Innsbruck dispatch 3

Innsbruck Dispatch ~ .a trí

The power of ease and the limits of force.

There is a lot in this dispatch, I have Zen Master stories for you, “Rocky,” workout montages, Billy Ocean, and going to the dogs, but before we get into all that there are a few logistics we need to get through first. 

As you might remember, at the end of the last dispatch I crowned myself with a ski helmet. 
It was very moving. 
People still talk about it in Kenmare. 
“Did you see that fellah with the ski helmet on crying in Lidl?”

Between the time of putting that helmet on my head, and finding myself wearing that same helmet in Innsbruck, I went through months of physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation and preparation.
And even with all that I nearly canceled the whole trip 10 days before I was due to leave.
But I am getting ahead of myself.

Once I got the inner, “green light,” and I knew I was going, the first thing I did was get very clear about how I wanted the whole adventure to go and how I wanted to feel in the run-up to the trip and on the trip itself.
I put a lot of focus on the process of setting my intention and getting very clear about the future I had a preference for.

Setting intentions is a big topic so I wrote a separate post all about it which you can read here.  What is significant is that during my inner preparation, when I described how I wanted the whole thing to go, the word, “ease,” came up repeatedly. Why that is significant will become apparent later. 

Baby Steps

Once the inner preparation was done, I began the process of gently walking myself into the future I wanted. I started with making sure my animal friends, two Scottish terriers called Kirk and Scotty, and one cat named Ginger, would be taken care of while I was away. 

Remember this was back in September 2023. I asked a friend if they would be able to look after the animals for a month in February / March of the following year and they said they would be happy to. This verbal agreement was the beginning of a rough itinerary and a crucial part of the trip that came together so easily that I took it as an indication of the ease manifesting already. 

The next small step forward was to book airline tickets.  There were no direct flights from Ireland to Innsbruck so I ended up with two flights on two different airlines. The gap between one flight and the next was tight.
Only 80 minutes.
Through London Gatwick Airport.
The second largest airport in the UK.  
I went ahead and booked the flights thinking I could check my luggage all the way through to Innsbruck and the 80 minutes would be plenty of time to get from my arrival gate to the departure gate for the next flight. 
You can read how that went here.

Booking flights meant I was putting a pin in the calendar for the future and making the whole thing go from something I was thinking about, buying headgear for, and making in principle, verbal agreements about, to a definite start date and a definite finish date. 

A Room With a View

Once the flights were locked in I began looking for accommodation. I quickly discovered that staying in a hotel for a month was a thing of the past unless you are someone like Lady Gaga or Keanu Reeves. If Oscar Wilde was alive today, he wouldn’t be living or, “Dying beyond his means,” as he famously quipped, in L’Hôtel in Paris. He would be in an Airbnb in the Marias instead. And Airbnb it was for me too. After a bit of scrummaging around I found a very nice little place within walking distance of the old town.

I had never used Airbnb before so I was surprised, shocked, and challenged to discover that you have to pay for the whole stay upfront when you book. 
That one put a stop to my gallop and I dithered about it for about two weeks, mainly because the cost of the Airbnb was more than twice what I pay in rent where I currently live. 
So in the month I would be away I would be paying rent at home and paying nearly two and a half times the same amount for the Airbnb. 
And I had to pay it now, months before the trip. 
And it was nonrefundable! 
I don’t know if that’s a common thing for all Airbnbs, but it was for the one I was looking at.

I knew I was right up against old conditioning so I asked myself, what would the future version of me do? 
I knew the answer. 
So with a lot of apprehension, trembling hands, and clenched buttocks, I clicked the, ‘confirm payment,’ button and paid for the Airbnb. 

As soon as I did this I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the massive deflation in my bank account was matched by a huge inflation in my sense of freedom and expansion inside. 

