Today I want to talk about an important stage on our journey to discovering our Soul Purpose, which is when we leave our home/village – either physically and/or psychospiritually.
This stage occurs when we move from our late adolescence and into early adulthood, not in terms of our physical age, but in our SOULcentric development (more on the difference in a bit). There are still plenty of people in middle age and beyond who are still in an adolescent stage of development and identity. Really, this is a point in our lives at which we need to completely dissolve our old ways of being, like a caterpillar dissolved into goo before transforming into a butterfly.
A part of us must die, if not all of us (psychospiritually).
When I say “leaving home,” I don’t necessarily mean just a physical place. It’s also the home of our previous ways of belonging, doing, and being.
Our wandering might take us far from where we grew up. I had many adventures in my 20s traveling the world, but some of my more soulcentric leaving of home was when I moved to Alaska, where I shed ALL my old ways of being and stepped into a new role without a steady job or my old social supports and identity.
So why do this? And can we get by without leaving home?
Sure – we can get by without it. And honestly, there’s no good logical “reason” to try to find it. Logic will often tell us to stick with the safe way.
If we’re wondering why do it or do we “have” to, it might also mean that we’re not prepared for it, and being urged on prematurely by a guide, mentor, or therapist when not prepared is counterproductive.
Another thing to think about when considering leaving home is that in modern industrialized society, some groups of people are so oppressed that they rarely get the chance to go beyond survival mode, so no matter how much they may feel the pull to journey, it’s difficult to take the time and space to do so. Something that used to be supported by culture and society has become a privilege in certain ways.
While the call to wander never seems to occur at a convenient time, when we hear it, we have a deep need to hear our true voice. To know our authentic selves. But the catch is we’re not likely to hear that voice until we go way down the road, away from our “home” – physically and/or psychospiritually.
Because of the times we’re in, a lot of people may think it sounds selfish to drop everything to seek our soul purpose. But what’s often missing in that reasoning is that our authentic life isn’t just about us – it impacts everything around us. And the only way we get to know this life is by wandering deeper into the world until we discover where our life and the life of the world and non-human others are inseparable.
Wandering in this way also helps to re-invigorate our communities so they don’t fall stagnant, and to ensure they continue to evolve. Getting away from the village is how ideas spread, and spiritual teachings as well – travelers bringing back stories and inspiration.
We need to move beyond what can be called “village consciousness” to find something that doesn’t yet exist within the village, as Bill Plotkin would say. So part of the journey is the reminder that we’re searching for something that will help us serve our people, and that by serving our people, we will be fulfilled as well.
In modern industrialized society, we often think of the late teenage years or the early 20s as the time to go wild and have adventures. I did it, and it was freaking great! But this is actually an unconscious co-optation of our inherent wildness – a sustainable vitality that doesn’t end when we “grow up” and enter adulthood.
Modern industrialized society is designed to KEEP people from going on the psycho-spiritual journey toward Soul. Why? Because money, security, power, and possessions would seem less attractive to those who have undergone a soul initiation and are connected with the inherent creativity and wildness that is generated through the process. We wouldn’t tolerate empty, meaningless orders.
Whether we dwell within our home region or wander alone in some wild land, when we’re in the cocoon, it can be troubling to the people around us. We’re somewhat dangerous to ourselves and others (in just the right ways), and many people feel threatened or uneasy seeing that the status quo is being roiled.
This is necessary, and part of preparation for the journey is to be able to creatively respond to when our wandering gets questioned and challenged. The wander – just by existing – can inspire others to embrace the unknown and the new.
When we wander, we shed everything that keeps us in our old identities and become open to what we are truly meant to be without the old stories that we – and others – hold.
We undergo a complex and long preparation and metamorphosis, and then we have two tasks in our wandering: say goodbye to the old (let it die) and prepare for the new.
While we might start off really gung ho, as we roam further from home, we can actually start to crave security and feel less courageous. This is why having a guide or mentor who has been there is essential. It helps us avoid running back to our psychospiritual home.
Once we’ve made that shift into early adulthood, we’ll find ourselves in a society that we might feel out of place in, and that has very little patience for us. It’s almost as if society prefers the adolescent, and views them as more predictable…and controllable.
This can be hard, because even as a mature adult, we still have our deepest human need to belong. However, we also know that it is a part of the path. A bit of loneliness as we journey until we find other fellow wanderers.
If you’re feeling stagnant, stuck, empty, or purposeless… it might be time to leave home.
Do you hear the call?
Listen to the full episode for ideas to begin the wandering on your own.
You will learn:
// How to know it’s time to wander
// How our wandering impacts the world around us
// What leaving our physical and psychspiritual home looks like
// Why modern industrialized society makes it so hard to leave the village
// How to overcome the forces holding us back
// Two things to try as you begin wandering on your own.
// Episode 178: The Gift of Wandering – Exploring Our Purpose
// The Journey of Soul Initiation, by Bill Plotkin
// Nature and the Human Soul, by Bill Plotkin
// If you’re ready to leave the village and begin your own soulcentric journey, come apply to the Adventure Mastermind, because this is THE thing we do. The first retreat is in mid-February around Valentine’s Day. What better way to gift yourself som love, right? 😉
So come experience what it’s all about. Head on over to AdventureMastermind.com and apply now – you’ve got nothing to lose by applying, ok?
// Want something more self-paced with access to weekly group support and getting coached by yours truly? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Plus, we have entire months devoted to wisdom and compassion. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics.