Lucy Lucas

Lucy Lucas' Blog

Yoga & Mind Blog by Lucy Lucas

How I Lost Myself in Ibiza

signWhat do you get when you mix a corporate escapee on the run, who’s a project manager with a degree in Geography, who works for a walking company, and who lives on a small Mediterranean island?That’s rightLostI’ve always been a planner. Even planning my escape from corporate life required a comforting number of To Do Lists, spreadsheets and objectives. The problem is that having now escaped and put some distance between that corporate prison and myself I have no map for what comes next: physically (where do I want to be), emotionally (who am I? Who are my tribe? Where are they?) or financially (what on earth am I actually going to do?).There’s a point on any journey when you look at the upside down map, realise the GPS isn’t working and that the landscape doesn’t match the route notes. Then there’s that sinking feeling: I’m lost. I’m having my very own lost moment here on this small island, where all the road signs point to Eivissa (Ibiza Town) and where if you’re not sure about the direction, you can just go round the roundabout (in the wrong lane) a few times until you do.I know there are probably several of you read the title with excitement and who were expecting a tale of hedonism. Losing yourself in Ibiza is synonymous with copious amounts of alcohol, illegal substances, no sleep and misplaced wallets, friends and dignity. There are many people here, tourists, workers and residents, who have come here very deliberately to lose themselves, to run away from themselves. Ibiza has a very special energy – making people lose themselves is what Ibiza does best, whether you do that with booze and narcotics or not. I’ve started to realise that maybe I chose to come here precisely because I needed to lose myself, to allow something else in to guide me forwards.So Ibiza has worked her magic and now I’m lost in several ways. Firstly, I’ve lost my sense of what I want to do with my life, now I’m no longer shackled to the corporate world. I had a very definite plan when I left banking and moved here, and some of its working out – and some of it I’ve left by the wayside as its just feeling ‘meh’. Teaching yoga and working with small businesses and on retreats is something I do enjoy, especially watching students develop, or sales increase or retreat guests leave happy and restored. I really enjoy being close to the actual value a business or service creates, rather than separated by layers and layers of management from the actual customers. However, I’m feeling lost because I don’t know where I’m going with these things. What should I be doing in the next couple of months when the tourists leave, what will I be doing next year? Am I actually building or growing anything? Should I be setting up a business of my own? How can I make enough money to live on? (that evil banking money is coming in handy for sure!) These are questions I don’t really have any answers for right now. What I do know is that although I am really enjoying what I do, none of it really fills my soul.The next way I’m lost is actually about where I am. I live in Ibiza and this might elicit in many of you a surge of envy: sun, sea, beach, beautiful scenery, parties – what’s not to like? I came here on holiday and on retreat many times, and I have friends who’ve lived here for a while too. Ibiza was critical to my escape - it embodied everything I thought I wanted: people not living corporate lives and fixated their side return, people doing things differently, being able to connect with nature, a big community of yoga and meditation and healers. And Ibiza does have all that, but it doesn’t feel like home. There have been a couple of bits of bad weather recently: rain, grey clouds, wind, stormy seas – and something inside me just released when the weather was like that. I never thought I would miss the rain, but it seems I do. I’ve also lost quite a large number of my tribe. As connections to old friends fall away, from the distance, from having little in common anymore, I’ve struggled to meet that many new like-minded people. I’ve found a few who I am eternally grateful for, and who have enriched my life in so many ways. But many people here are fixated on as fucked as possible. (I don’t like swearing, but this is the only word that really describes what people intentionally seek out to do here). I not only have nothing in common with this, I no longer want it or those kinds of people around me. I find it energetically toxic, and as I am here to do the opposite, to connect with myself and others, there is little common ground between us.Moreover, I just don’t know who I am anymore. My old identity has been put in the office shredder and doesn’t exist. New people I meet now can’t believe I used to wear corporate clothes let alone work in a bank – and actually neither can I. But if I’m not a banker, then who am I? Yoga teacher living in Ibiza (which is what I am now) doesn’t feel like me