Messages from the Pod
the Call to Adventure and journeying into the unknown
In one of my first mentoring sessions of this year, my mentee, a young academic professional, shared how he had come to understand that instead of focusing on the ‘what if’s and on what everyone else was thinking’, he could choose to focus on that which he has influence over. He added: “Results are the strongest point I can make” and “Going about my goals, one step at a time.” So happy for his insights and personal leadership!
In the midst of this turbulent start of the year, how do you want your 2021 to be? What’s your focus, intention if you wish?
My home-pod for the next 5 days
My own 2021 Heroine’s Journey starts with yet another call to adventure, as Joseph Campbell would say. Similar to my last grand adventure alone in the mountains of Colorado, it took me quite a while to get here today. And not just the two wrong turns I took, then getting lost because there wasn’t enough cell signal in the woods; I find that there is a great quality in the preparation and effort that goes into making a plan and venture into an out-of-the-ordinary space and time for yourself alone. Carving out time requires communicating your desire with your loved ones, planning and organising, preparing the children and logistics, letting your colleagues know and – in my case- designing a program that works for me. This time, I am going for the full 5-day enchilada by myself with no guidance from a mentor/expert /shaman/ monk or teacher.
This time, I am the teacher.
Finding a rhythm that works
This afternoon, I arrived in time to get settled and venture out for a walk. To orient myself for these next 5 days alone. And as I sit here in my pod at dusk, I hear the birds singing their evening tunes and I can smell some burning wood nearby. The silence around me – and cold mind you – is deafening. As I feel encapsulated in this pod and within these arched wooden walls, I finally ease into my own rhythm, my own pace. Here I feel now, I can create the space to be in and with silence, which is exactly what I came for. To open up space for a road ahead, to Re-Set in a way.
When I was younger, I remember my wise mum saying; “sometimes we need a solid amount of time to be in conversation with ourselves”. – maybe this has influenced me more than I know.
What I realised is that communicating effectively with others must start with talking to and with yourself, right? I started exploring this over 20 years ago. How can you be kind, empathetic and compassionate to someone else, if you can’t show yourself the same curtesy? How can you know how to help someone else if you don’t know how to help yourself?
In the Temple
Leap back to 2007, we lived in Vietnam which back then, was the ultimate ‘become a buddha’ type of experience for me as it was my first time in silence for so much of my time. My then dear Life Coach gave me a mirror and on it Ghandi’s words ‘be the change you want to be in the world’ and I have held this motto close to my heart ever since.
In the Tipi
Jump to 2018 and we were living in San Francisco and I am more seasoned and on a quest for ‘ultimate truth’ with a shaman in the mountains. On a clean(sing) diet, much silence and many an hour together in the tipi. Listening to songs, talks about bringing good into the world, reading ancient texts and drinking plants. Truth I got, and still today, it was one of the most impressive adventurous avenues that I took.
In the Pod
Jump to today, and I find myself alone in this Pod, real time.
Dark by now, I am thinking of all the people who might benefit from my experiences and guidance as they too test the waters of silence and stillness in the midst of busy lives. Thinking of people who feel stress, burned-out and overwhelmed, who might be looking for a direction that offers refuge and solace. How can I make this help you?
The journey inward
The journey inward is just one way, but a way that has worked for me at least. The stillness calms the nerves and brings life to a halt, even if it’s only for a few days. It gives you time to breathe and to recover, revisit issues and review, rebalance, reframe and rejuvenate. It lays bare the underlying patterns and dynamics that drive us. And looking these directly in the eye, makes the bigger picture visible. Dealing with uncomfortable past events and cleaning out the narrative-closet helps you find your own spirit and joy.
Stillness as the accelerator to shifting your focus
I find that creating a space of stillness, a place where the waves settles, allows for a clarity of mind that accelerates insights and decision making. Accelerates a forward-movement.
For me for now; just silence and stillness. The woods are pitch dark and there isn’t a sound beyond my fingers ticking on the keyboard – just some of my ramblings in these first hours of the journey.
Be well and safe.
in compassion, ~ Barbara
Barbara writes about the qualities of kindness and compassion and takes a positive approach to health. She supports leaders and teams in their personal development and compassionate leadership. To cultivate what is often referred to as ‘soft skills’ and what she calls the ‘hard skills’; communicating with presence, practicing deep listening and a non-judgmental attitude; being (self)compassionate and building (self)awareness. www.berooted.nl
“By connecting to yourself first, we start living from the inside out and become more resilient.”