Updated: May 17
I’m suddenly awake. What am I forgetting? What still needs to be done? How many more hours do I have before I leave? My heart races. Am I having an anxiety attack? Really? I haven’t had one of those in a couple of decades. How did I get so anxious? I circle the drain as I recite a mental laundry list of all the things I meant to do, but didn’t do. Shit. I didn’t lose those five extra pounds. I didn’t do those biceps curls – dear God I’m getting old lady arms! I didn’t brush up on my high school French or learn nearly enough Spanish to at least sound coherent. I didn’t buy a map. I didn’t actually hire someone to build my new website or even think to create a blog which now feels like an absolute necessity.
This is my moldy old exercise in self-loathing. My inner drill sergeant who beats me up with an endless list of unfinished business and missed opportunities. No wonder I can’t get anything done. She’s relentless and right now she’s keeping me from sleep. What the hell do I know about Barcelona? Why am I suddenly so afraid? I glanced at my phone it reads 3:13 AM. My plane takes off in six hours and I’m pretty sure the measly three hours I’ve slept ain’t going to cut it.
My mind is a wily creature. It wants me safely inside the box and straying outside scares the shit out of it/me/us. Change is in the air so it must be time to flip out. Hello crazy town, table for one, please. This is my mind fighting for its limitations. This is the moment when I get to decide if I’m going to fold and fall back into the old and familiar or if I’m going to be brave and just fucking go for it? Time for a fire walk.
This all started in January when I decided to do something completely different. I decided I was going to move to Barcelona Spain for a month to join a beta project called “Mindvalley University “. "Mindvalley" is the brainchild of Vishen Lakiani and Mindvalley U invites artists, entrepreneurs, coaches, techies, scientists, inventors, and explorers from all over the globe to come together for a month of education, connection and introspection. The curriculum would include
Mastering Productivity and Creative Flow, Meditation (taught by an actual Buddhist monk) Women’s Divine Wisdom, Conscious Wealth Creation, and writing a Ted X speech for the 15 to 22-year-old set. And that’s just some of week one! It’s an entire month of education and personal development. I never went to college so this is going to be my freshman month abroad.
See in order to create my new life I’ve had to adopt a new motto: “Life Begins Where Your Comfort Zone Ends“. So if I am really serious about changing my life then I’ve got to push the boundaries of what’s comfortable, right? This is exactly the kind of adventure I’ve been looking for. I love to travel but within the confines of my former marriage travel was given a very low priority and ultimately it became one of my deal breakers. When the possibility of living in Barcelona for a month came up I said “Yes Please!” and impulsively bought a ticket. I’ve dreamt of your going to Europe ever since I was a little girl but I never went. Now I have the freedom to go and before I’m done my itinerary blossoms to include a fancy biking trip through the Loire Valley followed by a week in Paris to meet my lover who wants to take me to the Eiffel tower for my birthday. What?! This little adventure was turning into the trip of a lifetime and so no turning back now.
I suddenly realize I’ve been holding my breath. I inhale deeply and slowly let it out. No wonder I feel so panicked. This one single slow breath miraculously calms my racing heart. “So what’s the actual problem here?“ I asked myself “… “Well actually… there isn’t one… not a real one” I admit. The only problem here is the overwhelm that I feel when I try to control the uncontrollable or know the unknowable. My better self knows surrender, not control is my best ally for this trip.
The alarm goes off and it’s time to get moving. A hot shower always cures what ails me. Standing under the steady flow of hot water it occurs to me that these visits to crazy town are actually quite productive. They show me where and how I’m holding myself back from the thrilling and unknowable opportunity of living in a whole new way. If I can just be brave enough to unclench my fists and let go then I might just have the big fat juicy adventure I’m
craving. Sometimes I think of life as a buffet. A massive table with all kinds of things to eat. Some are delicious and some are not. I get to choose what I want to taste and try. I can eat a little or a lot, it t’s always my choice to make. In the past I often made safe and bland choices, eating just a little. This new path is abundantly set with mysterious and spicy foods! Am I going to leap into the unknown to taste what tickles my fancy or am I going to retreat back into the known and familiar? Screw that! Dressed and ready to go I hoist my backpack onto my shoulder and lock the front door behind me.
I don’t know what lies ahead but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to go for it.