• Dalya Shaw

Vision Quest - Part III - Collateral Benefits


Have you ever experienced something that was so incredibly powerful it literally changed you?


By change, I mean it changed you on such a deep internal level, a core level or soul level if you like, that you would never be the same person you were before, again. A change that for weeks, months and likely years later, you might not be aware of it and other times the change would be so glaringly obvious and you would feel it deeply.


Have you ever made a decision that you knew was going to be so much more than just the decision? A decision that you initially chose perhaps without too much thought, but somehow you instantly knew it would be a game changer, a life changer, a mind changer.


I decided earlier this year to embark on a journey. A journey that would push me so far outside my comfort zone, nothing I would experience would be even remotely like anything I had experienced before. I mean literally not one thing!


It was a journey that I knew if I went through with it and survived, (there wasn’t any doubt physically), it could be life changing. I had no idea what to expect and was cautious of having expectations. Okay, I had some expectations.


The preparation for this journey was not like packing for a holiday. In fact, most of the prep was done mentally which proved to be even more challenging. The physical requirements were very few.

As I prepared, I wondered why we spend so much of our lives trying to avoid negative emotions - pain, heartbreak, discomfort, sadness, hard work, frustration. We take a pill, distract ourselves, overindulge in drugs or alcohol, throw our brains at the tv and ultimately partially shut down. All this in an attempt to run away from what will only make us stronger, more resilient, more empowered and definitely give us deeper insights.


We’ve all done it. My preferred drug of choice has been to keep ‘busy’. I have avoided looking at so many things in my life by simply keeping ridiculously busy. I have done this both physically and mentally, and often to the point that the tears of frustration that came along with a plate way too full, felt better than what I imagined might happen if I actually addressed what was going on for me.


I have even politely said ‘Hello, how’re you doing?’ to elephants growing in the room and then turned my back so I couldn’t see them, (that means they’re no longer there right?) and did not listen to their responses.


Then one day I found myself in the middle of an adventure. Have you ever felt inexplicably energised and terrified at the same time? It’s an interesting and powerful combination of emotions and I highly recommend it 😊


It’s amazing what happens when you deliberately put yourself in a place of zero distractions. I mean with absolutely NO distractions. Let’s say sitting in the middle of the forest in the middle of nowhere. No technology and no-thing to take your attention away from the now. Nowhere to be, nothing to do, nothing to read, write, eat, play, pick up, drop off, plan, organise – NOTHNG.


Zero distractions. Just you and the present moment.


It’s amazing and breath taking the things you begin to notice. Things you never could before you found the silence. Did you know that in absolute quiet and stillness you can hear leaves drop to the ground. They actually make a sound! Do you know the amount of time it takes from first light to sunrise? Or from midday to sundown? Probably not, I didn’t. It all just happens. We don’t fully experience it. We don’t appreciate or make the little things matter. I needed to make things (and life) matter.


Hindsight is awesome. How often do we say ‘if I knew then what I know now …’ Yet hindsight is not possible without not having had it in the first place. Read that sentence a few times…

"Courage is the realisation that someone or something is more important than your fear"


As I pondered my life during my adventure, it became very clear that by facing what we are most afraid of, instead of doing everything to avoid it, our fears are diminished. By looking directly at elephants, (that sometimes look like scary monsters) and actually having conversations, AND sticking around to hear the responses, our fears and anxieties quickly become weak and lose their power. They slowly but absolutely evaporate.


It is surely the most freeing emotion a person can feel!


I heard the quote years ago by Franklin Roosevelt, ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’, but I only truly understood it recently and can only now fully appreciate it’s wisdom.


There is a healing, a peace and a strength that comes from unpacking or facing a lifetime of ‘stuff’ or elephants, that can only be found by going within. The collateral benefits, the waves of joy, feeling of empowerment and ‘OH WOW!’ moments that I can only describe as ‘bliss’, literally take your breath away.


Perhaps it is only now I am in awe and can fully appreciate what happens when we do a deep dive into who we are, why we are and who we want to be. It is only now I can fully understand the power of going deep inside to look for insights and actually hearing the answers revealed.


Human language can never do this justice.

Perhaps this is what life is really all about.

Much Love

Dalya xx 💙