find yourself

A challenge can help you find yourself. Sometimes, travel works that way, but not always. For example, have you heard the one about the woman who went to India?

A lot has been written about the 1960s, a time of excitement and new beginnings when the word on the tip of everyone’s tongue was ‘enlightenment’ (maybe I’m exaggerating slightly, but hyperbole is necessary if you are trying to explain a memory you treasure).


Maybe not everybody was talking about enlightenment. There were other words on people’s lips too; ‘love’, ‘drugs’, and ‘Wow!’ for example. While they were using or taking drugs (nobody ‘did’ drugs back then), making love (or claiming they did), and saying “Wow!” quite a lot, some people were also travelling. I was one of them.

I can’t say I was on the trail of enlightenment, I was just having a good time and, as it turned out, preparing myself for a life where travel has featured prominently.

A story I heard while on the road, was of a woman who went to India, to find herself, she said. For all sorts of reasons, it was an arduous journey. It took her way out of her comfort zone, when had lots of weird experiences, got seriously ill and recovered, and finally wound up in a hippy commune in southern India. A journey of thousands of miles and countless trials just to ‘find herself’.

But to her disappointment she found was that she wasn’t there, after all.

The moral of the story

If we are interested in our spiritual growth and wellbeing, we are all on a journey (‘spiritual’ doesn’t mean ‘religious’ when I use it). Recognising that we have an inner life, and tending to it is a sensible way to go forward. There is no final destination (like Goa, for example), the journey continues throughout life. If a person is feeling the need to ‘find themself’, a good starting point is to look inward.

Changing the external aspects of life (a relationship, job, location, or whatever) might come later, but they should start with who they are, before taking more drastic action,

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.


One Comment

  1. Phil-S May 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    The anecdote points to a universal truth or, perhaps, several. The most important I think is that, no matter how far you travel, you always take yourself with you.
    Sometimes, the self can be reflected in how heavy the case is once you’ve made it to the airport!
    The serious point is that travelling in the sense of personal development can be through sitting still long enough to allow thinking to happen; or, one travels imaginatively through a painting, a song or a novel; or, often, by means of a conversation which brings understanding or insight so that we say, ‘I now feel differently’, and, in that sense, have indeed moved on a little.


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