Here’s What Happened When I Said Yes to Adventure
A few months ago, my oldest friend Michelle (we’ve been friends for 40 years) told me I had to apply to take a trip Israel with a women’s group. She took this trip 5 years ago, and said it was life-changing. I actually noticed the powerful effect the journey had on her as soon as she arrived back home. It was as if she glowed from the inside out – like she had a secret to life that the rest of us were missing out on. However, because I was still struggling with my health issues, I was very hesitant to take the trip myself. I also did not know how I could possibly travel to another country with people I had never met before. And, most importantly, I had never been to Israel or Europe, or even considered journeying to these places, because of a story I have told myself for so many years: I can’t leave my family.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve told myself that my family needed me. And because I believed that my family needed me, I was afraid of what would happen if I traveled on my own and left them behind. As a result, I became a side character in my own movie, and my family was the star.
Don’t get me wrong: I have an incredible life. My children like it when I do things with other moms, and they are supportive when my husband and I go out with our friends. But, I still enjoy being home and being available to my children. I know that kids grow up too fast, and there are always challenges that I want to support them through. However, the consequence of this is that my daily to-do list is never ending, and the amount of hats I wear has increased throughout the years.
I do have cleaning help, but there are just certain things no one can do for me. I enjoy driving my son to school and picking him up whenever I am able to. I enjoy cooking and organizing, and I actually like going through paperwork – filling out forms for kids, schools, charities, organizations, and bills is just something that others cannot do for me. Also, the kind of love and support I give as a mom and wife is a tool that no one else can provide for my family. I am the CEO of my home, and one that you can’t put a price tag on, because my job lasts for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What I have discovered is that even though I love what I do, I have been so stuck for so many years. I am stuck, because I am so used to giving to everyone, that I always put myself last. This is no one’s fault; not even my own. We become creatures of habit: we have patterns that we engage in for so long that we don’t realize we are even engaging in them! There is a Sanskrit word, Samskaras, which translates to “habits” or “patterns,” which sometimes can be very hard to break.
After examining my beliefs and my fears, and after looking at my own Samskaras, I knew it was time to try something new.
I interviewed for the Israel trip that was being organized for the fall, and found out over 120 women applied while there were only 41 spots available! October seemed far away, but I suddenly got an email explaining that the trip organizers were in deliberation about the trip and choosing who would go. They told me another group was going in July, and said I could go with that group, but only if I could give my answer by the next day.
I discussed this with my husband, and told him I that I needed to go. I explained to my family why it was important that I’d be traveling alone.
I took the final step, and I told the ladies in charge I was saying yes to Israel! I woke up the next day, and felt happier than I had felt in years. At my core, I am a happy and positive person, but this was a different kind of happy. It was like a spark was lit inside of me, and I felt as if I had a new purpose. Every day since I said yes, I have become a little more excited. What made it even more special is that my family was happy for me.
My kids have all been to Israel, and they wanted me to experience what they did. Some of their friends live in Israel now, for school and for other reasons, and I I can see and almost feel how happy they are there. I am excited to visit with them.
So today, I began a new chapter in my life…the unknown. I’m on the plane to Israel to share 8 days with 16 women I have met only once at a group meeting. We have an itinerary that is quite full. We will be visiting different parts of Israel, experiencing culture and tradition; along the way, there will be spiritual talks and growth groups, but above all else, there will be a sisterhood. I will be with women who are there for a similar reason, yet we all have our own special reasons for embarking on this adventure. I have many: self-love, discovery, letting go, sharing, opening up, exploring, and most importantly, healing my mind, body, and soul by just taking care of me. For the first time, I will do my best to take care of Gayl, and trust that everyone will be okay. I have surrendered, and I have no plan; I’m just excited to see what the next chapter has in store for me .
Perhaps the next chapter will be called “adventure.”
Please stay tuned for updates from my travels!
And please be sure to always say yes when an adventure comes your way!