I love travel – experiencing new places, observing new cultures – even if it’s in my own country. In fact, sometimes, travelling domestically is great because it gives me the opportunity to see my own country and experience cultures hidden away in the villages and countryside, cultures that belong to me as a citizen of this space.
Because of the two years of pandemic, travel has been difficult though. In the beginning of 2021, I had planned to go for a short break to Cameron Highlands, a hill resort area in Malaysia, with my partner, Eddy. Unfortunately, due to the torrential rains of the monsoon season, we decided to cancel the trip. It was just as well because a few days later, there was a tremendous landslide that caused some devastation and isolation to the hilltop town.
This year, we decided to head to Desaru, on the east coast of the peninsula in December. As expected, the torrential rains came again, but surprisingly it didn’t hit the east coast at the time we had planned.
Head to the beach.
But I determinedly said, “Come hell or high water, we are going to Desaru!”. And that’s how we ended up at the beach. Again, surprisingly, for the duration we were there, there was no weather that affected our beach enjoyment, or the journey there and back. Imagine if we had sat back in fear of the monsoon weather – another holiday down the drain, money flushed down the toilet, and just a holiday staring from our balcony on to the highway below, imagining it was the sea, sun and surf.
The beach is a metaphor for our destination, our goal, whether it be for the day, for the year, or even in life. When we head off for our destination, most times there is trepidation and possibly doubt. But if we don’t overcome these, we won’t ever move forward, would we?
In my holiday situation, I didn’t just gird my loins and head off to the beach. The monsoon season in Malaysia has caused death and devastation on an annual basis, especially in the south and east of the peninsula.
I wasn’t going to place myself and my partner in jeopardy just because we were stuck in our flat for a good year on-and-off in a two-year period. So we did some groundwork – or otherwise – good grounding for our holiday.
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Good grounding for the beach.
So on a daily basis, I checked in with the weather for the south of peninsula Malaysia (as well as the weather for Singapore). I also checked with friends who lived in the south on the matter of flooding (which was taking place everywhere, including where I lived).
And both Eddy and I assessed. We checked in on how we felt about going down for a holiday – did we feel instinctively good about it? Did we have niggling anxiety without reason? We discussed it between ourselves, and even with friends who lived down south.
And that is an example of good grounding to get you to your beach, your destination, your transformation.
Ground to awaken.
So much more do we need to ground for change or transformation when that change or transformation is within ourselves. Whether it is decreasing coffee intake or waking up early for yoga practise, we need to be stable, balanced and confident that we can move forward with as little external resistance as possible.
Basically, good grounding is reconnaissance of where we are in life, what we have that can support our change or transformation, what else do we need to help us glide smoothly into the process of transformation, and also – quite importantly – what resistance there is internally that holds us back.
The irony with change towards our awakening is usually we can manage the external resistance far better than the internal resistance. Usually, from my experience with myself and also with my helping with yoga clients, the transformation of the internal resistance takes place during the process of change.
Because sometimes we don’t even realise the internal resistance exists within ourselves. We create excuses, circumstantial ‘reasons’, that makes the process more difficult – or impractical or even impossible – to achieve.
So when we embark on change to awaken ourselves in our lives, look first to the external resistances. Perhaps write down a list of the external ‘problems’ and possible solutions. If you aren’t sure of a solution, perhaps discuss this with your close friends.
Do your best to remove or minimise those obstacles as much as possible, then head on to your journey towards awakening with an open heart and mind.
For sure, there will be little revelations about our internal resistance along the way, but allow the process to begin first so that bits and pieces of change can take place.
Are you ready for your awakening?
When Eddy and I ended up at the beach, the roaring surf and the billowing breeze liberated us from all our thoughts of trepidation and doubts prior to the trip. It is like this when you reach your destination of change – your transformation for awakening in your (mid)life.
I am not saying it will be easy but it will be worth it.
Wishing you all the best in your journey!
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