The Powers that Be.

Just be, I tell myself as I’m a million miles away. Sipping my coffee this morning with an accelerated heartbeat, that has nothing to do with caffeine and everything to do with standing somewhere in the world, deciding which way to go. My mind has blossomed in the last three months, in ways that I don’t even fully understand. But one way I do, is that I look around and be fully where I am. I’ve gotten good at it and found my peace in it. But this is where the split of mind tests me. I’m standing, people-watching as always, in a place I love but I’m not here. I’m already back at the place I call home. I’m fast-forwarding three weeks, three months, a year. Spiralling.

“What’s going to happen?” “What will I do?” “Will the people that were there when I left still be there when I return?”.

I always knew I would come to this mental deadlock for one of two reasons; 1. I would come to Cambodia, absolutely hate it and not live here but be at home in my mind, counting the days until I return. Or 2- the reality; I would come to Cambodia, fall completely in love with where I am and feel conflicted to leave this place but also long for home. I have been here. Really and completely here. And I think that’s why I’m drowning in adoration for this place; I have been here. Each Tuk Tuk ride, I am only existing, smiling, in that moment. I’m not worrying about where I’m going or what comes next. I’m just existing. I have learned that a life lived mindful is much easier to comprehend than a life with a mind that’s full. I found a calm in this chaos, like no other.

This was somewhat inescapable as the sun started to set on my time in the Kingdom of Wonder but I know it’s driven from fear. The boundless fear that time is running one pace quicker than I can. And I know, this feeling is temporary because everything is temporary. But as I am within and without; hugging the people of home and smiling at strangers saying hello in Phnom Penh, I’m not winning because I’m not existing in either. I’m not in Ireland, holding loved ones with one hand and a cup of tea in the other. And I’m not technically, in Cambodia if I’m only here in body.

But as I’m having this dualism of my mind, I’m proud of the seeds I’ve sown. The fruit of my mind is sweet and I’m no longer poisoned by it. As I said, I have learned each day to be more in the moment. Every moment has brought me more to myself. Each day, a new version of myself. So I can smile at the person I’ve become. Because although she’s fighting time now, she still has the awareness that time is a concept we created. And as fear flows through her veins, she knows that all good things are on the other side of that. And although she may not feel how she would like to, she knows that this is fleeting. And as she is torn between thinking of the green grass of home and the craziness that Cambodia has shown, she has learned, and will continue to learn, how to

just be.

 

 

Table for One, Please.

There’s this moment of pure, unconcealed confusion when I smile at the waiter and say “table for one, please”. “Only one?” is usually the shocked response. And I’m familiar with that shocked response; I got the same one, a hundred times over, when I told everyone back home “Yes, Cambodia. Yes, on my own”. Because we’re a world of fan-pages for celebrities’ relationships, we’re rom-coms and thinking we can’t exist outside of another. And I know, one of the most powerful energies in the universe is people, together. But there’s also beauty beyond words in a life unchaperoned. When you stand out in the world, at bliss in your oneness, you evolve.

Every Monday, I am greeted by smiling faces, with the ritual “what did you do with your weekend, teacher?” After telling them, the recurrent answer is “you’re so brave, teacher”. But I’m not brave; I’m restless. How could I ever rest in a world where who and what we can be, is not even invented yet? How can I rest knowing that I can do or be absolutely anything in the universe? And I refuse to lie dormant because others don’t want to join. We infinitely limit ourselves with the belief that life begins with another. Life begins, first and foremost, the moment we tune in to it. When you realize that your life isn’t accident or coincidence, you start to live better. What happens to you, where you go, what you do; it’s all on you. So why are we all overflowing with fear?

Why don’t we sit at a table for one and smile, instead of pretending we’re waiting for someone or putting our head down? Why can’t we be as excited to say we’re single as we are to say we’re engaged? Why can’t we stand up and be the badasses of our own lives, without waiting for someone to rescue us? Because what we’re not told, what’s not in the fairytales, is that nobody is. Nobody’s coming in on a white horse. We’ve got to ride it out ourselves. We’re teaching women everywhere that their importance relies on a question, on a “will you be my girlfriend?”, a “will you be my wife?”. You don’t need someone to be someone. But we’re implanting this fear of solitude to keep people rooted in never pursuing their power. Fear is what keeps us immobilized in ordinary. You need to welcome fear. You need to seize seclusion.

And I’m not a cynic. Life was made from love and was made to be lived in it. But the reality is, you can only meet people as deeply as you’ve met yourself. When you fill your time with you, solo, the time then spent with others transcends everything you’ve known- when you’re better, your relationships will be too. We need to know we can live outside the lines. We need to stop clasping on to the detrimental and the entrapping, just to have somebody by your side. Stop fearing oneness. Ask for a table for one; and own it. Buy yourself flowers. Book a flight with one seat. Dive into the part of yourself, the world told you doesn’t exist. And just see, first-hand, the level of enchantment that comes to fruition with your evolution.

