Are you feeling a mysterious pull toward travelling to a new place? Do you feel blissed out by the thought of Bali, drawn to Dubai, attracted to Arizona? Or have you spent so much time at Heathrow recently that the thought of spending 4 consecutive weeks at home cocooning makes you dizzy with pleasure?
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been to Rome and Paris; next week I’m going to San Francisco. All of this travel makes me thoughtful about how our internal landscape lines up with our external landscapes.
Proust writes that, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
What do you see where you are right now? How clear is your perspective? Is everything so familiar to you that it has become invisible?
What would happen if you could see your life, your work, what happens to you in a day, with new eyes?
Sometimes I find that travelling and visiting new places helps me see new things, not just literally, but imaginatively, gaining new insights, new visions, seeing fresh and exciting possibilities that were invisible before. Seeing the Grand Canyon challenges your paradigms and your sense of space and scope. Walking through the Roman Forum in the evening inspires new internal conversations about time, beauty, and space.
Poet William Blake writes “If the lens of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite.”
Might travelling clean your lens of perception, help you perceive transformative possibilities for your life and for your work? Where do you feel inspired to travel to? Maybe there is a particular spirit of the place that is calling to you, that has a message for you? Have you had that experience in the past?
Do you need to go away to come back to yourself?
Proust says “A pair of wings, a different respiratory system, which enabled us to travel through space, would in no way help us, for if we visited Mars or Venus while keeping the same senses, they would clothe everything we could see in the same aspect as the things of the Earth.”
In other words, if you travel with a closed mind and heart, with a muddy, unmindful lens, you might as well stay at home. And if you journey with questions, with excitement, with a sense of mystery, being open to the pull of the place you’re drawn to, who knows what magic might happen?
Here’s my invitation and my challenge to you:
- Experiment with looking at the familiar in your life with new perspective, from different angles, with new eyes. If you were looking at your business or your relationship, or even your day, for example, in fresh ways, from the outside in, what possibilities might come into focus for you? What potentials might you be missing? What might become visible that is currently invisible?
Take a particular situation you might be excited about or worrying about. How might you see it differently? What different thought could you think to feel better about it? Try it. And how about one more step? How could you feel better still about it? What would that thought be? And how are you feeling now?
- If you’re about to go on a trip, any kind of journey, how about using Evernote or a journal to record your brilliant fleeting thoughts, ideas, visions, to connect to your new surroundings and be open to outrageous inspiration. And for your next pleasure trip, let yourself dream about where you feel drawn to, and ask yourself what message the spirit of the place might be communicating to you, how it might be connecting to you?
Ultimately, you don’t need to go away to come back to yourself. There are many other ways that don’t involve a plane or car trip, pathways I help my coaching clients identify and explore every day. But sometimes travelling can be a powerful jolt, reminder, a catalyst in fact for seeing with new eyes. Which changes everything!
I would love to hear your experience of inner and outer travel, voyages, journeys of discovery, so do get in touch and share!