If life is a Journey, what’s the destination?
July 2, 2018
I received two comments this week, one, I felt, was a little negative and shortsighted, the other was incredibly positive, inspiring and optimistic.
The first comment was received after I put some photos of a beautiful medieval church in London, on Instagram. St Bartholomeus is used as a venue for live music performances, in this case for the Fourth Choir. The Fourth Choir are a gay choir, made up of about 30 men and women and they are truly outstanding and world class.
Their sound is very medieval and monastic in style and with the wonderful acoustics of the church, the sound was breathtaking. The effect on the listener is strange, almost like meditating, I felt totally at peace and calm.
I am not a Christian and did not feel the concert was in any way a religious event; it was just beautiful and calming.
When I posted the above pictures on Instagram I received an odd comment from a follower of my blog, it read: ‘Nice pictures but what does it have to do with hippies?’
This felt shortsighted and showed a bit of a misunderstanding as to what this blog is actually about. Yes, the blog is called Hippie Kushi Waking up to Life and I do identify with hippie culture, I love the Goa hippie scene; it has really changed my life. Hippie music is great and it could be said I look a little like a hippie and that is a part of my journey, but this is not just a blog about hippies, it’s about my search for freedom, peace and happiness. It’s about life’s journey and our search for that pinnacle of wellbeing.
The second comment I received was from a dear friend of mine (a heads up to David). A while back I decided I wanted to change my life/work balance in order to have more time to write and travel. So, I became a temp worker at the hospital I have been at for two years so that I could have more flexibility. This of course was a bit of a risk as temp work is not guaranteed and let’s face it, to achieve anything positive in life one must be prepared to take risks.
Less than a month later and I came into work last Monday only to be told that due to financial difficulties they were cutting down on temp workers and it was my last week of work. It was a shock and by Friday I was pretty down about it all.
I woke up this morning, my first morning unemployed, pretty down in the dumps, when I received the text from my friend; it said:
‘Morning, how’s the first day of the rest of your life?’
I thought this was a wonderful thing to say and it completely changed my mood. I felt positive about the future. It was time to look forward, not back. It’s all part of the Journey.
If life’s a journey, what’s the destination?
Call it a journey, or even a pilgrimage, we are all heading somewhere. We all have visions, dreams of where we would like to end up in life. We have goals based around what we hope will make us happy and complete.
“Our divinities and legendary heroes embody equally potent roles and functions-often in ways that are far more understandable to our psyches. And like an overgrown sacred site or a hidden holy well, they await an ongoing rediscovery. For most people in the modern world, making such rediscoveries – and really learning from them-demands a heroic effort.”
JOURNEYS IN THE KALI YUGA – AKI CEDERBERG.
In other words, we must first find who we really are before truly understanding where we want to end up and that takes courage. I am a qualified counsellor/psychotherapist and as part of my studies at university, I studied the Existentialist and Humanistic approaches to counselling, which focus on our life journey to fulfilment, the coming together of our dreams and aspirations. The journey has to begin with your true self and also the reality that your journey is yours and yours alone.
(Below, article was taken from Psychology Today)
The Theory of Self-Actualization
“Self-actualization represents a concept derived from Humanistic psychological theory and, specifically, from the theory created by Abraham Maslow. Self-actualization, according to Maslow, represents growth of an individual toward fulfilment of the highest needs; those for meaning in life, in particular. Carl Rogers also created a theory implicating a “growth potential” whose aim was to integrate congruently the “real self” and the “ideal self” thereby cultivating the emergence of the “fully functioning person”. It was Maslow, however, who created a psychological hierarchy of needs, the fulfilment of which theoretically leads to a culmination of the fulfilment of “being values”, or the needs that are on the highest level of this hierarchy, representing meaning.
Maslow’s hierarchy reflects a linear pattern of growth depicted in a direct pyramidal order of ascension. Moreover, he states that self-actualizing individuals are able to resolve dichotomies such as that reflected in the ultimate contrary of free-will and determinism. He also contends that self-actualisers are highly creative, psychologically robust individuals. It is argued herein that a dialectical transcendence of ascension toward self-actualization better describes this type of self-actualization, and even the mentally ill, whose psychopathology correlates with creativity, have the capacity to self-actualize.
Maslow’s hierarchy is described as follows:
- Physiological needs, such as needs for food, sleep and air.
- Safety, or the needs for security and protection, especially those that emerge from social or political instability.
- Belonging and love including, the needs of deficiency and selfish taking instead of giving, and unselfish love that is based upon growth rather than deficiency.
- Needs for self-esteem, self-respect, and healthy, positive feelings derived from admiration.
- And “being” needs concerning creative self-growth, engendered from the fulfilment of potential and meaning in life.”
