I was sitting at a pizzeria with my flatmate and new friend Meryl, talking about life – its wonders and mysteries – when it suddenly occurred to me. I have moved back to Brussels less than two weeks ago, and feel that I am slowly starting to come down a bit from the rollercoaster that the last two months have been. When I came back to Europe, I was not planning to stay. On the contrary, I was a woman with a plan, and that plan was to stay around only until I had just enough money to make it to New Zealand, where by hard work I would get enough money together to last another couple of months travelling. Soon after I landed, I started my summer job in a kitchen restaurant on an island north of Holland, meanwhile already on the outlook for a job in Switzerland for the after-season. I had it all figured out. Until one day, standing in the restaurant’s kitchen, something coming from within struck me so strongly that I stood nailed to the ground, utterly unable to move for a few seconds. From deep down in my bones, an idea had risen that vibrated with me so strongly, that right there and then I knew that I would obey to what it dictated to me – which was as much madness as it made perfect sense. Go back to school, it whispered.
So here I find myself – back in Brussels, the city that I have once already called home for three decisive years of my life, determined to obtain my teacher’s degree before taking off on a new grand intercontinental adventure.
Now, back to the pizzeria. As Meryl and I were talking, I heard myself saying how much I felt that I was exactly where I had to be, doing the things that I should be doing, how much I felt in flow with things. And then it clicked. I somehow remembered how I had written about ‘intention’ at the beginning of this year, choosing it as my ‘theme’ for 2018. And suddenly I saw very clearly how that had to do with the theme before that. And the theme before that, when the idea to pick a word each year had been born in another Brussels pizzeria. Intention – adventure – intuition. What suddenly seemed crystal clear to me was how they all belong to one another, how the one had generated the next. When I had decided to listen more carefully and be more faithful to my intuition back in 2016, it had stirred a deep love for adventure. By going on a big trip the next year, I immersed myself fully in it, surrendering myself completely, exploring the world and its endless options. The growing of my awareness and spirituality that this brought about, in its turn showed me that ‘blowing with the wind’ (as I liked to call it) is a skill and admireable until a certain extent, but that without an inner drive – without intention – it was empty and pointless on the long term.
Why emphasise this sequence in developments so strongly? Because, at the moment this correlation between the last three years occurred to me, Meryl and I were discussing the idea called ‘the law of attraction’. This theory basically holds that the things you focus your attention on in your life, the things you spend time thinking about, are the things that you will attract (there’s a lot of videos on Youtube explaining how this works exactly, if you’re interested). So if, for example, you spend a lot of time thinking about negative things or the things you fear, these things will actually start to happen. Or if you focus on the things that you don’t have, you are likely to never have them. What follows is that you should rather guide your energy towards the things that you DO like, or the things that you actually DO want to happen, because these are the things that you will then end up attracting. It is as if when you focus on the things that you want, on a ‘personal goal’ in other words, and if you are really determined to achieve it, all things in the universe will start moving along with you. You feel in flow. Looking at successful people, one will come to realise that they are people with vision – they are rather focused on the potential good outcome of whatever it is that they are doing, instead of fearing the negative or focussing on the things that they don’t like about their current reality. They are determined to endure whatever comes their way, which might not all be easy, never losing the final destination out of sight. They trust that the universe will do its job helping them.
In other words, what I realised over my pizza is that the universe is on my side, if only I keep on listening carefully to what it has to say to me. I need to keep on reading the road signs in order to reach my destination. I still don’t know exactly why I am studying to become a teacher, but I could read the road sign so strongly that I followed it and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am where I should be. Wherever this is going, I believe that if I just trust that it is for the better and surrender to the journey, this year will be over before I know it. But not without having enjoyed every single minute of it, whatever happens – good or bad. And so Meryl and I toasted – to celebrate the new academic year, to celebrate whatever may happen, to submit ourselves to the adventure that will come our way. “À l’aventure, sous tous ces formes.”*
* “Here’s to adventure, in all its forms.”