barns surrounded by the vast cornfields coupled with the cool weather has a way of putting me into tranquility.
I also had the opportunity to dine in many mom and pop restaurants as well as some that are well decorated with anything and everything Americana. It is like I am living a life inside the big screen. I was sure that these images has somehow passed through my eyes and had been imprinted into my mind.
BELIEVE – OUTWARD SIGN, INWARD GRACE
Prior to the trip, I had made a pact with a friend to obtain a tattoo. We went back and forth deciding on designs for a few days and was excited when we finally found one we both agreed upon.
To recognize the blessings in my life thus far, I wanted the word “believe” as part of the tattoo. Over the past 6 years, so much good has happened in my life and I can only attribute all of them to faith in God.
The above is exactly what was included as part of the tattoo with an image of the white rabbit holding a clock and mad hatter standing next to each other in Wonderland.
The white rabbit represented intuitions and promptings. At the same time it is a symbol to remind me to believe and take the leap of faith whenever faced with opportunities.
The mad hatter is a reminder for me to always find time to let loose, be myself, be a little crazy, and have some fun along the way.
The tattoo came out really awesome and I am glad that I had it done.
It is now sitting nicely on one of my shoulders and serves as a reminder as stated above and most importantly, of the place and people I love.
And then, came the light…
On a few occasions, I could feel the sun ray touching my face as we drove past the corn fields and farm lands. Each sunset paved the way for a new day’s dawning and it also denotes the end of a day – be it good or bad. When the day is done, there is no point to lament or regret what has passed. We should all look forward to a better tomorrow.
Though I sometimes am sad that the days went by too quickly, I count my blessings for all the experiences that came my way.
In the quiet of my heart, there was always a prayer and a conversation that I would like to have with the divine.
The sun seemed to be telling me to be grateful for all the little things that I so often take for granted.
Every once in a while, when time was spent admiring nature, I feel energized and happy.
I AM IN TROUBLE
“I am in trouble”, the priest said after the harsh Gospel reading regarding the parable of the King and the wedding feast.
“I do not go for wedding receptions. I wonder what the King will do to me”, he continued.
“Please do not equate our merciful God/Father to the King. Instead, emphasize on His mercy and love on the 1st and 2nd readings”, said the priest.
“We like to see things through images (that’s when I held up my phone and took his photo). I hope that is the image of God for you. One that is merciful and of love”, he ended his sermon.
I am not a holy man. Far from that. I go to church because I am work in progress. I hope I have done well for the week and I pray that I will be strengthen for the coming week to do better. There is no coincidence in this life. The signs are all around me and I thank God for the intuitions. The promptings to search for Him in foreign lands.
“I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” (2nd reading).
Truly, none of these will be possible without Him.
Just when I least expect it, the choir started singing “You Are Mine” by David Haas. That almost got me in tears. Not only it felt like He is affirming the fact that I am His child, I first heard this song back in the church I attended where I found a sense of belonging in a group of wonderful friends and two amazing priests.
This is my relationship with God. Yours may be different.
Such a beautiful mass.
Many thinks that the churches in this part of the world are usually empty. That is NOT TRUE.
The church was full that beautiful morning – Praise God…
The churches back home are so blessed because we no longer need to flip through hymn books. Our readings and songs are projected unlike here.
The only difference I like is the priests here read less and usually walk down from the altar to engage with the parishioners after the Gospel reading.
PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY
I am overwhelmed by how profound it is the manner in which people come into my life. It really is no coincident that our paths crossed. Each person that came into my life has left an imprint so deep that each lesson has shaped me into the person I am today.
During this trip, there is no shortage of lessons learned.
In terms of spending time and energy in situations, this is a great lesson I have learned. The question to ask is whether it will matter or be remembered a year from when such decision was made.
By asking this question often, most of what we perceived as a big deal can be quite miniscule and irrelevant. Thus, we should pick our battle wisely.
I am glad I took time admiring the beautiful nature. And by slowing down, I was able to be mindful and prioritize what matter most in life.
THE COVERED BRIDGE
This is the place I am drawn to. Each time I am here, there is a great sense of calm. It is indescribable. I just cannot pin point what it is that makes this such a magnet for me but it feels good.
I did not realize this until I read the descriptions for the very first time yesterday. Not going into details but the year stated brought a very special meaning for me personally.
This may well be The Seat Of My Soul.
In conclusion, the signs are all around me and it is a matter if I am intuned to the intuitions and promptings.
Most importantly, will I be strong to take the leap of FAITH!