A person may have millions of pounds and a huge house, a fast car, a wife and kids and they think this is their highest pinnacle; but for others, this could be their idea of hell. We all have our own journey to travel and everyone’s journey is different.
Work, career, happiness?
We all recognise that feeling of getting up on a Monday morning feeling blue and grumpily thinking to yourself: ‘I hate my job!’ Whereas there are those who positively leap out of bed in the morning because they do something amazing as a career. Nurses speak of a vocation, a need to do something that makes them feel they are helping people. Zookeepers and wildlife specialists ouze joy as they talk about their work.
Perhaps something to give consideration to is your job, do you love it? Do you hate it? Is it something that inspires you and gives you joy? Does it allow you to use all of your creative talents? Or, do you work long hours in a job you despise just to pay the bills or to keep your family in the over materialistic, wasteful lifestyle that society has moulded them in to?
What can you do to change that situation and what is holding you back from making that decision and changing you and your families life for the better? Take the risk, it will be worth it.
Money – Materialism
Apart from a very insular society where nationalism and intolerance rule the day, materialism comes a close second in the mindset of many cultures. Widescreen TVs, laptops, computer games, gadgets and the dreaded mobile phone are all an addiction enveloping humankind.
I ride a pedal bike to work and often have to break hard as mobile phone zombies with earphones spitting out loud music, step out into the road in front of me, oblivious to anything going on around them. We have become obsessed with having things, it’s almost like a religion. Some might say having the latest gadgets is their idea of perfect happiness but these things mean nothing.
(This article was written by Ann-Marie, she is an 18-year-old Political Science and International Relations student. She has a YouTube channel called SpeakOut Generation where her and the co-founder highlight social and political issues in the life of the youth today. She hopes to go on to inspire the upcoming generation to do more and to be more.)
Materialism Is Ruining Us
“Materialism is defined in the dictionary as a preoccupation with or an emphasis on material objects, comforts and considerations with a disinterest in or a rejection of spiritual, intellectual or cultural values.
As human beings we are creatures of the eye and therefore is natural for us to see things that we like and immediately want it. We want what looks good to us. Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with creating and wanting nice things but we as humans have turned this natural inclination into a form of worship and this is sadly only getting worse from generation to generation.
We are constantly taught by society that the more you have, the more you are worth, the better you look, the happier you will be. This is not only taught to us by the world around us but is also reinforced by the TV and media. So girls go out to buy bags with letters on them to show that they are not worth less or worthless. Guys go out to buy cars, designer shoes, belts and jeans just to impress. We don’t care about the condition of our souls, the states of our minds or the errors in our ways because nothing else matters along as we get the latest gadget that we will care about for only a few days.
We have the ability to change the world the technology to do it too yet we use our innovation to further increase the already good quality life of the ‘haves’ instead of helping out and improving the quality of life of the ‘have nots’. Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day yet we in the developed nations are buying things we do not need because we are obsessed with materialistic things instead of appreciating the essentials that we have! If you are reading this right now you are probably in the richest 10% of the human population. You have a roof over your head, food in your fridge, a bed to sleep in and even a laptop/iPad/phone to read this on, yet you still complain because your house isn’t big enough or you don’t have the latest iPhone.
This constant want for more and more things isn’t healthy. Studies have shown that as people become more materialistic, their wellbeing (good relationships, independence, sense of purpose and more) diminishes. This is because people are driven by the desire to consume rather than experience. People would rather buy the latest phone instead of travelling and experiencing the world, children would much rather be glued to their iPad, laptop or games console than play outside. The sad truth is that we are wasting our lives in this consumerist, materialistic world we live in. We continue to do and buy meaningless things because whoever loves materialistic things never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
But I fully believe that our emerging generation could be the generation to change this, if we all wake up and see that none of the stuff the stuff that we accumulate will matter in a few years but the memories that you create, the people that you meet, the experiences you have and the impact you have on the world for good are everlasting.”
“So I say go out, invest in culture, buy an experience, do something meaningful and change the world for the better.”
Family – Partner – Love
We all crave love in some way or another. We naturally seek out affection and caring from someone, be that from a life partner, a spouse or a whole family; its a beautiful thing. Many state this as the pinnacle of their life, their self-actualisation. For others, having a family can be seen as a hurdle to them really achieving their life dreams.
An understanding partner should recognise that unfulfilled dreams will only result in unhappiness in the end. Travel with your family if travel is your dream, or take time away if that’s not possible. If you dream of moving to a remote island to live a life off the land, lay it on the table, your partner may surprise you by saying; yes!
