by Liz Jansen
As is nature’s way, everything develops with it’s own perfect timing. In this way, I’m gaining awareness and the reason for my trip is taking shape. Our minds can only process so much at once, and mine’s been on overload. Given time and patience, a life-long lesson, things become clearer. As I travel, I’ll be focusing on who we are, before we’re told who we are. In other words, looking for the common ground that connects us all.
For most of my life, I did not want to speak of my Mennonite heritage. While I saw the strengths in the strong values, compassion and close-knit community I grew up in, I also saw the strong controls to preserve that culture. Although that didn’t sit well with me, it still shaped me.
I’ve come to the realization that although my particular ancestry is Mennonite, we’ve all been shaped by our ancestors, whoever they are and whatever their beliefs. They’re all different flavors of the same origin. We don’t choose where we land when we arrive here on earth and by default, take the world-view of the culture into which we’re born; values and beliefs that have passed down and evolved through the generations.
Our early years, even before we’re born, are powerful in shaping us. Throughout life, we take on roles based on that early training, even after we’ve come of age. On this trip, I want to peel back the layers, break down the walls and find out who I am underneath all the facade. It will be fascinating, and more than a little frightening
Who better to ask questions of than indigenous people who have been around for 10,000 and more years? They’ve been here well before the introduction of beliefs that fractioned a collective strength. Although I don’t know yet how this will transpire, that’s my goal as I travel and work throughout North, Central and South America.
Asian cultures believe that when you’ve completed 60 years, you’ve completed one full life cycle. You’re entering a new life. You’ve been around the astrological wheel five times, which means you’ve matched your zodiac animal with each of the elements: earth, wood, fire, metal and water.
It makes sense now, that given the nature of this exploration, and given at least the concept that 60 is the threshold to a new life, it makes sense that to be free to explore, I need to disconnect from perceived security. As liberating and exciting as it is, it’s also unnerving to be setting out unencumbered by material possessions, like dwelling and car.
The motorcycle stays though. After all, when we’re talking about freedom and connecting with Spirit, who better a teacher than a motorcycle? It’s been with me since I was 16, and will continue to guide me on this next phase of my journey.