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Vulnerable and fragile …

I read the transcript from Pico Iyer’s Ted talk The beauty of what we’ll never know. Made me think.

It’s then, when you’re lost or uneasy or carried out of yourself, that you find out who you are.

It is when you leave your possessions, your habits and your loved ones behind, its when you have to face yourself in the loneliness, when there is no one else but you to save you from whatever, it’s when you are on your own, alone. That is when you `will find out who you are.

Yesterday evening I went out for a meal with another guest at the inn. This was his last evening here and I had been speaking highly of the woman that has been preparing my evening meals since I got here, so I took him there. He was so surprised how good and tasty and cheap the food was. I know I said, and the woman and her husband are so genuinely nice.
So there we were, in a way two strangers to each other, but with some interests in common, scuba diving, photography, traveling, we were talking about the upcoming election in US, politics in Europe, retiring conditions in our countries, that is when I realised how different we see the world and ourselves. About how money and wealth moods us, the drive to have more and better.

I am a very lucky person to have some stashed away for this one year journey. It is not unlimited so I do have to consider my choices before making any decisions. No or limited amount of money forces you to see who you are, your values.

When we talk about traveling we tend to focus on all the things outside ourselves for us to see and experience. Monuments, beaches, sceneries. The morning view when I just stand there, breathe the beauty in and don’t want to exhale in case the magic would leave my senses.

The inner journey is often forgotten in our everyday lives being so caught up in careers, making the right decisions, fitting in. Working hard making money so we can pay for the retreat far away to restore our souls. That new industry is probably the one increasing the most right now. Inspirational speakers, retreats, health clinics, mindfulness courses, and all the stories we read about highly successful people quitting their jobs becoming digital nomads. Finding yourself.

We all need to loose ourselves into the unknown from time to time. Walking on thin ice once and again. Doing the dear game with ourselves.

A friend of mine wrote me yesterday, telling me how brave I am and how not she is. Me in Thailand, her back home. Another friend I spoke to about being brave a few years ago, her telling me she had read all the books you could think of, gone to seminars about self fulfillment and yet she didn’t feel she moved an inch.

Doing the dare game is about daring yourself in your everyday life. Small steps. Walking on the other side of the street than yesterday, joining another group of people for lunch, learning a new skill, trying a dish you never had before, doing the opposite from yesterday. Anything that gets you off balance for a tiny moment. Do something you are a bit scared of doing, walk the unknown path and you will surprise yourself with landing on your feet.

Bravery is not in the big changes. Bravery is about pushing your own limits one small step at a time and being conscious about it. Putting yourself into situations where you are vulnerable and fragile is good, makes you creative, makes you see who you are and who you want to be.