Religion can be a great form of comfort to many and can bring inner peace and a feeling of calm. But some religions can also hold people back from not only their dreams but also from being their true selves.
Many seekers of completion travel to places like India to seek out religious fulfilment and come back forever changed and enlightened; but your reasons for seeking out faith must be pure.
“If THE HUMAN BEING is a Homo religious by nature, as so many signs suggest, then the impulse toward pilgrimage-a sacred journey or a journey in search of the sacred-must be nearly as old as the human sense of higher powers themselves. The whole notion of pilgrimage assumes that divine forces are not restricted to a supernatural realm, solely accessible through worship or prayer, but instead may be found lingering in particular places here on Earth.”
JOURNEYS IN THE KALI YUGA-AKI CEDERBERG – DESTINY BOOKS
“Travel is a creative act-not simply loafing and inviting your soul, but feeding on the imagination, accounting for each fresh wonder, memorising, and moving on…And the best landscapes, apparently dense or featureless, hold surprises if they are studied patiently, in the kind of discomfort one can savour afterwards.” PAUL THEROUX, TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
So, the answer to the question: If life is a journey, what’s the destination, is simply reaching your true and personal Self-Actualisation.
But the road can sometimes be long and full of hurdles, so stick at it.
For me, that path is clear, work for now but still travel. Work to earn, to save up. I want to live on a canal boat on the British waterways, maybe run a small business from that boat and in the winter months, rent a place in Goa and be a hippie. That’s what will make me happy.
3 Mistakes That Hold You Back in Life & How to Avoid Them
By Tara Wagner (From Little Buddha.com:)
“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson
I believe we are here to grow, to expand—to learn and experience and understand. Growth and discovery are the purpose of life.
I also believe we tend to get in our own way.
Our experiences, our cultures, and even our families can create fears and limitations that can hold us back, or hold us down. They don’t do this intentionally. It’s just that we’re all doing the best we can in this beautiful, messy, complicated world.
There are so many circumstances or experiences that can get in the way of our growth and stifle our creativity and our lives.
I’ve discovered that there are three mistakes we often make in our endeavours to grow, create or experience something new:
Mistake #1: Not Taking Your Instincts Seriously
Have you ever said,“I’m fine” when inside you were hurt or afraid? Or said,“It’s not a big deal” when, in fact, it was consuming your every waking thought (and likely your dreams)?
Or maybe you even rolled your eyes at yourself; told yourself that you were overreacting, or that a comment, dream, or feeling didn’t matter.
Yeah, don’t do that.
It—whatever “it” is for you—does matter. It matters that you have a dream to start a business. It matters that you want more than what everyone else is settling for. It matters that you are upset or unsettled or craving expansion in your life.
It matters because those things are signs that you are not on the right track, signs that something is out there calling your name, signs that you’re ready to discover and devour it.
And those signs should always be taken seriously. Listen to where your inner voice. It’s there for a reason.
Mistake #2: Not Creating Space for Growth
Growth requires space—actual physical space, as well as space in your schedule.
I tend to see two reasons people don’t create this space: They think it’s selfish. They have kids, work, chores, and obligations. It would be selfish to put those off just for themselves. Or they don’t think it’s possible. They have kids, work, chores, and obligations. Who has time or energy to undertake anything else?
While both of those are really symptoms of not taking it seriously, there is more to it.
If you think it’s selfish to create time for you—to chase a dream, to process an emotion, to rest and reconnect—you’re not seeing one very important fact:
You can’t give to others what you don’t have, and you don’t have what you don’t take the time to give to yourself.
Growth requires self-compassion, patience, and generosity. If you ignore it, it will nag you, deplete you, and bury you in stress.
But when you give yourself the things you need, you soon begin to overflow those same things—the compassion, patience, and generosity – back into your world.
When your soul is filled up to overflowing, the feeling of impossibility takes care of itself.
Make the things that matter—such as self-care, compassion, and authenticity—priorities, and you’ll find you have the time and energy to create the life you visualize.
Mistake #3: Labeling Your Efforts
Any time you start something big or life-changing with labels like “not good enough” or “stupid,” you shut down your growth before you’ve even begun.
Because how can someone who is stupid or not good enough possibly do anything worthwhile?
But you’re not stupid, and you efforts are good enough. You have to let go of the labels and approach your experience with an open mind and heart. This is what allows you to create possibilities that are more and better than what you know.
If you’re struggling with this one, hold on to one truth: Each and every person was born pure, whole, and open to growth and learning.
The struggle doesn’t come from who you are inherently, but rather the messages you’ve heard about who you are.
“It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” ~Seneca
I leave you with these few questions:
What messages have you heard?
What are your beliefs about yourself and what you can do?
What things are holding you back from venturing into life?”