Embarking on a vision quest.
Immersing in new and ancient cultures.
Tomorrow I depart for a three-month journey into myself, via the homeland of my father and husband, and into the country of my deep and inexplicable passion. In my very first blog post, as manner of introduction, I referred to Otto Scharmer’s Theory U as grounding for my sabbatical. Remarkable the deep wisdom of the unconscious in that a few weeks ago I wrote in email to a colleague:
I am about to do a “deep dive” into the “U” as I realize a long held, deeply cherished dream of traveling to Europe, solo, in mid February. Intent to keep space and structure at a minimum – sufficient to quell anxieties, yet spacious enough to sense emergence, and respond to spontaneity and synchronicity – I will be gone for three months, returning to celebrate with my family, my father’s 80th birthday and then home to facilitate a women’s retreat. A wise friend called it my “vision quest” and I know the stirrings are archetypal…so this is not merely a vacation. Given this framing, my feelings encompass deep joy and too, moments of deep trepidation.
I am only now just suspecting that this adventure, placed within the context of this year of slowing down, experimenting and exploring, is my “lived experience” of Theory U. How I integrate, and then unpack and articulate it “out there” will be my next steps…up the “U” so to speak.
A few posts back I wrote of Paulo Coehlo’s framing of such adventures as a “Personal Legacy.” He wrote, “the Warriors of the Light set out on their journey with no saddlebags and no sandals.” While this Warrior is doing her best to travel light, there will be several saddlebags and sandals, and some especially chosen “artifacts” to inspire, support, and humour her along the way:
- The Pocket Rumi and Sufi Prayer of Light from a sister Sufi.
- A volume of poetry called Love Poems from God.
- Two phrase books and two pocket dictionaries.
- An orange Kindle with two travel guides, Alice in Wonderland, The Velveteen Rabbit, Engaging Emergence, and a thoughtful cross section of a few other companion reads.
- FARKLE, a great dice game I learned on Whidbey Island.
- The beautifully written emails of encouragement from dear friends.
- A Celtic bracelet talisman of courage worn by one of these friends during her own recent trip abroad.
- Green bejeweled earrings brought home to me by a friend during her pilgrimage trek of the Camino.
- Her wise words reminding me that journeys such as these often bear a fruit that ripens only upon returning home.
- The newest pashmina from a friend, whose annual summer trips to NYC always include these generous gifts.
- The exquisite Italian-made leather bound journal stamped with my initials from miei cari amici italiani, whom I fondly call “MGM” because the largesse of their love is as classic as the famous film studio.
- Love, support, and well wishes from friends near and far.
- Wise advice and counsel from my “twenty something” niece and nephew, who have both traveled solo across seas to foreign lands.
- Four photos.
- White reminders from our “kids with fur,” which, despite repeated brushings, will appear on each and every article of black clothing I’ve packed.
- Camera, art and writing supplies.
- Music, ersatz yoga mat, and net book.
- Three seasons of clothes and several funky hats.
- My crazy fun green El Naturalista ankle boots.
- Affirmation, love and encouragement from my parents and sister.
- The abiding love and all encompassing support of my steadfast husband.
Today I feel settled. In some ways the years of dreaming and months of preparation have weighed somewhat heavy. I have put away the Italian language books, and too, the guidebooks. Now I trust that all will unfold as it needs.
Open Mind. Open Heart. Open Will.
I am ready. Avanti!