I returned home and everything was the same. Everyone was the same. Everything looked the same. But the way I saw it all had changed.
Whether you go in search of a deepened consciousness or it finds you serendipitously, the whole experience brings about a momentous shift in how you see the world.
It changes everything.
Your lifestyle changes drastically and as a result, so do your friendships.
Old friendships built on nothing but old habits start to fizzle – you don’t like the old you, they don’t like the new you and the common thread that had once stitched you both together in the first place starts to come undone.
Other friendships evolve into something new.
A balance is found, acceptance is granted and the love not only remains but it grows stronger. You still giggle like you used to. You still call each other when you need a shoulder to cry on. You’re on different paths but you keep tight hold of your promise to never leave each others’ side – and you know you never will.
New friendships start to flourish.
You’re magnetised towards those who just seem to ‘get you’ without question. The ones who duck under small talk and dive headfirst into the deep-and-meaningfuls, but still haven’t forgotten how to laugh.
At first I found it all really difficult – I love love, I hate hate and I don’t like letting go.
There was sadness for the loss of closeness and some sort of longing to be back to how we used to be. Then there was the questioning of it all – who I am, what I’m doing and the impact it’s having on my connections with others.
So then I tried being the new me in my old world – but that just didn’t work at all. I felt sick in the stomach forcing myself into situations I really didn’t want to be in.
I was interrogated for my change in lifestyle by people doused in inebriated ignorance and snarled at with catty faces. I became introverted in places I’d normally be the biggest networker in the room. My Ayurvedic body clock was thrown out of kilter and I felt completely off balance.
Because the thing is I don’t want to go back to yesterday.
I don’t want to be the me that I was or the us that we were. I just want to be the me that I am now.
I actually want to go to bed at nine o’clock and wake up at five or six and I want to work hard. The success I’m aiming for will not come with wasted time on pointless chatter, likeless relationships and nights I can’t remember.
I want my socials to be meditation circles, yoga sessions and business networking events. I want to be 99% vegan and 99% teetotal without being grilled on my reasons why.
I want conversations to dive deep, vibrations to rise high and laughter to be pure.
I spent my Friday evening with somebody I’ve been close friends with for years, somebody I met once twelve months ago but built a friendship with over emails and a whole load of women I’d only just met.
And I couldn’t have felt happier.
In fact, I was ecstatic. I had an uncontrollable smile on my face when we meditated and I was like an excitable puppy when we talked. I didn’t light up a room – I lit up a secret woodland garden. And everything felt right.
And so it’s not about ostracising myself from society and being a recluse. It’s not about falling out with everybody I’ve ever known. It’s just about accepting that friendships are, like everything else, impermanent.
I choose how I spend my time carefully. I make conscious decisions to invest energy into people and activities that make me happy.
Like sitting on a woodland floor making crowns out of willow sticks and talking about our love for writing or lazing on the sofa drinking ceremony grade cacao and sharing stories. Like standing proudly behind a stall while one of your best friends sells the things she’s put her heart and soul into making.
I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.Lewis Carroll