Take a voyage of transformation
Embarking on a voyage is not dissimilar to participating in an initiation ceremony.
It is ‘a rite of passage to a new form of existence’.
Every time we move out of our ordinary world and into a new world we challenge ourselves. Equally, the voyage we embark on when we read a book or watch a film can be challenging and life changing.
Embarking on a voyage is not dissimilar to participating in an initiation ceremony. Karen Armstrong (1) describes initiation ceremonies in traditional tribal societies. Initiates are taken from the secure domestic environment of their childhood. Then, the new, scary and challenging environment in which they are placed causes intense stress. Under these circumstances the initiates die to their old (childhood) self and are reborn as an adult. Facing up to the trauma helps them to understand that death is a new beginning. It is ‘a rite of passage to a new form of existence’.
Importantly, Armstrong emphasises that this happens every time we leave the comfort and security of our home. In so doing we go through the trauma and stress of a transformative voyage. Each time, we die to our old self and are reborn to a new self. The more we do this, the more we are able to see death as simply ‘the last and final initiation into another, totally unknown mode of being’.
At the end of the voyage
Returning home is often a challenge. If it is it is because we are returning to ‘the person we are in ordinary life and withdrawing from the person we essentially are’. However, it does not have to be like that. Both the process of preparing to travel and the voyage itself can have a remarkable impact on our return home.
In the first place, if we have done our preparation well, we should come back to a clear desk. It means, when we get back, we should have time to consolidate and act on what we have just learnt.
Secondly, there is an interval before routines kick in when we are our essential self in our ordinary home setting. This short period of time represents a window of opportunity. Now, we have the power and freedom to enact the changes that we recognise as necessary for a meaningful life.
The true purpose of financial planning
At the beginning of this post I talked about the importance of financial planning in transforming our lives. I argued that one of the prime purposes of financial planning should be to enable us physically and financially to travel, and hence to grow.
This means re-prioritising our spending plans to put travel and personal development – and ultimately meaning – at the top of our spending priorities.
If we stay in own domestic and business world then there is a danger that tomorrow will be the same as today. If we plan our lives and money we can finance the journeys that will transform us from our ordinary selves to our essential selves. Its not the money thats important; its what we do with it that really matters.
Take care and go well.
(This is the final post in a series of three posts about travel. The first post discussed why travel needs to be given a higher priority in plans. In the second post we looked at the preparation required for a successful journey and the benefits of deadlines.)
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