either. I used to think I was incredibly practical, but Ibiza has managed to show that maybe I’m not as practical as I thought. I’m often a bit late and forgetful here (#ibizabrain), and sometimes it seems like I left my organisational skills behind on the ferry from Barcelona – but interestingly the relief of not always having to be the responsible one is enormous. Maybe I am more flaky and unreliable than I thought? Maybe that’s OK.When we strip away our past, and when we are no longer sure of our future, or our identity, what is actually left?MeThat nothingness, that void, which I am experiencing now, is actually who I am. And it’s both scary and liberating in equal parts. The scary part is my ego not liking all the security of identity (job title, role, address, clothes, beliefs) being taken away. It’s the not knowing, the uncertainty which can be so frightening. On the other hand, when we are truly stripped bare, this is when we can start to see clearly: what we really see and believe, what our true desires are. We allow space for the universe to fill us, and we can start to have a better balance of our own free will, and the will of the universe, or of God, or of life – whatever you call it, it does exist.Learning to live without a mapMost of us live lives that are almost completely pre-determined: playdates, school, college, university, work, career, mortgage, marriage, parenthood, retirement. What happens when this map no longer works for you? What happens when something occurs that throws this map out of the car window? Flunked out of uni, marriage broke up, bereavement, made redundant, didn’t get pregnant when I wanted to? Or maybe just years and years of low lying anxiety, depression and stress masquerading as normal life? When this happens, when we wake up or are forced awake by circumstances, we stop blindly following the pre-programmed GPS and maybe start to consider doing one or all of the followingDesigning a new map When the old doesn’t work anymore, it’s time to re-write. Anyone planning or going through a career change is doing this, and I designed a new map which took me to Ibiza when I was leaving corporate life. You might design a new map for yourself: a fitness programme, or coaching course. Maybe your plan involves fertility treatment, or divorce. A new map is needed often following a period of trauma, when the apparent certainty that maps provide is a welcome reassurance against the craziness of this unpredictable world. Or maybe you just got fed up of following the same steps over and over again and realised that doing so was never going to bring about a different outcome. To design a new map requires you have some idea of your destination, an objective or a goal.Learning to read sign posts When you don’t know where you’re going, you have to start looking at the signposts. The universe, or God, or fate, or life force, whatever you call it, likes to send us signs. We are very, very, very bad at listening to them or even noticing them. Your body is a good signal, for example. I spent about 20 years suffering bad depression and back pain, racking up debts, without realising that all these were signs from the universe that maybe I shouldn’t be living the life I was. I didn’t listen for a very long time! Similarly, when we allow the universe to move into our lives and let go of some of our control, things move for our benefit, ideas start to unfold, paths start to appear that make sense about where we are going. I really love food and eating well is a large part of how I manage my depression. Now I find that I’m cooking for retreats and am able to share my knowledge and passion for good, nutritious wholesome food. Is this a sign that maybe my future needs to involve food in some way?Or how about having no map at all? This is the art of not knowing, and this is where I am right now. I have no destination, or maybe a very flimsy idea, but nothing I could really build a map on. I am learning to read the sign posts, but sometimes these aren’t always that clear either. So I am having to get comfortable with not knowing who I am, or where I’m going, or what I want to do with my life. I know what I am doing right now, and that is all I need. Not knowing opens you up to possibilities; it creates space for new things. Not knowing makes you more open minded about things you may not have thought of before, whereas having a plan can lead you to overlook things that don’t rigidly adhere to the agenda.Not knowing is scary – and also liberating at the same time. It’s another aspect of that nothingness inside of you. The realisation that the only time and place is right here and now. What am I doing now? What am I learning? Who am I with? How am I growing? Its opening your eyes to the sign posts, listening to messages, so when the destination becomes clear, the map can be re-written.And I expect I’ll be going round that roundabout a few more times yet :)P.S There are a lot of roundabouts in Ibiza!Photo by Piers Dupoy at Ibiza Film