1 wedding, 1 soul friendship and 1 spiritual volunteer

Thur 6th Feb 2014
Living to Be Happy 

In order to devote your life to the path of spirituality, an initial period must be given in which to be concentrated exclusively on the task of learning how to practise. This can be done at home or away, but travelling in order to do so helps because someone who temporarily leaves responsibilities, commitments, and everything they know behind in order to follow the spiritual path has the opportunity to work exclusively and therefore much more intensively.

However, being compassionate to our Self includes being compassionate to others, so contrary to some beliefs, this absolutely does not mean that it is necessary to become a recluse divorced from ordinary life and hidden away meditating all day long.

Just as the film 'Into the Wild' concludes, ‘happiness is only real when shared’, but this does not mean shared only with people we know, and it does not even have to mean with people. We can share happiness with everyone, and we can share our happiness with the sea and the mountains and the animals. We just won’t be ultimately happy when feeling disconnected and alone.

Spirituality is about following the path of dharma (becoming increasingly more connected to the world around us) and one way to stay connected is to make sure that we do not only focus on spending time alone, but also share moments with others, especially with those people who help bring out more of the best of us. Such people share our beliefs and goals and ideas and aspirations. Such people are different to our close friends who may be close because we have known them the longest but are not necessarily complimenting and supporting the best of our personality. Friendships that mirror and magnify the best of us are referred to by Susan Jeffers as soul friendships.

My friend Kai, of course, is one such friend – he is my bromance; and then there is Ari in Mexico who I am missing so much, and then in Colombia there is my dearest friend Paola - whom I will be seeing again tomorrow!

I took an overnight bus from Bogota to Medellin first, and then last night I flew to Cartagena to the Colombian north coast where I will meet Paola again.

Paola is my friend from Cali whom I first met thanks to couchsurfing; she surfed my couch in Canterbury (twice), once on her own and once with a friend, and then visited me again in Dresden with her mum.

They say that when someone is in tune with their Higher Self, their eyes sparkle. Paola is such a person. The first time I met Paola I was literally stunned for a couple of seconds by the 'love' radiating from her eyes.

I will spend the next 5 days with Paola, her best friend, and her cousin in order to experience a Colombian wedding! - and absorb all the positive energy, love and happiness from that experience!

I am so excited about going to a Colombian wedding, and I am also excited about being there in my new hiking boots and jeans LOL but I did bring one shirt with me, and I also have the waistcoat that I bought for Gavin and Alex’s wedding (yes, I actually brought that with me to Latin America).

During this time, my share the love activity of the week is going to be twofold:

Firstly, to continue with staying away from nicotine. This means not only no longer smoking but also now keeping my consumption of nightshades to healthy low levels.

Secondly, this week I am going to focus on my physiology – walking tall with confidence and a big friendly smile – and being a ‘spiritual volunteer’!

I coined this term after my experience last week volunteering at Jardín Colibrí. As I wrote in that post, imagine that whenever you meet anyone, whenever you interact with anyone, whenever you deal with anyone, you are interacting with that person in exchange for something just as important as shelter, food and water.

And then you just have to remind yourself that giving to others, connecting with others and connecting to this world - this life, this place - is just as important as shelter, food and water

Someone who is spiritually volunteering is someone who is helping and giving to others in exchange for a greater connection to the world. and the currency of exchange is love.

After the wedding, Paola’s plan is that we spend a couple of days in Santa Marta to the east of Cartagena before they return to Cali – at which point I head off to a coastal bay near to Santa Marta called Taganga where I will face my fears and take on Jaws!

Be inspired ♥

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