Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Preparations and Packing...

I've been doing a lot of this lately: preparing and packing to leave.  In the last year I've logged over 100,000 miles of air travel and spent many many nights in hotels, motels, dorm rooms and guest rooms...  and met so many wonderful people of various cultures and faith traditions!

Tomorrow I will board an Air Canada flight to Vancouver, where after dinner in the airport with our Regional Manager there, I will board and Air New Zealand flight to Auckland, NZ.  I will arrive in Auckland at 5AM on Friday and at that point will be 15,057 kilometres (as the crow flies) away from those I love.  Being that far away is not lost on me.  There will be no running home in the event of an emergency - and, its a long ways away if something were to happen to me... but still, I'm going...

Despite all that has happened.  Despite the difficult decisions I have made and the very challenging news received on August 20th,  still I will set off on another adventure and treat it as something of an Australian walkabout, spirit-walk, an inward journey, a quest in which I will reflect on where I've been, what I've done - and yes, where the next stage of the journey might lead...

I say, "might lead" because if there is one thing I have learned of late is that there is much in this life that is beyond my control.  The only thing I can really control is myself and how I respond to what happens around me...

Don't get me wrong... I'm not at all being fatalistic here.  I choose my  destiny.  My choices determine to a large part how I will move forward... all I am saying is that my life happens in a larger web of being and much of that web I do not and cannot control.

All I can do is be fully present in each moment and choose the best response to circumstances as they occur... asking myself always, "What is the next best action..?" Again and again... "What is the next best action?" giving myself permission to pause and be still and quiet as needed.

I came across the image to the left earlier this morning as I was looking for another quote and it captured why I decided to go on this trip despite all the reasons why it might make more sense to cancel it all and stay home.

In the end, I decided that there is more to be lost by not stepping out into the unknown then there was in remaining in the safe harbour... or, as Mick Jagger puts it, "The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or to regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either."

And so, the bags are more or less packed... one filled with motorcycle gear and the other with clothes.  Two carry on bags are sitting by the door: one containing a helmet and the other will soon hold a computer and all the stuff one needs for more than 27 hours of aircraft travel...

And my heart?  My heart is ready too: for, I have come to believe "that there exists in the universe
something I call "The Physics of The Quest" — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: "If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you." Or so I've come to believe.” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

... on the Sabbath Road ...

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