Feb 22nd, 2012
When the UNknown is already KNOWN
Just eleven days ago I sat on the sand, leaning against a fallen palm tree, awaiting the arrival of fifteen lucky I.AM.YOU.ers to the I.AM.PARADISE. retreat villa. Because the villa is in Tayrona, a very protected National Park in Colombia, vehicles cannot come into the park….which implies….above all, preserved, paradisical movie style nature, but also a beautiful walk or horse back ride through a lush green jungle and along a rugged strip of wavey sea.
Before their flights, I alerted each retreatant to the arrival process, including the fact that I would be meeting them at the villa directly, arriving myself long before, as opposed to accompanying them step by step. Solo travel I knew was no big deal for the savvy, global group. Except that in this case, for them the KNOWN was in fact the vast UNknown.
You, see, the walk to the I.AM.PARADISE. villa is down a single path, under the veil of dozens of distinct types of palms and other trees, surrounded by boulders, and interspersed with perfect, majestic neon butterflies. If you look carefully enough you will likely see the Tucan you hear, and realize for the first time just how agile monkeys are. If you look up, and happen to get a crack in the leaves, you will likely see a perfect V formation of birds gliding through the sky. At a distance is the sound of crashing waves, but near there is only the sight of this single path.
Objectively, every inch of the path, every second of the experience, is awe-inducing beauty I truly do not know where else in the world that anyone can have that experience, aside from a Hollywood dream. That said, the unknown path could bring about nerves, concern, worry….
So why do I ask I.AM.YOU.ers to take the walk on their own, as opposed to me by their side step by step?
Because sometimes each step into the UNknown is actually just a step closer to the KNOWN.
With each foot closer to PARADISE, and further away from cell reception, cars, and cities, each retreatant was starting to break down the barriers of their mind, come closer to their true nature. This nature is ultimately known by each and every one of us, but we end up clouding it with labels, or as they say in Tibetan yoga philosophy, constructs, mis-perceptions, a litany of emotions, some that we like, some that we hate.
Underneath all the layers that you end up thinking are the known you, lies the true YOU. With every step underneath the palms, each I.AM.YOU.er got closer to that true them, perhaps for the first time in a long, long time.
At that moment the path of the UNknown becomes KNOWN, from the inside of you, out to your world. And from the now re-known you, you can create your ideal world for as far as your mind’s eye can see.
(PS. No, you do not carry your own bags l.AM.YOU. hires a staff to do that!)