There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. ~Nelson Mandela

The day before I leave home is a challenging day for me. The pull outward has started in my belly and the things that have yet to be taken care of here loom larger than ever. The preparations for the trade show have been going on for weeks, but still, there are things undone and pieces that will fall together or not as the time unfolds. It takes a lot of energy to go out in the middle of the world. The whole tradeshow phenomenon of presenting one’s best face is nothing if not the showmanship of a positive spin.

When I travel frequently, the good byes aren’t quite so wrenching. There is some kind of regularity in the coming and going that makes it all seem like part of a routine, but when I have been home for a while, leaving the nest with the kids’ routines is jarring. I have a constant feeling of having forgotten something. I must keep reminding myself of the good friends I will get to visit with and the feeling of freedom that lifts in me away from all the voices who call me “mom.”

It is comforting to get lost in my world controlled so often by other people’s needs and experiences. I am there experiencing it too, but I am no longer the main character. Going off as the leader of Good Clean Love, it is just me and I find some part of myself that I had forgotten was there. Sometimes it’s just the simple power of problem solving through travel arrangements and booth setup, other times it is in hearing myself reflect back to strangers what I love about what I do. Often it is in the friendships that develop in the snippets of time together over years.

The more that I do this positivity quest, the more that I feel changed in how I look out at the world and how I listen for what is inside. In the past, this huge product expo took all my energy to fill up the space that I claimed. I have always gone needing something. This time I feel like an explorer, wondering if I can just bear witness. The Buddha said, “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” This week will perhaps show me the ways that I am doing that and if I am lucky the way to do it more completely.

Stay tuned.