(Bautista, Personal Photograph of the Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing China, 2013)
I returned to Korea in 2012 to find space. I needed to get back on track, my life track, so to speak. I wanted to return to teaching, real teaching in a classroom that also honoured my degrees in education. Making the decision was easy but sticking to it was quite the challenge. I knew that I would be tested but had no idea the magnitude of the challenge. It was a tough year but it helped me to know what I wanted to see unfold in my practice and now I’m closer to a teaching career that strengthens the very fibres of my being.
As the year in Korea ended, I realized how much teaching was connected to my soul. When I left teaching in 2009 and tried running an online education business, I turned my back on my destiny. No matter how hard I tried to make the business work or how I tried to convince myself and others that it was doing well – it wasn’t my teaching path. I wasn’t engaged with learners nor was I exchanging knowledge. I missed a very important life post on the map of my self-identity and veered off course.
So I had to seek solitude in order to rediscover it. Come to think of it, Korea offered me my first teaching job in 1996 and so, to find my footing and life purpose again, I guess I had to return. I also had to dive in head first and focus only on my path because it’s my life path and it was time to take lead.
With this decision, I chose to leave a lot of people behind and as I got to the heart of this particular Korean journey, my focus became more and more akin to tunnel vision but I knew I had to do this. If I had stayed in Canada, let’s just say I wouldn’t be writing this post today. It was a fearful choice but one that saved my life.
If someone or something else leads you along your life path, and its not your essence, your spirituality, your identity, your true self – you will eventually become lost so much so that you may even disappear.
And no matter what choices you have made, what mistakes you have made, what pasts you leave behind – they are yours and no one else’s to claim. No one can judge you on your journey of self-discovery. Each step, pleasant or not, leads you to your rightful place in the now. But you have to want it and you have to be willing to journey alone. You have to know that others can (must) take care of themselves.
But this recount is not the reason for this post. While teaching in Korea for 2012/2013, I had the chance to travel to Koh Samet, Thailand and to walk the Great Wall in China. Visiting these three places were pivotal in validating my current life choices and helped affirm my belief, as I’ve said elsewhere, that I am never going to have the life that other people envision.
And now, as I live and teach on the East coast of Canada, I am becoming more comfortable with this shell of a self because the peace I feel stems from knowing that I am who and where I need to be and knowing that if things change then I am capable of change.
Within recent months, the following quotes appeared to me via cosmic discovery – looking at random files, viewing talks on youtube and receiving emails from friends. Individually, the words are quite potent but collectively they, in fact, inform the core of my current mind.
You cannot find yourself in the past or future. The only place where you can find yourself is in the Now ~ Eckhart Tolle
Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement ~ Paulo Coelho
I am not lonely, swear to God, I’m just alone ~ Jann Arden
You don’t get a vote on how I live my life ~ Iyanla Vanzant
One of the things that will always be inevitable is change, full of both vague uncertainty and brilliant promise ~ Robert Redford
I am finding my writings to be more personal as of late so I’ve decided to start a section entitled Life Posts. These posts will mark certain personal shifts in my consciousness. They will help me understand notions of becoming still amongst the unconscious communicative practices of our world.
I feel that we don’t want to get to know people – we don’t let them change – we don’t let them live. I know I’m still privy to this behaviour but I am trying. I’m trying to really consider what thoughts I put out to the universe because it is the energy of those thoughts, positive or negative, that are returned.
In these Life Posts, I will write about these experiences and how I cope with them, how I interact with them and how I find stillness.
They will become like guide posts along the journey that is taking place from this time forward in my life. My teaching self, my travels and my awakening consciousness – these will form the threadline of my Life Posts.
I am traversing this path in a way that I know and understand as in service to others.
It is my path, my stride infused with solitude, joy and compassion.
Alone but not broken.