The Journey is Yours

When you step back and stop rushing through life, you understand that the destination is to be found not at the end of your journey but within your journey. The moment you understand this is akin to the moment in which you see that the problems you think that others have are more a reflection of you than of them. It is easy to develop the tendency to find fault in things, circumstances, and in other people. Yet, in doing so, we diminish our own strength.

The only thing that is within your power is your own life. You cannot control circumstances nor do you have any power over the way that others react to you. Yes, the world does give us back a reflection of ourselves. But there will always be those who will attempt to thwart you on your journey. And, if you choose to focus on them at all, understand that the only thing they provide you with is a way to more deeply understand yourself.

The work that each of us does will always be more important to us than it is to anyone else. So, accept the fact that nobody else has to share your vision with you. Even if there is no one else looking in the same direction with you, you must stay loyal to your dreams and your goals. There may be moments when you experience a sense of isolation. Allow this feeling to inspire you to cling even more tightly to your dreams. Your dreams are part of you. When you deny your dreams or allow anyone to take them from you, you are disregarding an aspect of yourself.

There have been many deep thinkers and brilliant authors of the past who have expressed thoughts about life and the personal journey that each of us is on. I think Aldous Huxley conveyed his ideas beautifully when he said, ” The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning oneself and one’s life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins a spiritual awakening. The finding of God is a coming to one’s self.”  So, this being said, the coming to one’s self is also the finding of God. Even if you don’t believe in God, when you allow yourself to tune into the vast power of the universe that surrounds you, you will find yourself seeing things with newly opened eyes.

I recently read about an experiment that was done by a famous scientist a few decades ago. He took a baby and raised her from infancy until adulthood in a room in which the only colors she was exposed to were black and white. When she was at long last allowed to go out into the world, the first color she saw was red. For her, it was as if a new universe had opened up.

Yet, how many of us don’t even notice the color of things around us? If you were to shut your eyes this very moment, would you be able to recall the colors of at least four or five objects in the room around you? Do you remember the color of the first coat or sweater that you were given as a child? Why is it that our memories hold onto some things and completely disregard others? And why have we come to take so many things for granted that others would feel blessed to experience?

Gratitude. That’s a small word with a huge meaning. But what does it have to do with you? Is that what you’re asking? Perhaps, you feel as if you’re very grateful for the things you have in your life. Well, there are different levels of gratitude. And we can be grateful for what we have yet still relentlessly be seeking more.

There are certain things that I feel we should endlessly pursue, such as knowledge, wisdom, and truth. It is healthy to be consistently open to learning—not just from books, but from other people and new experiences. I don’t want to attack materialism even though I feel that it has swept over our world and shifted our values in the wrong direction. When I speak of materialism in this way, I am challenging you to free yourself from judging both those who are materialistic and those who do not want money or possessions.

For me, happiness is the pursuit of fulfillment that is not contingent upon worldly goods. I seek happiness within myself and beyond that. I seek happiness through the positive impact I hope to have in other people’s lives. No, my life isn’t all about me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that my own needs are significant. I just happen to care more about creating positive change in other people’s lives than I do in my own personal gratification.

What you do in your life and how you choose to live is up to you. If anyone tells you that the choices you make are wrong, never lose sight of the fact that only you have the right or the power to choose when it comes to your own life. I have been criticized for most of the choices I have made for as long as I can remember. It seems that most people are under the impression that they have a better idea of how I should live my life than I do. But, whose journey am I on—my own or someone else’s? This is the question I ask myself every day of my life. And I urge you to do the same.

The only person who can take your journey is you. When you allow someone else to steer your course or direct you along the path they have singled out for you, you are still taking your own journey. You’re simply taking it according to another person’s guidance and not your own. One of the films that has affected me most deeply is “Chariots of Fire”. Why? Because it is about a man who was true to himself and pursued his own journey, in spite of those who attempted to stand in his way.

This man, Eric Liddell, chose to ignore those who told him that he couldn’t run in the 1924 Olympics. He was the son of Scottish missionary parents, and his wish to run was considered to be in opposition to his religious faith. Yet, Liddell knew in his heart what his mission was, and the only approval he needed was God’s and his own. He knew that he had been given the gift of running brilliantly, and it was when he ran that he felt connected to the Divine. “I believe that God made me for a purpose,” Liddell said, “but he also made me fast. When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

Had Liddell allowed himself to be held back by those who attempted to force him into conforming to their idea of what he should do, he would have abandoned his own dream. In attempting to gain the approval of others, he would had to sacrifice his approval of himself. Yet, how many of us do this on a constant basis, oftentimes without even fully being aware of it? As I have said before, when we choose something, we are automatically not choosing something else. Thus, in being true to ourselves and our own dreams and desires, we will definitely evoke the disapproval of others. This is to be expected.

