The wisdom of being lost and tools to navigate the fog lands (including an excerpt from my book)

Photo by Dimitar Donovski

Photo by Dimitar Donovski


Dear ones,

Just like clouds can suddenly blanket the sky and block out the sun, we can find ourselves at times feeling lost and uncertain of where we are going or how to find the sun again.

I call this the fog lands. This is a place in my life where I feel fogged in and I cannot see where I am or where I am going and where the vision that was guiding me seems to have disappeared. When this happens, as it does from time to time as clouds are a part of life, we might find ourselves waiting for someone or something to show us where we’re going or meant to go but we already have the tools available to help us navigate our way out of the fog.

1.    Tune into your heart.

Our heart’s know our true desires. The heart is the home of our heart. So when wanting to know what way to go in your unique life, tune into you heart.

A simple question you can ask over and over and contemplate is “What does my heart desire?”

You can also play with visioning, finding pictures and words to create a collage of your dream whilst exploring the feeling within the dream.

At the moment I participating in Hannah Marcotti’s Five Beautiful Dreams visioning circle. http://www.hannahmarcotti.com/hannah-marcotti-2/2019/7/25/together-we-dream-a-two-week-visioning-practice

2.    Set your intentions

Setting intentions is a very powerful way of setting direction in your life.

The Upanishads, which are a collection of ancient Hindu religious/philosophical texts, state that,  “You are your deepest driving desire – as is your desire, so is your will, as is your will, so is your deed, as is your deed, so is your destiny”.

I really love Davidji’s process of ritualization and in particular, the way he sets intentions by inviting your attention into your awareness, planting it like a seed in your heart, then handing it over to the universe by letting the universe kiss your heart.

You don’t have to force it, just invite it in.

You can find the details of his process here:
https://davidji.com/ritualization-important-meditation-practice/

3.    Use intuition and divine guidance to navigate towards your intention

When we jump into our heads and try to figure everything out, we disconnect from our body and intuition and try do do everything ourselves.

When we ask for guidance, it opens us up for help and support in whatever form it comes. For me it is usually what I call the whispers or the quiet voice of wisdom within that I hear directing, guiding, supporting and encouraging me. It can also come as symbols, knowing and guided movements or action.

 4. Getting lost can serve your path

Many of us worry about getting lost, not knowing what’s next or if we’re gong to be okay. When I was walking the Via Francigena, the quiet voice of wisdom spoke up one day early in my journey in France. It said, “You are so worried about getting lost, but can you afford not to?”

We are lead to believe that not knowing where we are going, not having a direction or focus in life and being lost is a bad thing. But what if being lost was a gift and a blessing?

Here is an excerpt from my book, The Path We Make: a journey of the heart on the Via Francigena, about the positive side of being lost. 

 

In the morning, I woke and launched straight into my new routine. I dressed, filled the hydration bladder with just enough water to last the day, packed the Devil, ate breakfast then harnessed myself into my bags. It was nine o’clock when I checked out of the hotel and started walking out of town. The morning market was in full swing. The streets were lined with stalls selling summer fruits and vegetables, local cheese, cold cuts and clothes. I bought six ripe apricots and an apple from a fruit stall then a ham and cheese baguette from the boulangerie. It was too big to fit inside the Devil, so I tied it to the left side and tucked the bottom of it into the pocket that held my walking poles.

The market obscured the landmarks. I couldn’t see the mairie, the town hall, to get my bearings. After a few false starts, I used the GPS to find my way out of town. I didn’t bother with the guidebook at all for the rest of the day. The trail was well signposted and I had the map and GPS that I referred to more often than was necessary. As I went to check it again, I heard a firm but kind voice that I recognised as my own, coming from within but also beyond.

“You are so worried about getting lost, but can you afford not to?”

I stopped. I knew from my time in Tuscany that getting lost could mean miles of extra walking, physical pain and tiredness. It meant having to ask strangers for help and trying to communicate ineloquently in a foreign language then trying to interpret the reply. But I also knew that it was through getting lost that I discovered the most treasure. When I had lost my way in my career, taking on a role that I discovered I didn’t like, it provided me with the opportunity to take a risk and leap into the unknown by quitting without another job lined up. In taking that leap, I found that I could live with uncertainty and I experienced the joy of slowing down and living one day at a time. When I lost my way walking through Tuscany, I discovered that I could navigate my own way back to the route or the next town, and that getting lost helped to sharpen my intuition. And once, after I was kicked out of a taxi in a part of Bangkok I didn’t know because of horrendous traffic jams, I stumbled into the middle of a festival with bands and food stalls and streets jammed with tens of thousands of people wearing white. It was the Thai queen’s birthday celebration, something I will always remember because of the unexpected delight of chancing upon it. What would I miss out on if I didn’t get lost? What would my life be like if I had never lost my way in my career and decided as a result to step off that path in an unknown direction?

