Why visit new places? The answer seems obvious doesn’t it? Yet so many of us choose to remain within our designated walls, returning to the same places because it feels safe, familiar. But what would really happen if we took a chance? Changed direction? Discovered something new?

When the Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a beautiful pea-green boat, they ended up dancing by the light of the moon; yip, they danced by the light of the moon. This bedtime story by Edward Lear has such a truth in it for all of us. Are we dancing by the light of the moon or do we need to find our pea-green boat and reignite the joy that resides within all of us?

Travelling new roads, meeting new people, seeing new things is an invitation to discover life in a way you may not have seen it before. It gives birth to fresh ideas, forgotten dreams and hidden potential. It may also open you up to past hurts, fears and parts of yourself you find difficult to look at.

But are you willing to take that risk?

 There is a beautiful and moving poem by the poet Oriah Mountain Dreamer;

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the moon, “Yes!

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.