How Did I Get Here?

I’m a planner and I’ve planned for things to unfold in my life since I could remember. Maybe it has to do with my Virgo ascendant, needing a logistical plan for my life, or maybe it’s from being conditioned to believe that I needed to have everything figured out. What are you going to do after you graduate? The pressures on now that you have your degree… If you don’t know and you’re taking time in your life to figure out where you’d like to be, you’re likely viewed as a “drifter” or more likely, “lost.”

Many of us have ideas on where we want to be, but don’t really have many ideas as to how. I know that’s where I’ve been! Creating beautifully decorated vision boards, but left with anxiety as I stared at it when it was finished with the thought of “well… how the hell is this going to manifest?” There’s no “how-to” when you’re following a path that isn’t the mainstream and even if you are, there are so many aspects of it that are personal to you. Let’s take a second to look back on most of our plans… Did everything unfold according to the plan we set months ago? Or did things unfold and land us into an even better space than we planned?

When we set our intentions for how we want our life to look like, things work out in order for that to manifest. Our view of our possibilities are so narrow of what we know to be possible. We’re only basing our opportunities off of what we KNOW, but there’s limitless possibilities floating within the unknown. How are we to make an exact plan on how things will work out if we aren’t open to the endless possibilities that the Universe has for us?

Now here I am, sitting outside of my tiny house in an eco-village at Kashi Ashram, spending my day by starting with meditating and exercising at the beach with an incredible brother, journaling & reflecting, refreshing my mind with one of my favorite books ~ the Biophillia Effect, and planning my permaculture projects and topics to bring others back to the connection with our roots. I’m able to live off the grid, live simply and surrounded by Nature, have my needs provided for (and more), live in community, learning constantly, as well as be in a position of teaching our work-traders and guiding them through a permaculture program with an incredible team! I have to say, although I wrote all of these qualities of life down previously, I didn’t even know where to begin to bring this into fruition!

I can’t shake the thought of how did I get here?

I never would’ve imagined that I could have the lifestyle that I do today…

The thing is… I couldn’t have planned it. I didn’t even know how this would happen. Through the unfolding process, I have come to understand that the how is never our business. I set my intention for what I wanted my life to look like, not really having a clue on how to get there, and I pursued opportunities. I trusted the path, even at times when it was so unclear. When I look back, there were so many moments of fear, especially with leaving everything behind and not having a plan. We simply aren’t taught to trust. It’s something we either learn from our parents early on or we learn it on our own.   

“One common pattern on this path is that a first venture into new territory can be smooth for a while, but soon life provides an experience that says, “Are you sure? Are you sure this is where you want to live and who you want to be?” For example, you leave a job that provided financial security, trusting that you’ll be okay following your heart. But no miracle job opens, your savings dwindles, and the lurking fears that were hiding behind that assurance “it will work out somehow” come to the fore. Who are you, really? If everything had gone smoothly, you would not have to face that question full in the face. Sometimes a choice has to be stark to clarify who we really are. The “what if” fears come to pass, or look convincingly as if they will. A woman said to me, “I’m afraid that if I start standing up for what I want, then my husband will leave me.” Eventually she did just that—and her husband did leave her. Stop living the way you have lived, and maybe the worst will come to pass. At least it will threaten to. Then you will understand whether you are willing to make a real choice, or the conditional choice predicated on the hope it will all work out, and ready to be reversed as soon as it looks like it won’t.”

So what were the actual steps that I took to make this my reality? I left my comfort zone of what I knew was holding me back. I left the relationship with my first love. I left a home with my absolute best friends (& cat) that supported me and provided the perfect space for my growth. I packed up all of my belongings into my car and set fourth with what my heart and soul truly desired. I cried and cried as I packed up everything, but I also knew there was so much waiting for me on the other side. I knew what I could offer the world and I knew even more that the environment I was in was not conducive to my growth and lifestyle. But in that space, I let myself feel the pain of not living a life that was aligned with my morals and values. I allowed myself to get to the point where I had enough. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t allow myself to spend all of my precious time and energy working to make money to pay for my bills to go to work the next day. My inner wisdom knew that this was not the natural way to live… Every day I said, “there HAS to be something more than this…” I couldn’t live any more days knowing that my life was contributing to the environmental, social, economic, and cultural crises we face today. In no way am I saying that it was easy… but it was unfathomably worth it.

I think it’s also important to note that just because something doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean that you’re on the wrong path!!! I don’t necessarily believe that it’s going to be a linear movement. We’re going to have times when we don’t see the mountain anymore and question if the mountain actually exists, but then we meet a fellow hiker who reassures us that it is there.

“The road to Reunion has many twists and turns. Sometimes a hairpin turn makes it look like each step takes us farther away from the destination. These turnarounds, even the dead ends and backtracks, are all part of the path through the new territory of interbeing. It is unfamiliar to us, that territory. There are few maps, and we have not yet learned to see the trail. We are following an invisible path, learning from each other how to follow it. As we do that, and as we learn to see its subtle markings, the path becomes visible. Absent a map, and in the very early stages of a new story, we can only follow our intuition at each choice point, guided by our heart-compass, not knowing how our turnings will add up to the destination. Frequently our habits of separation lead us to stray onto the old, worn paths that we can see. We have to develop new vision, to see the faint traces of ancient footsteps that lead out of the maze. We have to see the terrain itself, the truth behind the stories.” – Charles Eisenstein, A More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

The beautiful part about this story is that I am no different than anyone else. We are all capable and deserving of living our personal truth and living a life that fully aligns with our morals and values. So what do you want your life to look like? What intentions are you going to set? What seeds are you going to plant? What’s holding you back from truly pursuing what you want?

Trust yourself. Listen to your truth. Listen to your hearts inner-knowing and follow. I support you! You deserve this.

With so much love,

Mandalynn


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