Meditation, The Great Adventure

The Crisis Moment Before the Trip

Terror has struck. I knew it would happen sometime, turned out to be now. I’ve been so excited about the idea of my trip, I don’t spend much time thinking about the reality of it. But now I’m on the edge.

This week I took three days to literally lock myself in my room and work. I have a list the size of a painting of things to do before I go on the Adventure. I thought I would just lock out all distractions and work for a few days.

The problem with locking out all distractions is… you lock out all distractions. 

You need those distractions to keep yourself sane. Most people need to be distracted (Netflix, Facebook, video games) so that they don’t think about how they’re not living their passion. But what if you’ve decided, eff that noise, I’m going to go out and wrestle my dream down? Do you get a free pass?

No.

If you’re wrestling your dream you’re doing the scariest thing: standing out, taking risk, trying the path that no one else has tried. You’re in the unknown, and suddenly you’re the only one responsible for how well you do. Then the questions start to come.

The first night it was worries about finances. Can I pay for all my gear, manage my monthly bills, and afford health care while I travel? What if I lose a client? What if I can’t put in the hours online while I hike?

This was a pretty big anxiety pill. But it was only the beginning. 

What Are You Doing?

The second day I got to a long-overdue item: contact consulates. A clever reader once suggested (thank you!) that I ask for letters of safe passage from each country. These letters are 0% likely to actually guarantee safety. But if I’m dealing with local authorities, an official seal and signature can be useful.

So Mexico… Belize… Guatemala… one by one I looked up each country. In addition to consulates I checked their visa requirements, how long I can be there, etc. The State department has lots of this info. And right next to it is the safety warning.

Oh.

This is some truly horrible stuff folks. Have a look for yourself. None of this is new information to me, but reading it all in black and white—five weeks till showtime—has an effect.

Thoughts

I’m not going to lie. Here are some of the thoughts I had:

  • I don’t want to go.
  • The trip I planned isn’t possible.
  • I can’t afford this.
  • Do I even still feel passion about this? Is it really my dream?

Swoon.

I was so overwhelmed with doubts I had to lie down. I asked myself if I’ve ever been this panicked about something before. At first I thought the answer was no.

Except…

I remembered two times I felt this way. The first was the premiere night of the Stone Circle Study. I sat in a freezing, wet tent and knew I had seven weeks ahead of me, plus two people to look out for. The second time was at Teaching Drum school. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. Every day I wanted to back out and go home.

This running-away-terror, this inner rebellion, is something I know. I faced it those two times and persisted. The question is: was it worth it?

I thought about that.

Both of those times turned out to be pivotal moments. Moments that are more than memories, they inform who I am. There would be no Rogue Priest, no Drew Jacob—not as I know him—if I had gone home.

So, I decided, I’ll go forward.

Today I spent an hour in meditation. When I finished my meditation, I was at peace with my self-construed fate. At the end I heard this statement:

Your only duty is to live your personal legend.

All I know is I want to be the guy who met the gods. I can quit my walk at any time. But I have to at least start it.

Join the Adventure—Support the Walk!

If you enjoy reading Rogue Priest, believe in my journey, or just love seeing a spirited adventurer on the road, please consider making a donation to the cause. Your gift will help fund professional-quality equipment for the Great Adventure. It’ll keep me safe and help every step of the way.

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16 thoughts on “The Crisis Moment Before the Trip

  1. Oh no … don’t read the State Department warnings. You’ll never want to travel again for fear of everything and everyone under the sun.

  2. This may not offer you much, Drew, but I found that I recognized myself in your really good descriptions of the inner struggle. Even though I am not planning an adventure across the continents–I recognize those very same panics, the desire to run away, the self-doubt talk (why did I agree to teach this workshop? Why did I choose to make this trip? Why did I think I wanted to write this article? Why did I agree to . . . ). None of these is what you are doing, but the interior struggle is, for me, so recognizable. Reading about your own process, though, suggests to me that there is a bit of the hero’s adventure in any of these circumstances where we step up to something that is (however much at the time) beyond us and then have to find our way through it. Thank you.

    • I like it, Bob. I think that makes sense – a little bit of the hero’s adventure, or at least the hero’s challenge, in all of those obstacles. Glad to have you here, my friend.

  3. I am speaking from experience here – that feeling of terror will not go away. I think it is how we know we’re alive. BUT, as you face your fears you will find a strength you didn’t know you had. You will be able to do this! I promise.

    Friday was my last day at my regular job. People have actually commented on how less stressed I seem. I find this interesting because my biggest fear now is being able to support myself with location independent work. Yesterday, we moved into the tiny house. Two people and one cat living in 120 Square Feet. I’ll give you, that is not the same as walking across two continents, but it is pretty scary to consider all the things that could possibly go wrong. I think the key is to have a healthy balance of being realistic and marching head long into the process. If I can do this, you can do that – I promise! I’ll be following along from my mountain.

  4. *gasp* I was thinking the same as you this morning. I couldn’t sleep at all and even cancelled my exam, rescheduled for Friday, and took the whole day to meditate. We must be on the same wave length. I remembered the stone circle study trip, especially remembered the first week and the last week before going home. No matter what happens, give yourself all the time you need, let the adventure take you and bring you back home and start even more adventures later. Because whether here or there, spirit supports you and my heart goes with you, friend. I know your anxiety. I feel it every time I get online to check your blog. I watch and mark the calendar and wait, counting the days, but not in a too crazy way (you know) just like I’m tracking the days before I plan on deciding when I’ll have my surgery…

    We all have adventures to face and goals to meet that require bravery. You’re not alone. All I know is to do is the way. And live up to your own legend, just as that inner voice said.

  5. “I can quit my walk at any time. But I have to at least start it.” – really resonated, I know this feeling so well and the thing is that that kind of terror always precedes pivotal moments. This walk is going to be so epic. I’m excited for you and greatly look forward to seeing what comes from it :)

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