The Safety Trap.

I’ve never been ballsy. I never crossed the road without the green man. I wouldn’t walk on street cracks or over four drains. I never looked at a magpie without dreading the bad luck they bring. Like so many people, I was comfortable. Always chasing safe. We’ve become so good at walls and barriers in the illusion of safety. But the walls and the barriers don’t keep danger away; they keep life away. Your transformation won’t come if you choose to stay in your cocoon. Things don’t change until we do.

So I had to change. Because I wasn’t made for a life of fear, a life of watching where I walk, a life of looking down and not looking at the sky. I wasn’t made for not knowing freedom. I was made for leaping into life and all her magic. So I jumped on a plane (a few actually, including stopovers), out in the world, solo. People always talk about ‘safety in numbers’ and yeah, sometimes it’s necessary, but nothing in the world compares to living your freedom and knowing it’s scary but you’re out here and you’re doing it. I’ve surprised myself a lot in the past week; venturing past the limits of the barriers I created. I checked into a hotel without nobody’s hand to hold but mine. I wandered into the desert in Dubai, completely on my own with a man I’ve never met. I took the handle bars of a quad, when I’ve only known being a passenger. I drifted around the hustle and bustle of the streets of Phnom Penh, my new home for the next few months. I’ve spent a lot of time on my own, out in the unknown doing things deemed unsafe. But I’m in a place I’ve never been before, doing things I’ve never done, feeling things I’ve never felt; my freedom is here in the flesh. I’m on a new level of life, that only came from releasing myself from the safety net I was captured in.

I met a woman on the first flight and we talked about life. She spoke of her small ‘safe’ town up North. This ‘safe’ town that tossed her out on the streets in her time of need. This ‘safe’ town that she was raped in. Safety is an illusion to keep you blind from being alive. We all want to be safe but no matter how any layers of bubble-wrap you cover yourself in, it’s never guaranteed. So you might as well make the jump from comfortable to where you actually want to be, despite the danger. Life was never made to be straight and narrow. It was meant to be wild and open to wherever you wanted to take it. You can walk through life with your eyes closed to the dark but you need to accept that you’re closing your eyes on the light too. Life in comfortable, is accepting a medium level of life. And if that’s all you want then yeah cool, enjoy it but there is so much world out there, so much life that you don’t know what you’re wasting.

I can stand up and say that I actively chose my life. And I can say that I would do it a hundred times over. The path has been mucky and uneasy sometimes but I don’t regret a single thing that has led me to liberation. Because this feeling; of release, of power is the compass leading me in the direction of my soul. I’m proud of the person I’ve become because I had to fight to become her. I had to be the least independent person, anchored down by the weight of her fear to unravel the layers of my cocoon, so I could fly openly into the arms of freedom.  Out into the beautiful world of unsafe.

Fearless or Fearing Less?

There are certain buzzwords that are catalysts for the soul. It ranges from the depth and preference of each soul but personally, ‘fearless’ kindles something in me. No matter what phase of life you’re following or leading, fearlessness should always be the incentive in creating your best self. Fear is so commonly misconstrued in society today. It’s not to be avoided but to be overcome. Telling a world that has grown from a foundation of fear not to feel it, is as futile as telling a lion not to bite. The thing with fear is it will never be totally absent; it clings to the atmosphere like a spirit with unfinished business. So yes feel your fear because you will never escape it if you don’t acknowledge it. Study it. Learn with it. Then, when you know all you can about it- stare at it. Stare at it until you’re not the one flinching. I’ve seen fear in the flesh, and I’ve given it the kiss of death. I’ll never not battle with fear but I refuse to lie down. I stand tall, taller than fear to be one step closer to fearlessness. Every decision, every road, every turn, twist and tangle of the unknown- fear will be waiting at the destination. I walk with fear but I lead. When you fear less you quieten the voice in your head, that unqualified voice, that tells you you’re not enough. (Spoiler alert: you are).

The difference between fearless and fear less is the little gap in between. And the difference between the fearless and those who fear less is the gap in where they have been and where they choose to go. The fearless have felt the most fear but have came the farthest. Those fearing less are the dreamers and the thinkers, the doers and those in progress. When we don’t allow fear to possess our bodies and feed on our soul, we will win. Always. Fear doesn’t have to be a monster unless you make it one. Master it or be mastered. Feel your fear but beautify it. Every time that doubt creeps in or that voice screams your insecurities, just know it is only a fractional burden of the greatness you can be. Every time a negative energy floats through your body, think how much prettier it would be if it was positive. Select and refine your thoughts, as you would when shopping until you leave only the truly beautiful. The brave are those who embrace the fear. The great are not those who do not fear, but those who use it as a ladder for where and who they want to be. And the beat-down and forgotten will be those fear dominates.

Be fearless in being the person you are.

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