In The Art of Pilgrimage, Phil Cousineau writes that “what every traveller confronts sooner or later is that the way we spend each day of our travel ... is the way we spend our lives.” I no longer wanted to live being so worried about not knowing what the hell I was doing or where I was going in my life. I didn’t want to spend my life trying to keep myself on a safe and known path. I wanted to trust that if I followed my heart and my intuition, I would always find my way. I knew that if I kept hoping to find answers outside myself in books or from other people then I would never fine-tune my inner compass, and I would forever look outside myself when I needed to trust what was within. I promised myself that from then on I would only turn the GPS on if I really needed it.

May you navigate your own fog lands with courage and trust.

With love,

Kym xx

Using the power of brave

My own photo taken in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy .

My own photo taken in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy .

Dear ones,

Today I feel called to share an excerpt from my coming-soon book, The Path We Make, about bravery and how to follow your heart’s guidance even when you are afraid.

The excerpt is set in France on day 14 of my journey as I left Tergnier to walk 32 kilometres to Laon. The Devil is the affectionate name I gave to my backpack, inspired after reading Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild in which she nick-named her backpack Monster.

 

With the Devil harnessed onto my back, I walked outside into the dull light and drizzle and headed straight into the bar next door for a café-au-lait chaude (coffee with warm milk). I added sugar and savoured its hot sweetness in quick sips. I wasn’t eager to walk in the rain but I had 31 kilometres to go today and I needed to get started. As I paid for my coffee, the bar lady spoke to me in English about my pilgrimage.

“Aren’t you scared of walking alone?” she asked.

“No. No, I’m not. Most of the time I’m in the countryside, and there is no one around. I make sure I am alert and aware of my surroundings. I’m more scared of walking on the roads. They can be dangerous.”

“You are very brave.”

That is not a word that I would use to describe myself. It’s not that I’m not brave; it’s just that I don’t always feel brave. I’m far from fearless. When I started seriously contemplating this pilgrimage after I was made redundant, all my fears surfaced as ‘what if’ statements. What if I didn’t make it? What if it was a huge waste of money? What if I were injured? Over the years, I have discovered my own unique dance with fear. I feel it, I back away from it, and then I dance up to it again, allowing myself to feel the fear a little more before retreating. I repeat this dance until I am ready to take that final step into what is unknown, uncomfortable, scary or painful. There are people who take a flying leap right into or over their fear, but that’s not me. I dance with it until I am ready to act. Brave is the power I summon to take that final step. I have learned that my authentic desires are more powerful than my fears. Therefore, instead of focusing on my fear, I focus on my dream and how it would feel to live that dream. This way, my desire grows stronger than my fear, and it makes the decision to take that final step much easier. This was how I decided to embark on this journey in the first place. I summoned the power of my bravery to make the decision. Everything else was just walking, faith and resilience. Still, I appreciated the bar lady’s kindness. I thanked her, said goodbye and walked back out into the rain.

Deciding to go and walk the whole Via Francigena pilgrimage route alone from Canterbury to Rome was one of the boldest, bravest choices I have made in my life.

 It was the choice, that is, making the decision to go, that I wrestled with as the protective and fearful part of me told me all the reasons why I shouldn’t go and do something as crazy as walk 2000 kilometres alone across the other side of the world.

It could have turned into an epic battle of the mind demons but it didn’t.  I listened to the voice of fear without shaming it, and then listened to the voice of my heart that yearned strongly and lovingly to go and walk this path, come what may.

I chose to listen to my heart.

After I made the decision to go and walk, the fear didn’t go away but excitement and the strength of my heart’s longing and knowing carried me forward despite the fear.

Sometimes the heart yearns for us to act in ways that is illogical and frightening to our mind that just wants to protect us and keep us safe. The mind will judge and reject anything that is uncertain and risky with an unknown outcome or the possibility of failure or looks at odds with current reality or our limited picture of what is possible.

I continue to learn from my own life that letting the voice of my fears direct my choices in life usually leads to suffering, sadness, staleness, smallness and the merry-go-round of inner conflict, whereas listening to my heart takes me on a great adventure to discover myself and life in ways I never knew was possible when I was held back by fear.

The step through fear doesn’t necessarily get easier. Fear doesn’t go away. To be brave or courageous requires a certain fierceness not fearlessness, and a loving commitment to choose your own heart again and again.

These times call for us to live with great courage, to slow down, become quiet and tune inward to be able to hear the voice of our heart that speaks in quiet and subtle ways, as well as to be able to receive its guidance and messages, especially when it looks different than what you’re used to or doesn’t make sense from where you currently stand.

I hope that sharing the story of my dance with fear helps you to tune into your own heart and all the courage and sensitive wisdom it contains to guide and direct your life in miraculous ways.

With love and courage

Kym xx

PS If you would like support and the safety of sacred space to explore your own dance with fear and doubt whilst cultivating your courage to say yes to the ideas and callings of your heart, I’m here and I’m currently offering free 30-minute discovery sessions. Please reach out to me.