I’m learning to change my way of thinking by telling myself; if a job doesn’t appear, then nothing bad is going to happen, it doesn’t mean the end of the world or of my freedom… Freedom is created by the mind… just like imprisonment. We can barricade ourselves by the way we think, or we can free ourselves. Barricading is the easy way to go, and freeing ourselves is the challenge. I’ve never been shy of any challenge, so I choose to free myself. Because it then becomes irrelevant where I’m residing in the world.
For example: in the past I’ve been imprisoned in the one place on earth I believed would guarantee me freedom: India. Only months ago I was imprisoning myself by the way I was thinking… in the country I love so dear! On the other hand, I’ve been as free as a bird in the one country I believed I’d never feel happy: Ireland. Freedom isn’t through physical movement. The physical movement I seem to have ‘committed’ myself to, seems to be in aid of realizing this truth; that moving from one place to the next, doesn’t mean we are free. It will appear to the majority that we are, because people will only see the exterior actions, they’ll only see what’s happening on the outside; what the person is doing, where they are going and how they are moving. But really, it’s about what approach the traveler has towards the movement that will indicate whether or not a person is free.
To specify; if a person saw me 2 months ago for the first time and tomorrow for the second time, they would see no change. They still see Niamh, smiling, and loving life, in the same position; teaching in India. But, holy smoke, how wrong would their interpretation of my ‘unaltered’ state of mind and position in life be! If only they were to look inside, they’d realize the change that has taken place; the outlook of the world has broadened and the limitations have disappeared from my mind, and it’s been life changing. My approach towards movement, physically, is changing as the perception of the world changes around me.
Once upon a time, my movement was only to be on the road and to appear (on the outside) as being the traveler… even if I was imprisoned by a certain way of thinking. Now though, I’m moving to put this new piece of information into practice, I need to experience how it works: the fact that no matter how much or how little I move, freedom is created by the mind and I can never blame the outside world and my surroundings for the barriers that can exist between myself and the world.
When we tend to blame the people and society, that’s when we’ve lost touch with ourselves and we’re not strong enough – in our own truth – to speak this truth and simply say: ‘this place isn’t where I want or need to be right now’. If we’re in touch with our truth, we’d have the strength to witness barriers arising (that leads to unhappiness) and this would be giving ourselves ‘permission’ to wholeheartedly move on and to learn from the experience. If we witness either our instant connection with a place or our instant disconnection with ourselves (whilst being in a place), we then choose whether to stay or go, and we’ll carry out what we need to do in order to keep moving forward (either physically or not). And it will never be the wrong thing – because it’s ‘right’ according to OUR SELVES, our own truth. We’ll still have our freedom. And the place that we could’ve blamed for imprisoning us, wouldn’t damage us because we’ve take responsibility for our own mind and realized that the only thing that can damage us, as we move from one place to the next, is ourselves, if we’ve taken the ‘wrong’ approach (and by ‘wrong’ I mean: lying to ourselves and trying to convince ourselves we’re something other than we are).
So, the conclusion to this rant of freedom (I could type forever) is that I’m finally learning why I’ve been, and still am, so committed to traveling. As I’ve been moving, and blogging, and journaling, and meditating and spending so many hours alone, I’m in continuous reflection-mode. This means I’m learning all the time from the actions I’ve taken. And now it’s starting to make even more sense why I’ve traveled the way I’ve traveled. The depth behind my travels is changing… it’s not to see the touristy places, it never has been and it probably never will be. But it’s to find the real meaning behind the word freedom, and to be an expression of that word.
Man oh man, I could write a book… there’s so much movement in my life right now, just as I’m sitting on the laptop sharing my thoughts of today… this is amazing.
One last notion, in relation to the topic of freedom and ‘me-time’: Only this morning I met a young 19 year old girl here in the hostel, a student who lives nearby. We were chatting and she then wanted to know my ambition. I said: to be a writer… then I paused and said (shocking myself as I spoke): Actually, I already am a writer. She then said: ‘Ah… yes! because you are alone so much, you’ll always be thinking and thinking and then you need to write. Writers are always single and alone’. It was the strangest thing for somebody, a young girl who I’d only just met, to recognize this. She could see how and why a person devotes so much time to writing; the need to write is increased because of the ‘alone time’ I have; in this ‘alone time’ I’m learning everything I need to know, so I can write.
So, I’m a loner?! That doesn’t matter, not if these are the revelations that come to me, not if I’m becoming more conscious of what I’m doing and why I’m doing these things. Not if these breakthroughs are letting me feel as though this really is only the start of my journeys and ventures. I obviously needed to be away from western people for 4 months; here in India the language has given me some limits in regards to connecting with people around me, but it’s given me unlimited access to connecting with myself. Wouw… life is truly amazing… and how blessed I am to have these options, to have an open road… with or without a job to move towards, with or without an abundant stash of cash in the bottom of my backpack. I have many things that I can put my hand to in the world and whatever I’m meant to do next, it will happen.
Only 2 more weeks… I’m savouring this part of the journey so so much. School is great, lessons are flying (up and down all the time) and the coconuts will be probably be coming out of my ears by the time I leave… my body is telling me to eat more, because, once I’m gone, I’ll be surely missing the flavoursome coconut dishes.