Whenever I travel, especially when travelling without my family, I find myself leaving before I leave. I woke this morning, finished putting the last few things into my suitcases for my trip to Finland, walked out the door of my house, and am already travelling, even though I am sitting in my usual coffee shop having a mug as I do most mornings.
I regularly read adventurer and explorer TA Loeffler’s blog (and if you don’t, you really should, too) about her adventures far and near and the idea that she described of a travel bardo stuck with me.
Bardo is a Buddhist concept found in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, literally meaning “place or state in-between”, and is a guide for the transition between death and rebirth. But transitions exist in life, as well, and rebirth doesn’t necessarily require dying. Every time I travel, it’s an adventure that somehow changes me (often in ways I could not have anticipated) and I go into it with eyes wide open and ready to learn and be transformed. I love to travel and explore and for me, the transition between home and afar is exciting and joyous as it is an open door that I walk through into the unknown and the possible.
This particular journey involves personal challenges of various sorts related to powerlifting and I find that the experience of the journey is cancelling out any last-minute worries or concerns that I have about the upcoming competition. I’ve trained hard and consistently. I’ve been eating well, taking care of myself and sleeping beautifully. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working harder at the visualization and mental practice that I usually do before a competition and it’s all falling into place wonderfully. Any worries or doubts I may have had I have left in a shoebox in my bedroom. I do not believe they will still be there when I return, as I won’t be around to feed them.
Another few hours and I’ll be airborne and the transition will begin in earnest.