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Posts tagged ‘journey’

sa·yo·na·ra

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. -Rabindranath Tagore

 

Tomorrow I leave for a 12 day buddhist pilgrimage on the small Japanese island of Shikoku.

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I have no earthly idea how I was led to do this, how I’m going to get around on an island of non-english speakers (and my small knowledge of Japanese language…..other than that which I owe to 80s music ….case in point:

Thanks, guys….wait…I mean domo arigato 😉 )

Add to that a forest of pit vipers, wild boars, signs I may not be able to read to get to my next village and poisonous centipedes…and I’m kind of feeling like Indiana Jones, but the indiana jones that didn’t like snakes and found himself in interesting situations:

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But man…I am pumped!

Yes, maybe at times I’ve worried about trying to figure out how to use the japanese baths  (luckily I found this jewel): bath_small.jpg

 

And I was worried about what to pack ( but found out I’ll be sporting this amazing and symbolic ohenro-san apparel….where every item has a very deep and spiritual meaning. “It is said that white is worn because long ago some pilgrims would collapse from the physical exertion and die during the pilgrimage, and the white robes could serve as their burial clothes”….two birds, one stone…respect):衣装.jpg

 

I’ve had the great gift and capability of being able to travel to many places and this will be my second pilgrimage (with the first being the Camino de Santiago I did at the one year mark of Michael’s passing) and if there was anything that I learned that time around, it was that everything would be okay if I trusted the path. That was very difficult one year after Michael died, as it was hard to believe that anything happened for a reason, but nine years later, years into trusting my “path”, I look forward to challenging myself even more….mentally, spiritually and physically. As it’s been said about the Henro:

What is important is not the destination,
but the act of getting there.
The Path itself is the goal.

Buddhism has also played a role in my life after loss and I love the idea that On the way of the 88 Temples, anyone that you meet, anyone that you hear, anyone that you see; they are all manifestations of Buddha. Learn from their strengths and reform your own shortcomings.….so listen and learn and honor them…..I think that’s a goal to embody in everyday life.

 

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INSERT YOURSELF HERE…you look great in orange too!

There are many “seas” in this inner world we each hold within…and I have stood upon many shores looking out at what seemed like an endless abyss..

An abyss that your mind tells you you can not survive and that tries to freak you out (like these signs on the Henro Pilgrimage: )

 

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Not sure what’s going on here…but the snake looks pretty friendly…and has nice hair 😉

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Pumba does not look happy!

…but I have crossed them, because my heart always said it would be worth it…and it wasn’t lying.(What the heart forgot to mention is once you cross that first ocean, you open the door to looking through the binoculars to see there are many more seas out there waiting for you if you are willing to look deeper…not on the beach, but in the current, the unknown, life.)

 

So yes, I am a bit nervous and have no clue that will come my way,but THAT IS LIFE and  and  I’m ready to keep on living’ it!

 

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Lots of love- Taryn

Back

5 months around the world.

Tears.

Bliss.

Shedding.

Finding.

Searching.

So much that I don’t feel I will ever be able to put into words.

So much I’m still absorbing….embracing.

I can say, that more than anything, this trip was not about the tropical locations or adventures (yes…they played a part)…but this trip was about a widow who lost her soul mate over 8 years ago, who had never wanted to date or love or feel connected in that way again…learning how to be a “we” again.

Learning:

How to trust.

How to rely.

How to let go.

How to have faith in the unknown.

And…

I was not disappointed.

I struggled and fought and sometimes climbed into my mental cave of a security blanket, but not before Luke pulled it over my head and made me face it. Face myself. Face the obstacles of learning how to live in love after the one I loved was taken suddenly and tragically.

When times got toughest I’d find a “Michael” or “Charlie” show up in the form of a grocery bagger, a bungee coordinator, or a dog on a trail. I’d be sent warmth and hope in the form of a swallow or a white butterfly or a child’s smile.

More than anything, I saw the parts of me that I so easily ignored in the comfort of my solitude.

The fearless widow now saw the fears that still crippled her.

The go-with-flow girl saw that she still wanted to control the uncontrollable.

The peaceful warrior saw that she still had battles within herself to hand an olive branch to.

And so, here I sit, not swarmed by the impermanence I had become so acclimated to, but on the chair in the office in the home we live in.

I’m changed and am changing, but am still playing catch up to figure out in just what and all the ways.

And with that, I am learning to love all the crooks, cracks, crannies, jewels, dust, glitter and glow of this further unveiled soul of mine.

And I’m alive….and now, very fully aware of what that truly means….fully aware of where life exists.

