If someone asks you what your life-changing trip is, I strongly believe that most of people, including my beloveds, may tell about their trips to the tourist attractions where they could explore new cultures, go for a dip into crystal clear water or lie on beautiful beaches full of white sand. They may mention about the time when they visited magnificent temples or shopped in urban shopping malls. These trips take them out of their comfort zone and show them many fascinating things they have never known before. I also suppose that some may emotionally tell about their journeys to the developing countries where they were confronted with underprivileged people who are less fortunate than them and struggle on a daily basis to get by. Despite any places and as any roles, tourists or volunteers, they would come back with strong empathy for others and appreciation for what they currently have. I ascertain that this might be the amazing power and beauty of travelling. For me, nevertheless, the trip that has changed my life could not be any trips to places of interest but the trip to my inner land in which I can embrace my wounded soul. It may not be the trip that changed my life completely but it has fuelled me to fight against any external adversities. Thanks to this 9-month journey, I could be positively serene despite any changes of the world as well as mine.
I am not a kind of extrovert and perky person or a perfectly introvert girl. Most of personality test show that I may be ambivert (both extrovert and introvert). Honestly, I am not sure about that but I always hear my heart's voice encouraging me to find exactly who I am, what I desire and what values I stand for. This could perhaps be because under my daily quietness, I often come up with crazy ideas. As a result, I want to get out of my monotonous days like the lyrics of my favourite underground singer - Den Vau: "Don't let your everyday life become a stack of time cards". (translated by Hana's Lexis)
To tell you the truth, my journey incidentally started in this March when I fortunately took part in a meditation crash course organized by the most beautiful and positive teacher I have ever met. Regularly, on Wednesday in every week, I went to the class in order to learn meditation techniques and knowledge about spiritual science. On Wednesday in every week, I has reduced the distance to the spiritual world and observed myself. This could help me to realise that all of us have our own Mind - Body and Spirit but they do not connect enough due to our ignorance. This means that our mind and body may forget the presence of our spirit and vice versa. I saw, in the last lesson of the course, the most radiant smile of mine when I first tried meditation method called "finding the reason you come to the Earth". Frankly, working in journalism industry, interviewing various happy families, couples and the most successful and richest people, I have never seen anyone with the beautiful smile like this. And that is the moment I make my important decision: Find myself or actually, find that smile inside myself.
As far as I am concerned, every trip requires well-prepared plan and my trip is no exception. To improve my knowledge about mindfulness and spiritual science, I decided to enroll in a ten-day meditation retreat course of UCENLIST (Unesco Center Life Skill Training) and get back to my daily reading habit. You may call them travel tips for my case: finding useful information for my own flight with destination inside myself. In addition to read books closely related to mental health and spiritual science, I spent my whole 10 days of June to study and meditate in UCENLIST's campus where I was asked to keep silence all day. To achieve the maximum benefits of the course, I was required not to use social media or any means of communication. As a result, I was totally isolated from my social relationships in order to focus on the daily lessons and meditation hours.
During 9 months of 2019, I enthusiastically participated in nearly 10 activities to connect my mind, my body and my spirit as well as read over 20 books in this field. And I has travelled, even when I sat for meditation, to my consciousness. At that time, my mind has been gradually closer to my spirit and my body so that I could find the balance point inside. As the guideline of meditation course, I has maintained 2 hours of meditation on the daily basis. I has, additionally, done other meditation method called "Angelica Yantra" to release inner congested energy. Also, during my long-term trip, I bumped into my little versions - the inner wounded children living there all the time.
This might be true for what the zen master and monk called Thich Nhat Hanh said: We have our own wounded child inside and despite our ignorance or refusal to accept them, they have still been there, tried to draw our attention and controlled our unconscious mind. I found out my little scared girl impotently seeing her mother beaten and slandered, seeing her father committing a sentence and sent to prison. I, by chance, saw my female teenager who first had a crush on a boy who then offended her with body-shaming words. I also saw a girl growing apart her parents and forced to live with their distant relatives who prevented her from doing what she really wanted.
Emotionally, I embraced them and told them that: “It will be ok, I will be here for all of you, be stronger.” During my trip to my inner land, I know that: they might be the small traumas (t) that have not been soothed. By the time, they are there, grow with me and shape my characteristics, behaviours and repeated responses to the world that I could not explain. Unlike big traumas (T) such as being raped or suffering from family violence, the small traumas do not haunt us enough and we may forget them without any alleviation. With them, I unconsciously make a kind of negative energy surrounding me, thereby attracting negative things as the law of attraction.
Fortunately, I met my decent partners who make me less lonely on my own trip. Firstly, my meditation teacher has become my personal coach supporting me to reflect myself recently. Actually, she has never gave me any advice but helped me to make the wisest decisions by questioning in the right way. If I regard my trip as a travel trip, she might be the best tour guide. Secondly, the ten-day course connected me and amazing travel companions on the trip to find ourselves. In fact, they come from different places and different fields but we have a lot in common. We share multi-disciplinary knowledge, support others when they face up with their painful past and remind each other to practice observing ourselves everyday. With them, I strongly believe that I and my best version will meet soon.
As I have said before, my journey is going on but I could see its positive effects on my life. First and foremost, some of my chronic diseases have been relieved or cured completely. A good illustration is that my menstrual cycle has been regulated after I mediated and connected to my uterus. Besides, I almost no longer have headaches thanks to meditation. In reality, I finally have glossier and smoother skin in spite of my unchanged skincare routine. Secondly, I learned how to forgive myself due to the fact that now I can accept the mistakes I made in the past. Particularly, I no longer desperately blame myself for any failure because I know that we are perfectly imperfect. However, as long as we accept the mistakes, we could move forward into the perfect. Another obvious benefit of the trip is that I mastered the art of observing my feelings and subtle senses on the body in many circumstances. My previous experiences show that I often lose my temper with my beloveds but I currently know how to keep calm by observing my own anger. Whenever I feel extremely angry, I observe my heart beats and changes of internal temperature. Steadily, every feeling comes and goes like my favourite quote "This too shall pass". The most important thing is that when we keep observing, we could not incidentally hurt others, including those we love much. Finally, after many coaching sessions, I found out the value that I pursue in my life: integrity. Although I know the fact that in my field - marketing communication industry, it sounds hard to keep this virtue but now I am not scared of anything.
Once you become the last man standing in your own internal wars, you may not be scared of any external ones.
During 9 months, the number of my real trips has increases considerably. Without any fear or hesitation, I embarked on travelling to 6 western highland districts of my country, independently backpacking to Yunnan of China. In fact, I went with YOLO spirit of a young woman finding out who she exactly is. I went to live, not just exist and as the journalist Phuong Mai Nguyen wrote: Let's go like a rolling stone. I must say that I travelled with the feelings and perspectives that I have never had before.
Without the trip to my inner land, I could not have had those trips and amazing experiences. Although I just take my first steps to explore myself, I know that I am on track with no end date in sight. The most meaningful life lesson from the trip is that: When you do not know what you should do next, sit down quietly and follow your heart's voice because before saving the world, please save yourself first.
Healing the inner child - Thich Nhat Hanh (books)