This year I spent 260 days (71% of the year) living out of a suitcase and traveling to 7+ countries. I learnt many things along the way but one key lesson stood out for me and that is the power is all within you.
I know that may sound incredibly abstract and you’ve probably heard it a million times but there is a good reason as to why it has been repeated so often. Today I am here to remind you once more that the power is all within you.
In my time alone in Indonesia, Tunisia, Morocco..etc I learnt that we can run from many things in life but when forced to be alone in foreign countries for 260 days you cannot run away from yourself. You also certainly can no longer continue walking around with heavy inner baggage you have carried for the past many years (I know I had plenty of baggage to deal with).
With that realization I decided to do the hardest thing in my life and face this baggage I have hid deep within myself. I decided to face my deepest fears and finally find a way to free myself of them. What did I have to loose? Clearly carrying the fears deep inside does not work as they find a way to haunt you when the noise of the world calms down. So I said I would give it a shot and do some hard inner work.
We all (regardless of who and where you are) have skeletons in our closet, heart-breaks, scars, fears, insecurities — aka the negative stuff (fear) and we also all have dreams, desires, aspirations, talents, love, big hearts, hopes — aka the positive stuff (love). My key lesson from my travels, which was more of a reminder than a lesson, is that every thought, word and action either invests in the negative or positive. There is no grey area, it is that simple however you twist and turn.
You, with your every single micro thought, micro word, micro action are either investing in your insecurities or dreams, lack or fullness, in fear or love.
I learnt that lesson firmly the hard way in 2010 when I was semi-paralyzed due to a sudden severe case of arthritis (here is a bit more about my personal journey). But the funny thing in life is that I forgot that lesson once I got healed and I carried on with my life, slowly turning back to old bad habits of investing in fear again. This forgetfulness is one of our biggest problems as humans. Life teaches us precious lessons the easy and hard way but we somehow get sucked back into the noise of the world and its crazy rat race. But if we chose to be more present, whole, attentive and approach things without the blinding light of fear we would know that we have all the solutions to our problems right here, inside of us.
I have personally chosen to forgive myself on my forgetfulness, put it in the past and work on forming habits that will remind me of this key lesson — the power of my thoughts, words and actions — and to find ways to utilize them for good, for love, for growth because God knows this life is short.
I know it is not easy to move from fear to love and sometimes the thought of how to make that shift could be so paralyzing. But that is where having a community, good friends or even a stranger come and help is key. I learnt from meeting people from around the world that we are communal beings and we are made to support one another, it is part of our DNA. I asked why are so many of us lonely then? I realized that many of us just don’t know how to ask for help.
Learning how to ask for help, support, advice, comfort is key in allowing yourself to sustainably keep investing in love because fear is a sneaky little creature and finds the most creative ways of sneaking up on you.
Find your tribe, build, foster and guard it with your life. Your tribe is key in this. Do you have one already? Send them a thank you note as gratitude is another key ingredient in all of this. Do not have one? Then be grateful that you now know that you need one and that you need to approach finding your tribe with love (fullness) not fear (lack).
Today I write to you from my home in Washington DC with a peaceful heart because after meeting 2,000+ people along the way from 20+ nationalities I am convinced that this world is a kind world. People care, people love and those are the most fundamental languages that we share.
From Indonesia to Morocco to Jordan to Canada to New York, every single person I met treated me with an act of kindness they had no incentive to do, and I know a big part of this is because I chose to invest in love daily and this was reciprocated slowly but surely.
I end 2018 with hope — hope in myself, hope in humanity and hope for our bright future together rooted in: Love.
As you wrap up 2018 and start to consciously set intentions for 2019, my biggest advice to you is to set up a routine and discipline for monitoring and shaping your thoughts, words and actions to invest in love, in hope, in your dreams, in the unlimited potential of yourself. I believe in you and the universe will conspire to help you. Trust the process. Remember the power is all within you.