And the more we allow ourselves to get frustrated over others’ disapproval, the more we inclined we will be to distrust ourselves. Allow yourself the freedom to direct your journey.  Ultimately, the person who will be left with the results of your choices is you. Don’t expect anyone else to see your dreams with the same passion that you do. To find even one other person over the course of a lifetime who shares your vision for your life and supports you unconditionally is miraculous.

I urge those who cross my path to embrace their freedom to make their own choices because I want them to meet at least one other person who supports them in the pursuit of their dreams. Our world is overflowing with those who are only too willing to tear other people down. One reason this is the case is that when a person doesn’t have the courage to step outside the box himself or herself, he/she doesn’t want anyone else to do so, either. Those who follow the crowd will never pose a threat to anyone. It’s the creative thinker, the rebel, the outsider who threatens the confines of society and the preconceived ideas that other people have in their minds.

In order to be able to start absorbing true knowledge, you will need to unlearn that which you have accepted as truth up until this time. So, if I say something that you feel is true and yet part of you rejects it, step back and ask yourself, “What does this tell me about me?” We can understand ourselves so much better than we think we can. The process of self-discovery will never end; yet it doesn’t have to always be fraught with difficulty and frustration.

Tune into the core of your being. Let go of everything that doesn’t feel as if it’s part of your essence. If you don’t consider yourself a judgemental person and yet you find yourself judging others, why do you think that is? If you often feel anger, whether you express it or not, and yet you look  upon yourself as a loving, giving, caring person, pay attention. Discover that part of you that you’ve tried to avoid. We do not have to pretend that the flaws within us don’t exist to accept ourselves. Does not the emerald with a flaw remain an emerald?

The journeys that enrich us most will never be ones in which everything goes smoothly. And only a life half-lived will be without its bitterness and sorrow. Ursula Le Guin, the feminist, thinker, and author of extraordinary works of fantasy and science fiction once said, “It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” What matters to you? Does it matter more to you that you reach a certain pre-set destination? Or are you willing to release yourself and experience the beauty of the journey that life is taking you on?

My very first article was called, “It’s all about you.” And it still is, for it’s your journey that I want you to focus on. The title of my blog may be misleading you. You may have the misimpression that all I am interested in is my success. Well, that isn’t so. I am much more interested in learning, living, and seeking wisdom than I am success—or, at least, success as it is most commonly defined.

And how you define the term “diva” is also something that only you can decide. I would prefer you to see me as an extension of you than as any kind of healer, diva, or role model. We are all connected to the universe as fellow human beings. And even though we each have our own personal journey to take, we are also taking a  journey together. When we work with one another and not separately, we can do so much more to create positive and lasting change. Are you willing to join me?

Love and blessings,

Alexis

(“The Journey is Yours” is dedicated to my dear friend, Barbara Kaplan, with much love always)

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This page and all written material at the SuccessDiva pages is written by Alexis Wingate. (C) Copyright 2010 by Alexis Wingate, the SuccessDiva. All Rights Reserved

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6 Comments

  1. Armina Evangelista said,

    February 24, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Dear Alexis,

    Another inspiring article!

    I agree that happiness is not contingent on the material things this world may give. I learned how to live with much and less material possessions. And happiness does not depend on how much you possess.

    Just like anyone else, I am faced daily with circumstances and decision-making. But most of the time, I would always think first of what other people might say…and always thought of their approval, more than my own.
    But it should not be that way.

    I really love this latest article, Alexis! Actually, I love everything in your blog, and the latest additions too.

    Thank you for thinking more of how you can impart a positive change in us-and you did with your inspiring articles here in your blog. You are a truly remarkable lady, blessed with a good soul. I’m blessed to have found more than a precious gem in you.

    Love and prayers,
    Armina

    PS.
    yes, I will join you!

  2. Cliff Perry said,

    February 25, 2010 at 4:09 am

    we are so in the same journey, Alexis, i am so enjoying the transition to being what i already am, another you ! we sp see heart to heart !

    You know, the week after you first left fb, i did too. i’m back on for my second night and i hadn’t missed it much, because i took my 12 favourites onto another page and limited my time daily, with their understanding and encouragement. i’m going through consistent massive changes towards atuning to oneness of humankind and earth ! I love all you are. and your eloquent way of putting out the universal message !

