Do you know that feeling of utter dissatisfaction?
It’s that feeling of… not good enough.
I know that feeling oh so well, and I think it’s an epidemic among travelers.
We’ve got this freedom to be anywhere, do anything, and yet… often it’s still not good enough. We so often compare a place or an experience to something from our past, and nothing seems to measure up. We lose our sense of wonder and gratitude. Yes, I have certainly felt this way.
But my dissatisfaction started way before that.
I remember in my pre-travel life, how dissatisfied I was with…. everything. My relationships were never good enough. My friendships were never good enough. My creative projects were never good enough. My home was never good enough. Restaurants were never good enough. Saturday nights were never good enough. Nothing was ever good enough.
When I left to go live in the jungle of Costa Rica, that did not change. I did not suddenly feel perfectly satisfied, even though I thought I would. I complained about basically everything the first week I was there. From our bad water pressure to non functioning wifi to how isolated we were to how seedy the bars were to how expensive the restaurants were.
But then… something changed. I changed. Suddenly, everything was ok. Everything was beautiful. Everything was enough.
Because I slowed down enough to witness the perfection of the way the waves turn lavender just after five. Or the way that the little beach crabs scurry across the shoreline and burrow themselves in the shoreline. The way that the monkeys howl when cars go by or it starts to rain. I slowed down, and remembered that everything is ok. All is well. All is perfection.
But see… I have forgotten that many times over the years. I have fallen again and again into the shadow of dissatisfaction. Finding every possible person or circumstance to blame for why I don’t feel the way that I want to feel.
So many moments I spent in paradise, living in a way that so many others fantasize about, yet feeling… bored. Disconnected. Antsy. Trying to fix it by shifting my location. By spending more money. And most of the time that doesn’t actually work.
And while the danger of being someone who travels the world alone is that you can constantly feed this dissatisfaction by changing everything all of the time, the medicine of being someone who travels the world alone, is that when it’s just you and the wide open road, there’s no one to point the finger at except for you.
So I have learned again and again to turn inward. To stop expecting the world around me to be better than it is, and ask myself what within me feels lacking in love. ‘Cause that’s all it’s actually ever about.
Though, even that became a new path for dissatisfaction. An endless quest in fixing myself. In trying to make myself better so that life would be better.
Don’t get me wrong… dissatisfaction has granted me so many gifts. It has been a wonderful blessing.
Dissatisfaction is what got me out of my box traveling the world. Dissatisfaction is what helped me create my own business and transform and expand it all of the time. Dissatisfaction is what inspired me to serve others, to help them create a more inspired life. Dissatisfaction is what brought me onto the path of yoga, dance, tantra, lomi lomi, and so many other beautiful healing modalities.
Dissatisfaction refined me into the person I am now.
Yet… the seeking isn’t actually what ever brought me where I wanted to be.
You know what did?
Re-membering the rhythm of nature.
No matter where I am.
I can find bliss NOW.
By simply. doing. that.
Yesterday I came home fully to that understanding.
I left Puerto Viejo last week… from a place of dissatisfaction. I’m on my way to Hawaii. A place I thought might be more “perfect” than the place I’ve called home. A place I thought might satisfy the ache of longing that resides within me. It’s been my dissatisfaction in my jungle home that no place seems to compare to, that has gotten me to go and have other experiences. To expand and to grow.
Before leaving Costa Rica, I decided to treat myself to a vacation, and a yummy relaxing retreat at a resort in Santa Teresa on the North Pacific Coast. Not to transform. Not to fix myself. Not to be better. Just to relax and enjoy.
Funny enough… what I immediately experienced was dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction over why the South Caribbean is more beautiful, more lush, the beaches are nicer, the vibe is wilder, and on and on. Dissatisfaction over why I don’t like resorts and how inauthentic they are. Dissatisfaction over the retreat itself, comparing it to the retreats that I’ve created and finding every seemingly logical explanation to justify why it wasn’t good enough. Dissatisfaction that I wasn’t transforming, fixing myself, and becoming better.
While I could justifiably judge and pick apart every aspect of my experience, the same way I did in so many places all over the world, the same way I sometimes pick at my skin, or dissect every mistake I make with men, or analyze all of the ways that I show up in the world as not good enough, having those reasons will never make me feel better. They will never make me feel safe.
They can show me what I value. What choices I want to make in the future. Where I want to aim. But the only thing that ever brings me the wholeness that I’m always seeking, is relaxing into my true nature, which is love.
Taking my own advice, I have been slowing down. Remembering to breathe more deeply. To do less. To share less. To contain more. To be present with my discomfort so I can feel safer with me.
Yesterday, with the stillness that tells me I am safe, I sat watching the firey red sun melt down into the horizon, something I never get to see living on Caribbean Coast. At the very moment that the tip of the sun became swallowed, a flock of pelicans flew across the sky. Everything in perfect timing. Perfect rhythm. The divine orchestration, the divine perfection, of nature.
I stripped off my clothes and walked down to the ocean.
“Nothing is ever good enough for you,” I said to myself.
“Can’t you see how hard I’m trying? I did all of this for you. I brought you here to make you happy. Can’t you see how much I’m doing to try to make you happy? Would you just appreciate it?”
I laughed and shook my head because I knew I was right.
“Look around you. What could possibly be wrong with this? Can this just be good enough? You’re staying in a beautiful room, you’re eating beautiful food, you’re with beautiful women, you’re held by beautiful teachers. Let it be enough.”
I laughed and I cried. Apologizing again and again to myself for not seeing myself as… enough.
I apologized to myself for being so uncomfortable recently, that I refused to be present with the man who simply came into my life to teach me and had to push him away instead.
I apologized to myself for thinking that the way I reacted was somehow wrong or that I could have or should have done it better.
I apologized for seeing anything about me or my experience as anything other, than the divine orchestration, the divine perfection, of nature.
And I decided.
To let it be good enough.