This entry includes the awarenesses your gypsy spirit will want to know to pack up your life, set yourself up powerfully to go on the road and be FREE to be where you’re most meant to be in the world. It contains a number of guiding principles I’ve garnered over several year-long excursions, along with my April 4, 2011 re-entry to being on the road full-time. And it is inspired by all the lovely people who are reaching out and sharing your enthusiasm to follow my example. It is my desire that making some of what I see visible, will ease your way.
Launching oneself on the road full-time after being settled for a period of years, is a bit like getting ones sea legs. There is a different movement and pace, and it’s good to accept right off that you may be a bit wobbly at first. In 2004 when I set off for South Africa, starting with a three-day stop over in the UK, my second night out I was sleeping on a trundle bed – the kind with drawers underneath. About three or four in the morning I woke up thirsty, and half asleep, totally forgetting I was in this really high bed, fell splat on the floor. There I was, just me with me in the dark, lying on the floor laughing. Suffice it to say, the material world holds many unfamiliars.
Good-bye Bathtub Hello World!
Familiars are what keep people stuck in one place. A kind of sentimentality to ones place as if an extension of oneself and somehow meaningful. It’s all made up, of course, but we take comfort in thinking it relevant. Ordinarily one doesn’t consider being sentimental about a bathtub, but this was a major anchor that kept me at my lovely little art studio in Venice longer than originally envisioned. Luxurious triangular bathtub, big enough for me to have my knees under water and to float. Floating was a commitment I made to myself, to do every day – to take the time to relax and float in the warm water, and forego rushing about with the madding crowd.
To pry myself out of my comfort zone I quite literally had to tell myself there would be many great bathtubs to come, Jacuzzis and pools, and remind myself how great it had been living in Amsterdam with stand up showers only. If you’ve ever contemplated a move or any kind of travel, and never quite got past the possibility to actually live it, but you want to shift that now, you’ve got to take on sentimentality, literally break it down and look for where the hidden attachments reside.
Is the rent control apartment you live in really such a good deal now that the neighbor’s fiery German girlfriend moved in and rants and raves through the wall, and the replacement property manager revels in intimidating you to prove your renter’s rights every year? The answer is an unequivocal No! Yet, this and other considerations were things I’d left relative unexamined before I launched myself onto the road seven years ago. But once I was out, man did I realize how many choices there actually are.
Infinite, yes infinite. Yet we sit in our comfortable digs not really seeing or questioning.
Next there’s the managing of STUFF. Picking up stuff and moving it around is daunting. It can wipe you out, every little kutchka triggering a memory of people and places and times of your life. Exponential sentimentality can spin you out before you ever get going.
The solution my friend, is Friends. Really really really good friends. The kind that don’t have issues and expectations about how things should go. Because packing things up and away to go on the road full-time simply goes like it goes. With the right team it can be amazing, celebratory, funny. But when shoulds and time constraints and feelings of being taken advantage of come into the mix, it’s just plane….Well, let’s not even go there. What’s important to know is it can be great, I promise you. You just have to choose and create it as such.
So you’ve got to have high minded heartfelt people in your life, who just love being together and then moving stuff is just that – moving stuff.
This is how I got out the door. Friends who gave whole days to helping me sort and pack. Friends who lifted and lugged. Friends who arranged and rearranged. Friends who assured and reassured. Friends who hold relatedness in high regard. Friends who come forth with generosity and rich conversation. Friends who far outweigh stuff.
Barry, Dustin, Robert (my first host), Mark & Joseph
When I won an organ (the musical kind) for my non-profit The Art of LIVING Coalition, right when I was packing up to travel, one friend offered to hold it in safe keeping, and have a joyful time with it during my travels, while several of my divine guy friends came through with a truck and ropes, and ready spirit.
Many years ago my love at the time taught me the value of having the right container and it has served me well. For our purposes here, this includes bags with plenty of compartments, plus my personal favorite – large and ultra large zip-lock bags. When you roll your clothes by type, they become the equivalent of dresser drawers and keep everything in place, saving getting lost in the morass of everything all mixed up together.
On the macro level I’m big on letting go of everything that energetically belongs to your last cycle but not necessarily the next. Everything. Granted, this requires a level of discernment that most people forego in their enthusiasm to get going fast, which leaves them accumulating lots of stuff to deal with later, plus the residue energies that keep anchoring in the past.
There’s a powerful principle about time that applies here, that if you really take it on will serve you all through your life. It is that the things we do to speed things up slow us down, and the things we do to slow things down actually speed them up. Exercising some extra discernment up front will save you reams of micro-managing down the road.
Divest, divest, divest to create space for the new. If need be, get one or two of your most strong willed friends over to help you curb your sentimental tendencies. And consciously choose everything you will go forward with. Even if it’s been with you for a while, choose it anew. And you will be set up beautifully to be in the flow of your new life.
The key to making the transition from being a one home person to being at home wherever you are in the world, is remembering that it’s never about things, it’s always about who we are with one another, with all our relations and the earth.
When you treasure this as the guiding light, it allows you to be in tune with the greater forces, and everything comes together beautifully in flow. When I moved out of my home in Venice on April 4th, it was seven years to the day from my departure for my last year-long sojourn. I didn’t plan the circumstances that lead to my moving out, but I did recognize the rightness of my moving on, and completion on the intention I’d set in coming there. I was in the dance, applying all the principles I describe here. And everything has been impeccably provided for since.
Octogon House, Topanga
This is being written while sitting in a little octagon shaped house on a hillside compound in Topanga Canyon, in my first home on the road. Three days sanctuary gifted to me by my friend Robert Redecker while he’s in town for his teaching business. There are purple Black Eyed Susans out one window and a mountain ridge out the other, with male peacocks prancing on the rooftops, literally, females scurrying in the bush. Apparently it’s mating season.
Every step of this new cycle has been amazing. I promise to fill you in as things progress.