    • Alexis Wingate said,

      February 28, 2010 at 3:11 am

      My wonderful Cliff, we are indeed on similar journeys. . .is it not marvelous? It fills me with joy to know how similar our vantage points towards life are, and I look forward to us continuing to inspire and support one another. Although we are each on our own individual journey, when we join one another in sending out the same message of peace, love, compassion, kindness, honesty, and harmony, there is no end to the massive changes we may look forward to seeing in our universe!! Love always, Alexis

  3. Adam Kraker said,

    February 25, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Well, dearest Alexis, this article brings up a lot memories in my past. Let me preface this by saying that I realize that, in the end, it has always been my choice that moved me in the direction I took. However, those choices weren’t really what I had always wanted. Again, it was my choice to move in a direction but there were times when I was looking for guidance and got ‘guessing games’ or ‘shots in the dark’ from those I looked up to. My father is a good example. I know he loved me and meant well but he never really took me into consideration when he gave me advice. I know this sounds silly but it is true. Let me clarify this. My grandparents came from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, an area around the borders of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy and not too oddly, I have those four bloods. Anyway, they came to America for a better life which would include owning land. My parents where raised by foreigners who had nothing and then made a life for themselves. Now, it was an OK life but nothing extravagant. My parents, being born in 1920, remember the Great Depression well. Then my father went to war in WWII and that’s when they started a family. All through most of the 50’s life was OK but, again, nothing extravagant and my father even had to declare bankruptcy one of those years. Actually it was in the year I was born, 1956. Well, life didn’t get good for our family until the mid 1960’s. This was the world that formed my father’s frame of mind. Because of this he was very ‘safe’ in his opinions on how us children should go through life, how we should make our decisions. His advice was not only conservative but was also, in a sense, a rainfall on a parade. He never advised ‘reaching for the brass ring’. He would always stress ‘security’. This always went against how I really felt. I wanted to ‘go for it’! However, I would never get encouragement. It caused me to ‘buckle’ and toe the line for many years and I don’t know why. I guess I was looking for acceptance. A son wants to make his father proud of him. The funny part is that the acceptance I was looking for never really came to be. What pride would their be in having an uneventful son. There wasn’t much to brag about, really. He certainly didn’t have the boastful stories to share like other father’s who’s sons went for the brass ring and got it. I wonder to this day what he expected? This is what he cultivated. By twenty-seven years of age I had had enough and started to make my own decisions without advice and I felt just fine with it. However, there was a leftover drawback. My father was very totalitarian and when I was under eighteen years of age it wasn’t advice he was giving. He was giving orders as if he were still a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, a rank he achieved before his twenty-fifth birthday. Very admirable. Anyway, I found myself to be very judgmental for many years and I didn’t even realize it. I had developed a very thick skin and never realized that most people aren’t like that and actually found such behaviour, very offensive. It just went over my head. It wasn’t until I was in professional sales that I found out that I had some changing to do. I could communicate with people very well, I’m extroverted and quite intelligent but if someone’s decision was going away from my sale I would almost ridicule them or at least mildly insult them as if they were a fool or a moron that didn’t have a clue as to what made the world go round. I was a Financial Planner by profession but in actuality I was the equivalent of a car salesman with a stockbroker’s license. I was dangerous! Luckily the company I was with had excellent training which I needed, terribly. They even had video taped role plays where we would make sales calls with each other. I remember watching one of my videos and I started laughing out loud! My manger grabbed the remote and shut it off, saying, “Adam, that was pitiful and this is serious”! That was a wake-up call. Needless to say, that first year was ‘slim-pickin’s’ as far as commissions went. The point here is that I had been raised judgmentally and I was a product of the same behaviour. Again, those were my decisions but I had to change my whole psyche. It was a day-by-day and even year-by-year event in trying to reshape my point of view. I have progressed immensely but I still have a tendency to have those thoughts from time to time. Maybe they will never go away but I am more excepting of the views others have. I now try to learn from those other views. I know that people may be as wrapped up in their beliefs as I am, or was, in mine but I also know that I want to get along with them and knowing where they come from is more important than trying to make them conform to my way of thinking. First of all, they aren’t going to change their way of thinking, in an hour, because they had a whole life to help shape those thoughts and feelings, just as I had. I have come to love this saying. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion, still”. I try to keep that saying in mind whenever I am in a conversation. It’s psychology, really. Allow the person to see your point of view. If you really do believe you’re right and that it would be in that person’s best interest, allow them to come to that conclusion. Ask questions, don’t give answers to questions unasked. I’ve heard two people argue when in fact they were really in agreement. They just hadn’t bothered to listen to each other. What it amounted to was that each one insisted their way was the way to except the same facts. Now there’s two people that really didn’t have a clue ;).

    • Alexis Wingate said,

      February 28, 2010 at 3:09 am

      My dearest Adam, I am responding briefly now, simply to let you know how much your insightful and reflective feedback means to me!! You are a marvel! I will reply in more detail to your insightful and heartfelt comments very soon. Love always, Alexis

  4. March 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

    nice info, thanks for sharing.

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