These are the good old days

After a month in The Netherlands reconnecting with family and old friends, tonight I’m leaving on a jet plane for home. I’ve said many goodbyes over the past 25 years but this time I’m feeling particularly melancholic. To have a life in more than one place is a gift for which I am very grateful but at times like this, I feel torn. Being here always takes me on a journey through past lives and a rollercoaster of emotions. Amsterdam in particular is where my heart feels most at home. It’s the city where I fell in love, truly felt comfortable in my own skin and learned to be a mother. Maybe it’s a symptom of growing older and understanding the impermanence of life that I’m struggling more and more with letting go and with the feeling that I still have unfinished business. Often the heart just knows what the mind struggles to understand.

This time around, I’ve been thinking a lot more about my first years here when every day was full of new possibilities, when I let my heart lead the way and I was in my flow. Many times when life’s been tricky or when I’ve felt stuck, I’ve yearned for those ‘good old days’. But I’ve come to understand that even though looking back helps us to understand ourselves, life is best lived in the present. That these are the good old days, right here right now.

If travel has shown me anything, it is how to go from doing to being. That wonder and beauty can be found in the most unlikely places if you learn to see with travellers eyes. To be in the moment with curiosity and non judgement. And like nature, it has gifted me perspective, to look at my life from a distance and to take the opportunity to connect deeply with myself and others.

The goodbyes are bitter sweet this time but I’m journeying home with the excitement of new possibilities, renewed perspective and a commitment to be lead more by my heart. There’s a Sioux Indian saying that the longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart. It’s taken me some time to journey back to my own heart but I now know that life can always be rich and beautiful if I let myself be drawn by the pull of what I really love. That if I let my heart lead the way, I’ll end up where I need to be. Because in the words of my favourite poet, Mary Oliver, “I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.” So I’m reclaiming this song as my anthem. It takes me immediately into my flow and has always helped me find my wings and fly. La Vie en Rose and all my love. x Amanda


Originally published at iamamandala.com.