Ski Fit

Once the accommodation was booked I began to research what sort of exercise I would need to do to strengthen my legs and get my body ready for skiing. I discovered quite a few very helpful YouTube videos with exercises, specifically for skiing and even more specifically for returning to skiing after many years of not skiing. 
From these great resources, I put together a little exercise routine for myself involving Swiss balls, balance boards, individual lack leg strengthening exercises, and plyometrics
Plyo-what?
I know, I hadn’t a clue either. 
Plyometrics are designed to, “activate the quick response and elastic properties of the major muscles.” In practice, it involves lots of hopping and jumping. 
You know, hopscotch for grown-ups. 

So I began to do my skiing exercises every morning, and yes, sometimes I wore my skiing helmet.
Don’t judge just cue the “Rocky” theme music.

Everything was going great. 

(Look at you being all perceptive! Yes, I am saying it like that as foreshadowing that there were clouds on the horizon.)

Growing Pains

As the weeks went by I began to hit into all the reasons why I was not that guy. 
Which guy? 
The future version of me guy. 
The guy who goes away for a month being all digital nomad on his own when he is 60 and does a bit of skiing at the weekends.

First, it was money. A couple of weeks after I paid for the Airbnb I began to have early morning panic attacks about not having enough money and/or running out of money when I was away.  This was very distressing because I had come so far with money. I had done a lot of work to help myself grow out of my past conditioning. 

As I mentioned in my first dispatch I came from a working-class background with very limited and fearful perspectives on money. Since then, and with a lot of work, I had grown into a very easy and happy place with money. 

What was most disorienting about my morning terrors was there was no justification for my fears. I had more than enough money and no reason to expect that to change.

But then of course, it did! 

The Poultice of Consciousness Draws Out Unconsciousness

As you know I am focused on the nuts and bolts of manifestation with a long view on manifesting world peace. Since I began to focus on manifestation in earnest I have made lots of progress with it. This is great and also a double-edged sword, or wand, or whatever. . .
Because while I was working through my unconscious and limiting beliefs internally I started to manifest them externally! 
My income shrank! 
Unexpected expenses appeared out of nowhere! 

Okay, I am being a little dramatic but a part of me reacts in this way even though I know this is part of the process and something I am familiar with. 
Like most knowledge, it is helpful for understanding what is happening but knowledge doesn’t make fear disappear. 
It just makes the waiting for the fear to pass, easier.

The four months leading up to leaving for Innsbruck were a process of repeatedly steering my mind back to the way I wanted the trip to go.
This sounds lovely, doesn’t it? 
Like paddling a lazy canoe down a sunny river.
In practice it was more like traversing the the top of Niagara Falls, paddling a bathtub with a discarded floorboard. Such was the scary limiting territory I was steering my mind away from. 

It sounds like it was just a mental process and that was certainly part of it. But if my mind drifted into catastrophising, I didn’t just register it as a thought, I could feel it in my whole body. My nervous system would go into fight or flight or freeze or fawn. I had to talk myself down from high alert, repeatedly, sometimes multiple times a day.

All of which is to say and highlight that the process of growing into the future you want, and the future version of yourself that you want to embody, accelerates the process of transforming unconsciousness into consciousness, and while there is great merit in engaging in this process consciously, it is not for the faint-hearted.

At least that is my experience. Maybe you have less unconsciousness to get through and the whole thing would be easier for you, I certainly wish that for you, but for me it was not easy.

Going to the Dogs

10 days before I was ready to go, the arrangements for having my pet friends taken care of started to fall apart. What had started as a very simple arrangement with minimal disturbance to my animal friends began to spiral into a lot of disturbance and inconvenience for my animal friends and the people who were going to care for them.

“Ease,” was nowhere in sight.

Pushing Through.

I was taught, as I am sure you were, that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, 
(at least according to Billy Ocean
or when the going gets tough, you get tougher, 
or when you meet resistance you push through because pushing through challenges is what makes you grow.

