Every time I go somewhere new, there’s a level of adjustment that needs to happen; some of it cultural, some energetic. However, every place has a unique energy and diverse culture, so the settling period varies depending on where I am. In my previous experiences it’s taken anywhere from a few minutes to several days to adapt to a new atmosphere…but when it does, it seems to happen all at once. I begin to feel comfortable, relax and roll with the vibe…whereas previous to this moment I’ve been slightly stressed and on edge. Maybe it’s just me, but I think there are many reasons to feel slightly uncomfortable when you’ve arrived at a new destination; among which are transportation, accommodation, currency, language, directional orientation, local laws, and people.
For The Hague in the Netherlands it’s taken me almost the entire first week I’ve been in town. This could partially be because The Hague is very different from my previous stop in Utrecht, which only took me a few minutes to start vibing to. It could also be because I’m staying alone (housesitting) in an apartment for the first time in over a year and a half…and I’m completely unused to it! Whatever the case, today I hit my stride. Nothing extraordinary happened, but I was finally met with the happy and fun-filled aspects of traveling here rather than the busy, weighted-down side which I have had a difficult time shaking loose from.
There’s such a miraculous and beautiful state of peace when I’ve finally been able to relax and find my footing. The discomfort, in the beginning, isn’t suddenly put to rest by having all of the answers to my questions or even knowing how to get around locally, but better yet, a sense of comfort from within. I still consider myself to be very amateur when it comes to traveling, and when I’m on my own the stakes are higher since I have no one to depend on (or blame when it all goes wrong) but myself…and trust me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. It seems so easy to continually get caught up in the details that don’t matter, stuck in my head over and over again…and miss the fact that when I concentrate first on feeling strength from within my Core and heart-space, the rest comes together (mostly) without a hitch.
I’m not so sure relaxing comes naturally to me when I’m alone at first…I find that my mind is running on overdrive pretty much continuously. Once I’m in my element though, the tables turn 180 degrees. I feel strangely confident and powerful because I can start to see things as they are and as they can be rather than worse than they really are, which is how I often observe things when I’m overwhelmed. This is the point when I’ve finally been able to tap into the state of flow and things become fun again!
I’ve done this often enough to know what it takes to bring myself back into this state, but sometimes forget to slow down and take the steps necessary until it’s been too long and I have, again, been reminded that it’s possible to let go and just be. Thankfully, I have friends and family who are constantly willing to prompt me when I’ve lost sight of where I am…their patience with me is beyond angelic!
Slow down, breathe, watch, listen, smell, taste, touch, feel. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a rush or distracted, I’ve come to realize I’ve stopped indulging my senses…which are the methods we use to create happiness in the now and mental connections for our memories in the future. In my experience, meditation is the best modality to incorporate while we’re using our different senses…any activity, if being used as a meditation, can actually be quite healing and centering…and is a great way to find one’s self when we’ve gotten lost. Introspection and reflection during meditation can also be the source of answers to many of the questions which have previously stollen our time and energy.
Today as I’ve felt myself slip back into the routine of connecting internally (regularly), I feel the much needed faith to move forward into the unknown one step at a time…knowing that when I’m united with flow, the world doesn’t have to revolve around me…we ebb and flow together naturally.