Learning and growing through solitude. What can I learn during COVID19.
I’ve been thinking about a question I got asked the other day, if I had any advice for those suffering during this isolation period? I just couldn’t quite find the words in a short video so I’m attempting to record them here.
The question made me think back to when I first set off in my van Ivy 3 years ago. I was not long out of a 2 year relationship with someone I had shared every part of my soul with, her presence had almost become part of me.
Driving into Europe alone was a big unknown and it definitely didn’t come naturally to me straight away. I loved planning and finding the next beautiful park up to spend the night but the moment I arrived I would sit on my phone and start planning the next day. Sunsets and sunrises are usually a main focus to my day but watching them without anyone to hear my gasps and whales of wonderment made me feel like I had just laughed out loud at a movie and realised no one was there watching with me.
It was new and uncomfortable but I knew this was the reason I stepped out of my comfort zone. My path wasn’t going to find me, I was going to have to walk a thousands paths and figure out which ones worked for me and step off those that lead towards a dead end.
It took time and patience, I learnt to sit with the sunset, to take in every moment, I would hear the air and feel it on my face like whispers from a higher place. I would watch the colours change, the sea turn to silver and gold. I’d listen to the animals and watch as they seemingly took a moment to take in the sunset too. I’d let thoughts come and go like the passing clouds and before you knew it I had been sat there for hours alone, happy and content.
The first year In my van I felt like I was on a mission to prove how well I could live alone, I wanted to be a fierce, independent woman unattached to people and places. What I learnt is that we can’t control what lessons we get given. We can choose to step out of our comfort zones or lean into situations that have been thrust upon us and feel our way to what is OUR truth but the outcome will be what you least expected.
My biggest lesson was learning to listen to myself, especially during difficult or uncomfortable situations. Deciphering the difference between my instincts, my ego and my intuition. Your instincts will make you want to run or fight, your ego will play with your mind, it will make your discomfort everyone else’s fault, it’s your low self esteem or need to be in control. When you get past these you meet your intuition, the knowing you’re in the right place at the right time even if it’s uncomfortable, the ability to see what lessons can be plucked and the strength to walk away or surrender when the situation no longer serves you.
That first year i travelled alone, scary, uncomfortable and lonely situations morphed into my happy places, I found home and solitude in places I never thought I could. As well as taking all the good I could from my travels I learnt about things that no longer served me. My life was changed forever. I couldn’t go back to crowded cities, I couldn’t work a 9-5 job, I wanted to be among nature as much as possible and My biggest lesson...... I don’t like being alone, well not all the time. I don’t have to force myself into isolation to prove I’m a strong independent women. I learnt that people and community make my world go round.
Knowing this meant I could step off the well trodden path worn in by others and start making my own, I could follow my own rules because I finally knew what I wanted. Slowly I could create a life where I’m surrounded my beautiful friends and community, I could live by the ocean and work for myself. These changes didn’t happen over night but knowing what I wanted was the first step to manifesting them into existence.
Biggest of all I learnt that what we want and need changes constantly, to keep up with our ever evolving selves we have to step out of our comfort zone, lean into those unexpected situations and listen for the lessons. Emotions will rise up, tears will fall, fears will show themselves but this is when we really learn who we are and what we want from this life. We can’t go back, we can’t make it what it was but we can focus on what it can be, what we need to change in order to evolve, we can step up, rise to our new world and make it better than we had ever imagined.
I choose to live life in my van because it forces me step into the unknown on the daily, it’s become my norm to evaluate, re-evaluate, fail, try again and to surrender.
Sometimes just to surrender, to understand that this is all happening for a reason, that the lessons will be revealed when they are necessary and ready. Ride the wave and take what you can from each life experience.