All of which go to make great memes and gym posters but I have always found this to be counter to my inner sense of things. I thought this was a weakness in me, or my limiting beliefs did, so I pushed on anyway. 
Again and again. 
It was through repeatedly pushing through things that I realised the price for using this kind of force, and how the outcomes were never happy outcomes when I pushed through.

Zen Master Story

This Zen master story epitomizes how pushing doesn’t work and the difference between force and power.

A group of men were trying to move a huge rock that had rolled onto the road during a landslide. They pushed and strained in lots of different ways but the rock didn’t budge. 

They were sitting around the rock having a rest when a Zen master came along. The men explained to the Zen master what they were trying to do and asked if he could help them. 

The zen master said he would do what he could and walked around the rock several times before coming to an abrupt stop at a point that seemed significant to him but to the men didn’t look any different from any other point.

He approached the rock and extended his arms placing his hands gently on the rock. With very little strain he rolled the rock out of the road as if it were made of balsa wood.

The men were flabbergasted. 
When they had picked their collective jaw off the ground they asked the Zen master how he had done it.

The Zen master said it was easy. 
He just found the direction the rock wanted to go in and then helped it to go in that direction. 

Ah, you can’t beat a good Zen master story, and that one is up there with the best of them. 
I use it a lot when training people. 
When you can discern what a person’s system is trying to do, helping it do that requires no force and the results are incredibly powerful. 
(System = mind + body + spirit)

How does this all relate to my animal friends? When the complications and lack of ease came into the arrangements for my animal friends I knew I couldn’t just force it. 

“I want you but I don’t need you.”

One of the main powerhouses in manifestation is not needing the thing you are manifesting, or put another way, not being desperate. Desperation is a repellant vibration that actually pushes away the thing you want.

There has to be lightness, there has to be a feeling of, “I want you but I don’t need you.” Easy enough to write, and understand as a concept, but I have found it very difficult to authentically embody when under pressure.

With 10 days to go, you could say that the pressure was high. I knew that in order to get to that place of ease inside myself, I had to be willing to walk away from the whole trip.

Just for two dogs and a cat?
Yes.

Walk away from the equivalent of two and a half months rent I paid for the Airbnb and the money for the flights?
Yes.

You could be forgiven for thinking that I am one of those people who are overly attached to their animals and secretly dress them up in cute costumes and have little tea parties with them. 
I can assure you I am not. 
I love my animal friends but taking care of them has never come naturally to me. Some people have an ear for music, others are good with plants, others are great in the kitchen and others are just naturals when it comes to taking care of animals. 
I am not one of those people. Also, the idea of dressing animals up in costumes makes me nauseous.

So I wasn’t considering canceling the trip because I am a crazy cat/dog person. I was considering canceling the trip because of what my animal friends represented which is ease. 

Not being a natural at taking care of animals, I have had to learn the hard way. Taking care of animals is, in some ways, similar to taking care of small children. They need what they need, and the challenge is not to apply adult complexity and justification to not meeting those needs.

I could have made all sorts of rationalisations about nonrefundable Airbnb deposits and airline tickets and constructed very rational justifications for why my animal friends would have to go from Billy to Jack and back again spending three nights here and two nights there and generally have their little routines completely disrupted, but I couldn’t do that. I knew there was no ease in these arrangements.
So I faced the possibility of canceling the whole trip. 
I had to.
I had to include it in the mix to get to the place of, “I want to go on this trip, but I don’t need to.” 
Being willing to cancel allowed me to get back to ease. 
And from that space of ease, power flooded in. 
I was able to return to being in tune with the vast ocean of power we all exist in and are carried by. 
Being genuinely willing to let it all go allowed me to be light and creative.
I came up with a solution that had no disruption to my animal friends and minimal destruction to the people who would care for them.
Once that was sorted I felt like I was on rails to my departure. All I had to do was show up.

I am writing this dispatch from my little Airbnb in Innsbruck, so I am happy to let you know I made it. There were other hiccups along the way over but no brick walls.  

I didn’t hit any brick walls until I started skiing but that is for another dispatch.

continued . . .

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