You know how you read something, see something, or hear something and think you know it. Then you live it, and now you know it in your bones? The “Go Wild” tour in Scotland did that for me. I can’t say I had any huge “ah ha” moments. It was like things mellowed and deepened. Here is my list of what I learned from Scotland in no particular order.
You Have to Walk on Rainy Days
It rains between 150 and 250 days per year in Scotland. Even on the days it doesn’t rain, it’s cloudy and still damp from the day before. If you hid away inside and waited for better weather, you’d never go out. Life is like this. Stuff that you don’t like happens every day. If you let it get you down or stop you completely, you’re not going to go very far. So, keep going.
Being Prepared for Everything Weighs You Down
My research said that you can get all four seasons in Scotland in a single day. That’s definitely true. What this meant for me is that I brought way too much stuff. I had three pair of shoes. One for hiking. A pair of wellies for walking on wet days. A pair of water shoes for actually walking in water. I felt I needed extras in case one pair was wet or dirty. Who wants to put on wet shoes?
I also bought a new rain suit. I brought a rain jacket, but I read that Scotland is windy and my jacket is short. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable in wet pants, so I figured if it got to be a soaker, I’d want more protection against the rain. I also brought things for entertainment, snacks, books, and gadgets.
I didn’t wear the rain suit, threw away the wellies, didn’t read the books, and didn’t use most of the gadgets. So what that preparation and “peace of mind just in case” brought me was the inconvenience of pulling a heavy suitcase around and unnecessary worry about having overweight luggage. We can all let go of some stuff, can’t we?
Comfort is Overrated
All the things above also got me thinking that comfort is really overrated. Especially when you look at how much time and resources go into acquiring, maintaining, and storing all the stuff that keeps us comfortable. I really could have gotten by with one pair of shoes. The whole “I don’t want to walk in wet shoes the next day” didn’t happen. The other comfort items didn’t really add to my enjoyment of the trip either.
The other thing is, the weather was cold and wet when we arrived. I had to put the heat on each night. By the time we left, we were in a heatwave. It was boiling, and most places don’t have air conditioning. So, I couldn’t sleep. How do you plan for that? So, I was uncomfortable for a while. And you know what? It didn’t really matter. Life was just as happy uncomfortable as it was when I was comfortable. Had I made a fuss, I would have just been even more uncomfortable.
You Don’t Have to Know Everything
We all have ways of staying safe. Mine is knowing things. If I understand a thing, it makes it less scary. But you know what? You don’t have to know everything. Some things don’t matter. Some things are better left a mystery. Some things take far more energy to figure out than they are worth. It’s easy to get caught up in stories. Who cares about the story? Being in your head takes you out of your heart. Life’s meant to be felt.
Everything is a Lot Better When You Drop the Agenda
When we go on tour, I advise everyone to drop their expectations. It just makes it easier to be pleased and see what is there when you are not looking for what you hope to find. Most people do this. And it makes the whole experience grand. If your only expectation of yourself, everyone, and everything else is to just be as it is, you find magic in everything. When you see magic in things, it blossoms for you to show you more.
Vulnerability is Sexy
There is a lot of pressure to be perfect, attractive, successful, or well behaved. That puts a lot of restrictions on what it’s okay to express. Consequently so many people hold back. I am so glad that our theme was “go wild.” It was like there was an unspoken rule to be who you are, feel what you feel, and do what you want. So what if it is unexpected, “weird”, dark, or imperfect. When you stand unflinchingly in your truth, you allow people to see your cracks. Those cracks are what make us all unique and beautiful. When this is side by side with painted beauty, for me there is no comparison. Naked nature wins.
Darkness is Glorious
We went to bed in daylight and woke up in daylight. It makes it really hard to sleep, wind down, and relax. I find that a really appropriate metaphor for life as well. So often we shut out our own darkness for fear that we will become monsters. Or maybe others will think we are monsters. Daylight is also the time of action. Darkness is for sleep. So many of us go, go, go all the time. We live in a dual universe. When we embrace the darkness, things can exist in balance and truth. Oh, how I missed the darkness in Scotland!
Personal Discovery is Better When It’s Shared
Have you ever had something wonderful happen and had no one to share it with? Or has something really thrilling happened, but it’s so far outside of your friends and family’s wheelhouse that they just can’t understand it? Personal discover is really better when it’s shared. I say that repeatedly, but it really hits home when you’re breathless saying, “And then this happened, and that happened” and a blank face is staring back at you. Only someone who went with it too can truly understand. It helps to speak those feelings and experiences into the world. It solidifies them. When they are shared, it’s even more wonderful.
When people ask me what do I want to be when I grow up, I feel lucky to say that I am already there. I do what I love. I love taking people to the doorway where they can turn on their own light. Witnessing that is such a blessing. I love having new lights come on for me or having them turned up more brightly. Providing a safe container where people can enjoy their spiritual travel experiences is such a delight.
When you go outside of yourself and your routine on a pilgrimage, it’s easier to see what you have deleted from your vision. It’s easier to get more grounded in your skin. It can be easier to let go of old junk. Sacred Scotland presented a lot of different opportunities for all that. It gave far more than it took, and helped me to be more of me. Thanks, Scotland!