During my indescribably wonderful experience at ONEWORLD Retreats that I have fairly recently returned from, I do believe I have become pretty well-acquainted with the term “aum”.
Traditionally, “aum” is a syllable that holds a lot of spiritual meaning for many Hindus, Buddhists, and other religions and people around the world. It has recently become a more well-known idea and in the West, it is very commonly chanted during meditation or yoga. At the yoga retreat I attended in Ubud, Bali, it was chanted three times before each yoga session (which was twice a day for the length of the retreat). It represents omnipresence, all that is or ever was, the past, the present, the future, and serves to help people become acquainted with the “unknown”. Say “aum” to yourself–feel the vibration in your chest?
Okay, it may seem weird to be sitting in front of your computer or smart phone chanting “aum” (and understandably so), but I have personally been trying to keep up with my yoga practice more since returning home from my retreat and after seeing what a positive effect it had on me. The more I do what others see as ‘the hippie girl chanting and yoga practice’, the better quality my days have been. The amount of anxiety and worry I had before I started taking time out of my day to clear my mind was simply unbearable, and slowly but surely “aum” has been helping me not to lose focus of what is important in day-to-day life… and more importantly, what is not! Getting out there and experiencing something is more important than making sure your house is spotless, your in-laws are happy, or your bank account is full.
But what does this mean for travelers? And more specifically, how does this help the broad category of people I like to call the “average American” to get out there and travel the world? That is the theme I chose for my blog after all.
The symbol on the earth in my logo is the “aum” symbol. “Aum” to me really means knowledge and continuing to expand that knowledge. Traveling seems to be the very definition of becoming acquainted with the unknown and broadening your personal scope. I mean, what better way to quench your curiosity than to wander around a spice market in India, trek to a hidden waterfall in the rainforest, or walk along the sands of a beach that looks like it’s never been laid eyes on by any other human being?
I really wanted to help give all of my readers an understanding of why I made this the logo and the main idea for my blog. I didn’t just choose a name for my blog that I thought was catchy and clever. I do think that meditation can help to focus the other areas of your life–but it doesn’t have to be meditation exactly. Even just taking a few minutes each day to try and simply be still and clear your head can make such a huge difference.
So many people let work, school, drama, and responsibilities clutter and eventually overtake their lives and they don’t leave time or energy to focus on what is really important to them. If traveling the world is on your bucket list, DO IT! “It’s just not that easy” or “I just can’t” just won’t cut it any more–not when there is so much out there to see and so many innovations that make traveling more accessible for everyone.
I mean, with technology the way it is, you can check your e-mail from anywhere in the world. You can plan a trip a year in advance and pay in installments. There are more and more families with small children traveling internationally because kids can keep up with schoolwork using the internet and accommodations and transportation is tailored for families in many cases.
Just relax and stop making excuses, because although those excuses may be totally and completely valid, they shouldn’t be deal breakers, and I’m going to explain why in the blog posts to come…
CAITLYN WITHOUT A COMPASS