Life has felt a little crazy lately. I’ve hesitated to share details in recent Ripples because this column is intended to be a useful tool for the readers, rather than a personal memoir about the author.

But since we are all human, perhaps my personal catharsis will bring some comfort, expansiveness, or some simple accompaniment to your week.

I’m preparing to move abroad indefinitely. I’ve always known I would spend extended periods of time away from things familiar.

With heart and soul, I wish to make these adventures meaningful beyond my own life. While I may not be the mother of a child, I am a mother of creativity and contribution, and this is a responsibility I cherish.

As I donate various items I do not need, items which cannot fit into my suitcase, there is no feeling of expectation. There is no feeling of anticipation, no feeling that I’m doing something grand or important by moving to places unheard of and becoming immersed in a cultures unknown.

This absence of expectation is bizarre because this move is something I’ve dreamed of since I was young: Traveling, writing, teaching, storytelling about the commonalities within humanity, and somehow bringing the world closer I’m grateful for the opportunity, but there is no grand achievement here.

I haven’t suddenly acquired wealth or abundance. I haven’t hit the age of retirement, granting me more time. I haven’t accomplished any great feat enabling me to go off and live in this way.

Instead, I stripped away so many attributes that I once mistook for myself.

Tore away the need to prove my worth to myself and others.

Peeled away the need to be seen as working hard, doing “good.”

Dissolved the desire to acquire possessions, houses, cars, clothes, and things.

Relinquished the obsession with defining myself as anything in the community, the family, and the world.

Years ago, I never imagined I could live in this way: an undefined soul, traveling without a plan, unfixed on a purpose.

In this state of emptiness, I am open; open to receiving nudges from spirit to talk to this person or that one, open to being guided to write this or that, open to placing aside human opinions which are nothing more than the world’s conditioning residing in my mind, open to hearing and heeding the information of Spirit which has been filtered by no man.

I am not special. I am just empty. Needs and desires control life choices less and less, and a purpose unfolds through me that my human mind cannot conceive nor see.

Spirit has murmured things about traveling to Vietnam and interviewing some of the older folks, military and civilians.

Spirit has murmured things about traveling to Egypt and feeling the energetics of the pyramids.

Spirit reminds me not to compare worlds or lives, but to instead embrace them, experience them, understand them by truly knowing them, to tell stories of them without any agenda to persuade or convince.

I was not ready for assignment until now. For I had been conditioned by the world to believe that I must have strong opinions to be a strong person, that I must have a loud voice to be relevant, and that I must have the answers to be worthy.

Knowing none of the former are true, I am now ready for the assignment.

The Ripple will continue on in this new way, staying connected in gratitude with all of you!

In addition to this weekly column, I’ll relaunch Let It Ripple, an online publication, bringing you human interest stories and short video documentaries of these travels. My boyfriend, Dain, is a fantastic photographer and writer who looks forward to bringing you content that will pull at your heartstrings.

Please, sign up for my newsletter to stay informed on the relaunch of Let It Ripple by visiting this link: https://www.amandablain.me/newsletter

Thank you for staying connected!