Decide

Today marks 7 years since Michael was killed in Iraq.

It could be thought of as a day of sorrow, but for me, today is a celebration of decisions.

Decisions that dictated a life that I’m blessed to have been a part of for 6 years.

 

You see, it’s hard to mourn on a day that is a true reflection of how we should live our lives.

Michael decided many things….

Things that some fear to try, commit to, or experience.

 

He decided to lead.

To serve.

To love fiercely.

To always say what he felt.

To teach.

To care.

To live each day like it was his last.

To sacrifice.

 

He decided.

 

These decisions are not ones that I can look back on with sadness….these are decisions that 7 years ago put me on a path that led me to decisions that have dictated/will dictate the life I decided to take back….just when I thought all had been taken from me.

Through his example and remembering the core of one’s soul path, Michael has allowed me to fearlessly make decisions that I know I will never regret.

Whether those decisions will affect 22 (or 100) years of the life I may live.

 

So if there is anything I can ask of y’all on a day like today, it is to decide.

Decide to live life.

To learn.

To love.

To forgive.

To be challenged.

To embrace the unknown.

 

For me, my wardrobe choice for today is my decision:

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And I have a feeling that Michael couldn’t be happier.

Strut

 

It’s been said that once we have found the true path, destiny unfolds before us like a red carpet.

 

I’m a believer of that and the fact that much of destiny (if not all) is determined on our ability to self-propel ourselves into it.

 

Sometimes we don’t notice our forward trajectory and the red carpet unfolds at a slow speed, that years later is finally apparent to the naked eye and soul. And it shows us that not only has destiny rolled out the carpet, but shows us that we have walked across it.

 

But as I’ve most recently learned, sometimes, after many years of becoming mindful of who and what we are made of, we become aware of destiny when it shows its bare self, and decide to throw ourselves into it head first…no looking back…and just like that, at the speed of lightning, that red carpet is not only rolled out, but ready for you to strut yourself down.

 

Of course, on any red carpet, you’ll find a step and repeat. Those moments where you’re made to pause, see the light, gather yourself…but what’s most important is that you keep walking…because lord knows you can’t keep destiny waiting!

 

Popped

There are many things I’m certain of in and of myself:

I am strong.

I am resilient.

I am confident.

I am driven.

I am passionate.

I am a rebel.

I am a lover.

I am a giver.

I am a life embracer.

But I must be honest.

Last year, I found myself challenged.

Now, I must preface that with that fact that I live for challenges. I thrive off of them.

And yet, when I found myself challenged in a way I could have never predicted…expected…I realized that in the midst of being and living all of the truths earlier mentioned, that there was still a part within myself that I had stayed disconnected from.

It was not some bear simply hibernating, that I speak of….something that I expected to at some point unveil itself…

I’m talking bigfoot!

A part of me that I’ve never embraced, acknowledged, lived…simply because I had convinced myself it didn’t exist.

A part of me that I have no control over.

A part of me that left me with two choices…

Reconnect or stay in control of my little bubble.

It all took me back to a favorite saying, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

I think my soul saw something before my mind could grasp it….and luckily, I made the choice to not ignore it…to reconnect….to plug back in…all of me.

I’d recommend it to all…

Pop the little bubble you may have unconsciously placed yourself in.

Though you can see though it.

Though you can still go places….

Until you do, there will still be a part of you encased in something that is too small to hold all of you and all you have to give.

Lost

I was having a farewell dinner this evening with a friend…which usually equates to sharing our thoughts on life and all that it teaches/has taught us thus far.

At one point during our conversation, he looked at me and said, “Taryn, there was a quote from a book that changed my life. I want to share it and I want you to absorb it.”

Intense!

That was the word floating into my head with such a preface!

“Ok.” I responded, taking an exaggerated inhale as some sort of sign to show him I was prepared.

He opened his mouth and the words poured out:

“All that is not given is lost.”

I repeated it aloud. I repeated it again.

I sat silently and dissected it in every which way.

It hit me. I dare not say in which way, as I think it’s a line that will bring to the surface the things deep within ourselves that we may have lost….which will be different for each of us.

The things we have failed to give.

 

I know since Michael’s death, there is much that I have given and much that I have received.

I also know that there have been parts of me that I have held so close that had/if I did/do not let go, I would never know all the true beauty still awaiting me.

I want to give.

Every aspect of every ounce of every part of myself.

I refuse to die with any lost part of my being.

I’ve lost too much to lose anymore by my own hand.

I want to give it my all in giving my all.

I owe it to myself.