Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
One year ago I was living comfortably in an upmarket 4-bedroom cliff top inner city house. I wore a five thousand dollar diamond engagement ring on my finger. I had a busy social life and I drunk champagne with the who’s who of Auckland City. I had a wardrobe full of designer clothing and my first article had just been published in one of New Zealand’s leading Investigative Journalism publications.
How did I go from that to being homeless, living in a camper van with no possessions and traveling around India and Nepal you might ask?
Well, my previous lifestyle didn’t make me happy. None of the ‘things’ I had made me happy. I wanted a change and I knew that the only way was to completely do away with everything I had. Some people thought I was crazy and I’m not going to sugar coat the truth, the road hasn’t been easy, but it was in the challenges that I learned and grew the most.
I realize now, everything is a choice. Your current situation; whether good or bad, you have consciously, or more often than not, unconsciously created. But you are not as stuck as you may think.
You can decide what role you play in this movie called life and if you are not happy with your current situation then you have the power to change it!
It takes a lot of courage to let go of the old for something entirely new and sometimes it’s scary as hell to let go, but often, what you are afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free so do what scares you, what have you got to lose?
I tell you now, once you get a taste for freedom and true happiness, there’s no looking back!
So as I sit here waiting to leave New Zealand, I ponder over what life has taught me this past year. Here are 7 things that I did and have learnt along the way:
- Become Debt and Financially Free
The first step I took to live this nomadic lifestyle was to become debt free. I paid off all my debt. I didn’t want to be tied into a 9-5 job in order to pay for a lifestyle that I wasn’t even enjoying. I didn’t have an excess of money in the bank so I sold all my stuff to pay off my debt and live the life I wanted to live. I sold everything. That meant I didn’t need a house to keep all my ‘stuff’ in and I saved money on rent and utilities.
Don’t be fooled by the false sense of security that a job gives you, unless you work for yourself, you are at the mercy of your boss and where is the freedom in that!
Instead, start thinking about how to create an income through your passions, rather than being a cog in society’s factory and working as a means to an end.
- Be Willing to Let Go
In order to create the life you truly want you have to create space for something new, that means you need to be willing to let go of the old and anything that no longer serves you.
This can include relationships, possessions, a job, or anything that holds you back from true happiness.
For me letting go meant letting go of certain people in my life. I came across a lot of judgment, criticism and jealousy and I had to let some relationships go but that was inevitable. I realize now that the people who stood by me when I chose to live this lifestyle are my true friends and family.
Lets face it, when you change you can’t expect everybody to understand so rather than harboring bitterness or resentment, send them love and light and let them go.
- Commit to Self Enquiry
It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
I asked myself, what was I truly passionate about?
I realized how much I loved yoga so I sold my car, I bought my daughter and I a ticket to India and I booked myself into a yoga teacher-training course. While I waited to leave, I read books on every subject that I was passionate about, I practiced yoga every day, I furthered my training in Reiki and I started my blog. I invested my time into things that I was passionate about and I developed my skills in order to become financially free.
I spent a lot of time alone, which meant I couldn’t use people, TV, social engagements or entertainment as distractions from being with myself.
Most addictions arise to give you a false sense of happiness and a temporary escape from your reality. Whether it is an addiction to being in a relationship, or with food, sugar, alcohol, drugs, work, sex, excessive thinking, spending money, looking good or anything that takes control over your life.
Instead of trying to escape from your reality, why not create a life that you truly want?
- Take Risks and be Willing to Make Sacrifices
In order to fulfill my goals, I did what I needed to do in order to get to where I wanted to go, knowing that my current situation was only temporary. So I lived rent free in my van. I had a small bag full of clothes. I did away with make up. I lived off rice and veges. I showered in public showers. I used public bathrooms.
For 1 year I lived very basic but I found myself again.
I can remember going for 2 weeks in the cold winter without a shower and feeling desperate for one, so I sneaked into a gym and had the longest most exquisite hot shower I have ever had!
Going from having everything to nothing (in a material sense) was a good learning curve and I certainly began to appreciate the little things that most people take for granted in their daily lives.
You have to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices to get what you want. Life would be boring otherwise. And it is through making mistakes and going through hardships that you learn, grow and become stronger.
- Get to Know the Real You.
People will try to tell you who you are. Don’t believe them.
Once you realize you are not a product of society or your childhood, that your past doesn’t define who you are, and you can look beyond all societal conditioning, the labels begin to drop away and you can finally remember who you truly are.
A perfect, whole and complete being of light.
From this new space of awareness; self-love and acceptance arises, you become more energetically in-tune with the higher vibrations of the universe and you will find that situations will magically appear to help you create the life you truly desire.
- Realize the Here and Now is the Only Time that Exists.
Life may look a little different once you dive into something entirely new and you may find that you no longer enjoy doing the same things that you used to do.
I could no longer stomach eating animals so I became a vegetarian and I found myself only wanting to eat foods that nourished my body, which meant I stopped my long addiction to sugar. On the negative side, I kept mulling over certain events that happened in my past, which made me relive the feelings over and over again, and it kept me stuck.
Don’t live in the past, worry about the future or try to over analyze your situation, which only takes you away from the present. Your thoughts create the very reality you live in so be sure they are good ones.
Enjoy the moment, whether you deem it to be pleasant or not, because that is all you have.
- Have Trust and Faith.
The two most important things that helped me through the difficult times was to have trust and faith in my journey.
Know that everyones journey is different and don’t compare yourself to others or take on their judgment because it is your life and only you are living it, not them.
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith, and trust that everything will come to you at the right time.
It always does.
And when things don’t go as planned, try to see the blessings that are so often hidden.
I can remember feeling so frustrated and angry when I couldn’t sell my car. I was living in my van, I had nowhere to park it, and I needed the money. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to sell it. Then one night my van broke down and it ended up in the workshop for a week being repaired. I look back now and see the blessing in not being able to sell it. Although not very comfortable, I slept in the boot while my van was being fixed and without it I would have been truly homeless.
Once my van was fixed, my car sold almost immediately.
Trust that the universe will always take care of you and have faith that what is meant to be, will be. Situations you may find yourself in almost always happen for a reason, although it may not be apparent at the time.
Above all else; stay true to yourself, follow your heart and never, ever give up on your dreams.