It’s been 48 hours since we left Mexico and I feel in a completely different world. Not on the outside, on the inside. I know everything happens for a reason and that we were going to find out what it was, beyond Andy’s urgent wisdom teeth operation for which our insurance brought us back home.
While travelling in Mexico I felt completely free and incredibly light for the first time in my life, when after two days in Belgium I already feel less vibrant, less carefree, less alive. My former all-time companion, a latent anxiety, comes creeping back under my skin. Then it struck me: while traveling I lived every day like it was a lifetime on its own. There was no planning ahead, no thinking about the future (only a couple of weeks ahead at the most), no worrying about what I might become/do/turn out like… And here I am at it again, wondering, fussing, stressing, worrying about what might or might not be. Of me, of us, of life. Why am I here, what am I supposed to do, how can I contribute, what makes me happy? All these questions didn’t matter back in Mexico, because I simply WAS. For the first time in my life, I allowed myself to just BE. No expectations, no goals, no standards to live up to, no one to please – except ME.
And that, is the best feeling in the whole wide world. It made me come alive. It made me realize that all that matters is expressing myself fully to the world, just the way I am, and loving myself for it. Loving myself unconditionally, the real me, unaltered, rough, imperfect, clumsy, weird, geeky, childish, plaintive… whatever I might be, I AM ME and I love myself for it. And no amount of worrying, fussing, stressing will make any difference, because what matters happens NOW. There is no tomorrow.
And as we were living each day like there was no tomorrow, magic unfolded. I had never before as clearly felt how strongly the universe/life/… (whatever you might call it) supports us in our journey IF we let go and let ourselves be swept away by the invisible waves that surround us, carry us, protect us. Our mind is constantly seeking, searching, wandering… whereas our body KNOWS. It knows what’s best for us. All we need to learn is listen to its innate wisdom. Our body is the gateway to the infinite wisdom surrounding us. It doesn’t matter how much you KNOW. What matters is how well you can FEEL yourself through life.
In Mexico, I learned to FEEL. And it felt like magic. I let go of my need to control and plan everything, opening up, making space and allowing LIFE to reach me, speak to me, guide me. Magic cannot happen in a state of control. It happens in a state of trust and surrender. Only the universe knows why we are here and what we are meant to do during our time here below, and its way to communicate with us and guide us is through that little voice called « intuition ». So let’s give it space to be, to reach us and establish a connection with us. Because ultimately, life is short and only our intuition can help us find those magic shortcuts that make us sit there and wonder how come some of us gain years and years of precious time on this quest called life.
How do I know whether it’s my intuition calling? Because I feel it coming alive in my body, like a heatwave. I feel it deep inside the fibers of my body, in my stomach, in my heart. Sometimes screaming at me, other times whispering gently, nudging me left or right, protecting me, always pushing me towards light, away from darkness.
During these 5 months of travel, I made space. Space that allowed me to listen to my inner voice, my inner knowing, my inner guide. There is was, speaking to me, telling me what move to make, where to go, whom to meet. I had heard it before, years ago, but I didn’t know what it was back then, mistaking it for crazy internal fights between my controlling mind and my truth-seeking heart. In reality it was my inner guide, trying to protect me from my overpowering, controlling mind which used to suck all the life energy out of me.
For the first time I understood and witnessed how smoothly and quickly things could unfold right in front of my eyes once I relaxed, opened up and let myself be swept off my feet – without resisting, struggling and holding on to where I was or who I used to be. Here’s one major example I want to remind myself of for times of doubt:
As we were reaching the end of our 180-day Mexican VISA, one morning out of the blue, Andy woke up with one side of his face completely sore (clue: his body was telling us something). The 12-hour bus drive scheduled for that day was definitely not the easiest one on either of us, Andy struggling to cope with the pain and me experiencing my first ever motion sickness. But thankfully, we were headed to Oaxaca, a major and very modern Mexican city with all the necessary medical infrastructures. From the moment Andy gave in to the pain and accepted to see someone, everything fell right into place:
- Although the dentist recommended by our receptionist didn’t answer the phone as she tried to call him, we were immediately welcomed and taken in for an appointment as we went to the dentist’s cabinet in person
- That same day, on the same street, we managed to get x-rays done, confirming the need for an operation and the fact it wasn’t going to be easy
- At first it took us a few days to surrender and accept it was better to interrupt our trip for Andy to have his teeth extracted back home. Incredibly enough, once we finished the things we needed to get done in Mexico and began envisioning our return, things unfolded at the speed of light: within 24 hours our insurance called us back and 9 hours later we were boarding our plane back to Belgium. Cherry on the cake: our airbnb host was kind enough to reimburse the night we didn’t spend there (which usually never happens since you pay in advance and cancellation policies are quite strict)
- As we arrived at our stopover airport in Mexico City, we had 200 Mexican pesos left in our pockets and Andy was feeling his tooth come alive again. We went to the pharmacy to get a toothbrush, antiseptic mouthwash and a bottle of water. We hadn’t looked at the price tags before heading to the counter. Guess what the price was? 200 pesos.
- The entire trip back unfolded seamlessly and we had no issues whatsoever, even as we passed security and boarding controls with two (!) extra hand luggages… (which had made me quite nervous beforehand)
- We arrived in Belgium 24 hours earlier than what we had planned, had the insurance not taken over
- Once we announced our return to our friends and on Facebook, messages started pouring into our inboxes, confirming we took the right decision:
- “You are exactly where you need to be”
- “Something seems to be awaiting you here. I’m just sorry the message was painful…”
- “A wise decision, said the teeth” 🙂
- “Life is beautiful to those who follow its wisdom and the path it suggests to us”
- “What a beautiful timing for your comeback! It’s the gifts you receive when you trust life”
- “Like a pit-stop, time for you to recharge, adjust, repair and take off even stronger”
- One message even confirmed my insight that our wisdom lies in our bodies, not in our heads: “Maybe it’s time not to ask yourselves too many questions and not get up into your head”
So: when you find yourself stuck or in a funk or your head gets jumbled (like mine often does), don’t try to think your way out of it. Tap into the wisdom of your body and let it set you free.