As a nineteen-year-old student, I’m on the typical path of not knowing my purpose. Realising I lose my teen-ness this year; I want to explore and expand, to experience and grow up: To come out of 2010 as a 20 year old on the right path.  I’m not asking for it to be my path for life; so long as I’m in the right place for me at that very moment.  After all, if I’m in the right place to make the right mistakes so that I end up happy; how can I worry?

And so begins my “cottage retreat” as I’m calling the next 4 weeks [with a brief intermission of Easter Friday-Monday].

This first week is about Healing– Containing four [9 hour] days of peace without parents or visitors.

Day 1:

– 15 minutes exercise
– Reiki
– Blog

The postman arrived about 11am, bringing the book I’ve begun to obsess over: Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The Recognition

Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert has brought up so much for me just as her experiences brought up personal things for her. In fact, I’ve now switched to a different book and shall leave India until tomorrow… or at least until after dinner.

As I read bead 16; the depression and loneliness entering her life again; I start having an internal conversation in my own mind, with someone who hurt me years ago. And then I caught myself and whisper “goodbye” and make his image *POOF*, disappear into thin air and I’m left in my cottage. Already the air feels like its brightening up.

I’ve kept notes as I read the book, and I hope to share with you some of the glimpses I’ve now caught sight of.  Oh, and I suggest making a flask of tea… This could take a while.

ITALY – Recognition of Travel – Part i.

Up until two weeks ago, I’d have said that I’ve never been inclined to travel. I’ve been expanding my comfort zone for the past 18 months; going on Wild Plant and Singing tasters; taking buses and trains, walking up massive hills for no reason and even spending almost £200 on MYSELF for no logical reason than as a gift to myself.

I know now that I want to experience, and that desire ha led to the formation of this cottage. This is my base which will shift its location dependant on what I feel I need to learn and where I need to go. Or maybe it will remain on that hill, yet I can access it from anywhere. This is a safe-home; a place to explore and experience without airlines and spending hundreds of pounds.  This is my adventure.

I grew up with a love of reading. Why can’t I explore those places via books?

And that is why I began reading this book [Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert] the moment it arrived.

Even in the introduction I feel a connection with her writing as she explains the metaphor of the beads.  (Did I also mention that I love metaphors?) That’s a metaphor I’d love to have; something from my journey/experiences that I feel encapsulates something so much that I can incorporate it into the structure [or some part] of my life.

As I;m reading, I notice two very strong thoughts. One, that a petition of change is a wondrous idea. Two; maybe I do want to travel as a kind of.. bi-product of wanting to experience. Can I image looking over a loch in Scotland; mountains in Swizerland and temples in Thailand?

Can I see myself skydiving in Australia and stroking Elephants in India? Living in a tent in the rainforest? [Though I hate mosquitoes and am afraid of the dark?]

I know all about the psychology of labels and how debilitating they are. However, I also know I like structure in my life. Doing ShivaNata has shown me that I don’t like not-getting-it-right even when getting it wrong IS doing it right. I need the metaphors and labels because labels give me the courage and support and reassurance that I am a capable __(label)__.

I’ve never before understood this yearning to travel that it seems every student except me has.

Yet hearing about an annual Buddhist retreat in the UK [and having been on two or three camps with the girl-guides; I know I have the capacity to survive something like that] makes me want to go; to experience a week of meditation, spiritual talks, yoga and self-reflection. To remove myself from society and those family members who judge my worth on how much money I have and how USEFUL my life is, by society’s definition. To be free to learn and reflect and to just *be*; with no questions asked.


(Parts ii & iii)