People who travel can say for sure that not every ride is smooth or sweet. There will be times when delays or obstacles get in the way and just hold up or sometimes totally ruin our trip. To those who travel alone, experiencing setbacks can be frustrating and sometimes even scary; they will have to deal with the situation on their own. Others, however, choose to set out with a companion or two. This way, no matter what happens along the way, they have one another to turn to.
Every day is a journey, even when we simply leave home to get to the office or jump off from bed to say hello to our computer. And as in any journey, many things can happen – sometimes you trip on the carpet or fall down the stairs. Other times your boss, who is having a bad day, will be picking on you all day without any valid reason whatsoever, and these are just minor tragedies compared to when terrorist invade your homeland or an outbreak threatens to devastate your community.
When things like these happen, nobody is immune and sometimes they can happen without any warning at all. This is why it’s very important to have a travel companion. I may not have traveled very far but I’ve been constantly on the go all my life. Most of the journeys were amazing, but there were some that simply suck no matter how hard I tried to avoid them. Because of this, I was forced to consciously devise a plan on how to survive each journey – even the ordinary everyday journeys – with my sanity in tact, instead of just speeding away through the day waiting for what life’s going to throw in and oftentimes spontaneously reacting to these stimuli. In this plan I recognized the importance of having a travel companion who’s either embarked on this journey before or is prepared to face the day’s uncertainties with you. This companion can be a real person who can be with you physically or is somewhere out there but whose love and positive energy is so real you can feel his presence with you in the room or in your car.
Today, you and I are on a journey. Probably just started on a new chapter in life, at a peak of something exciting, or about to finish a project you have been working on for years. Here on my end, it’s recently been an adrenalin-packed adventure and I’m currently at the height of something exciting – so exciting that it’s scary. Fortunately I have come across a few dependable travel companions that I can count on more than anything or anyone else at this particular stage of my life. They are my ABS, airbags and seatbelts and occasionally they provide heart-warming food for a pilgrim’s soul. Here they are and what I have learned from them:
1. Juliet van Ruyven a.k.a Jhet, author of the best-selling autobiographical book “The Tale of Juliet.” I can say that I chanced upon Juliet at one of the check points along the way. I was just recovering from a traumatic event in my life and have recently acquired a new set of coping skills when Juliet popped up – literally – in my computer screen. From her I learned the importance of developing a morning routine. According to her, how we start our day has so much to do with how it ends. School kids don’t go to school with empty stomachs; we all remember that lesson from our moms. The same rule still applies today now that we’re grown-ups, only that they have gotten a little more complicated. For people who are on a journey towards a healthier diet, they may begin the day by looking in the mirror, appreciating what they see and telling that person, “You are an amazing person and today I will take better care of you by eating only what’s healthy because you deserve that.”
She also taught me the significance of protecting my new neural pathways, or simply, my new mindset. We all have habits that we have unconsciously learned over years of repetitive practice (or living each day on autopilot) and some of them are actually detrimental to our overall wellbeing. With a little help from a very few sincere individuals I have learned to unlearn a few of those habits and I shared a little success story with Juliet. Like a very good friend that I’ve known forever, she congratulated me and encouraged me to stay on the right path – that, despite the fact that I haven’t actually met her in person. Juliet’s is one of the very few positive voices in my life today.
2. The Purpose Fairy is another angel sent to me, and I can never be more thankful for having known this very gentle and loving soul. Her daily dose of inspiration sent to my mailbox everyday never fails to inspire me and fuel my passion to deliberately choose happiness in my everyday journey no matter what the outside circumstances may be. The most important lesson I’ve learned from her so far is the art of letting go. Her article, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy, is perhaps the most viral piece of work in the internet these past few months and it has indeed touched – and even changed – many lives; including mine. I joined her in the 21-Day Happiness Challenge and trust me, after staying with her 21 days I was not the same person I was on Day 1. Her secret to happiness is not that secret at all. In fact, we can all learn it in as early as 21 days; all we have to do is empty our cups and give it a try. After 21 days, I have developed a habit that I will never get rid of no matter what because my subconscious acknowledged it was good.
3. Of course, a day’s journey is never complete without the Prophets and the Gospels. I was not raised in a very religious family despite the fact that my grandmother, after whom I was named, served in church almost everyday and had a sister (from whom my other name came from) who was a nun. During my adolescent years you could say I was an adventurer and I often wandered far despite my parents’ objection. They would say, “We know you’re not going to jump, but why go to the edge of the cliff?” Sometimes though, I did jump, and suffered several unpleasant consequences. Some kids like to learn it the hard way, until I grew up a little bit and sought the ancient paths our elders made use of in search for truth. Those unpleasant consequences, along with the lessons I learned in the 21 Day Happiness Challenge, compelled me to let go of superficiality and acknowledge that I needed help; that I could never make it on my own. This is where I came to know James, Peter, John and Paul; this is why I can never last a day without a portion of my Daily Bread. Then I discovered what they say is true, that no matter how hard we try or hard we work, we will never achieve lasting success is we don’t humbly seek God’s grace. Without it, we will always end up empty.
Getting these travel companions might seem a lot of hard work and take up a lot of time before we can depart for our journey. True, but after sticking around with them for a while you will eventually learn the secret of managing your time. Having a few minutes of “chit chat” with them before the sun rises will soon become as natural as brushing your teeth every morning. So who do you travel with everyday? Do they help make your journey safe, happy and meaningful? I would love it if you can share them with me.