Paul and I will be flying back home in 3 days time after 18 months of travelling around the world. We decided to spend our last week in an Ashram, something both of us had never experienced before. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to rest and reflect over the past 18 months, and also look at how I felt about going back home to London.
When we get back home, Paul and I have promised ourselves not to get a job, and instead find ways of making our own money, through doing things we love. It’s a big promise and it’s also quite scary not to have the security of a well paid job to go to. Especially since that’s what I’ve been used to for the past 15 years.
But back to the Ashram. Our first day’s meditations brought up a huge feeling of fear in me. My mind was literally freaking out at the thought of not getting a job. The recurring thought that went over and over in my mind was ‘how the hell will we pay our rent??!!!’
The next day, Samaya (the guy who owns the Ashram) was talking to the whole group and said the perfect words I needed to hear. ‘In life we need to take risks. That is the only way we can feel alive, experience the real juice of life. If you don’t take risks in life, you’ll never lose any money, you’ll never get hurt, you’ll rarely make mistakes. But you’ll also not truly live’.
20 years ago when he decided to sell his business in Maui, Hawaii and buy a 100 acres of land in Australia his family thought he was crazy. ‘What will you do when you’re 80 years old and you’re alone in the middle of nowhere with a 100 acres of land no one wants to buy?’ Well he’s 82 now, although he looks about 60 and he’s surrounded by a group of young people who love and care for him and also look to him for advice. In his words ‘they keep me alive’.
His words and his story took me from fearing the future to celebrating the fact that Paul and I have chosen to do it our way. True we don’t have any guarantees that we’ll be able to pay the rent, and who knows we may even have to sleep on our friends’ floors in the near future, but will that be such a big disaster?
I think the real disaster would have been for us to throw away the sense of freedom and the joy we’ve felt over the past 18 months and get a nice secure job that didn’t exactly fulfil us just so we could make sure to pay our rent.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure there are many people out there who have jobs they love and that fulfil them. Equally there are many of us out there who feel just the opposite.
So if you’re living a life that doesn’t excite you, or bring you much joy, if you’re living for the weekend, keep in mind that, THAT is the price you are paying for your security, for not taking a risk.
It’s a high price to pay.
Are you willing to pay it?
P.S. I’d love to hear what risks you would take to create a more fulfilling life, or if you’ve taken a huge risk that’s brought great returns. Leave your comments below or email me at Karen@the1bigthing.com