Art of Getting Lost

Updated: Apr 11

American culture has an aversion to getting lost. Our streets are meticulously named and numbered to clearly show where we are. We automatically turn on our GPS when we drive to a new place. It's hard to get lost nowadays. When did you get lost last time? Was it when your cellphone ran out of battery?

I was born and raised in Japan. I also lived on the tropical island of Bali over a 15-year period. In both places even in this modern era, there are many streets with no name or number, which makes the mighty GPS quite useless. What would you do if you get lost? Will you seek help from local people? This logical solution often does not work in a place like Bali where folks give wrong directions rather than admitting they don't know how to get to the destination.

In such a time of confusion and helplessness, there is only one whom you can ask: yourself.

Close your eyes and ask your inner wisdom where you are now and which way you are heading next. Feel the vibration of the earth under your feet and sense the ray of sunlight coming from a certain direction. Listen to the birds and taste the winds. Do the same when you get lost in life. It is where the GPS does not exist. It is where nobody can tell you how to get to your destination.

The time of getting lost in life is when we stop acting out of our auto-pilot mode. It is when we look into ourselves and ask big questions; "Who am I?" "Where do I want to go?" The place of getting lost in life is where we face our vulnerability. In that fragile place, we open the door to selfless love and compassion.

After all, getting lost is the best way to find our ultimate destination.

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."

Henry David Thoreau