What is a Walkabout?
“A walkabout requires a decision to take a first step, and a conscious and intentional movement (inwardly, outwardly or both) in the general direction of a longing or calling — with an openness to the actual experience, and a minimal attachment to expectations and results.” Betsy Lewis
Walkabouts have been characterized as aimless wanderings, escapist retreats, and spiritual journeys. The word itself refers to an Australian aboriginal custom where a man leaves to wander for a time in the wild bush. His purpose is to recreate the stories of his ancestors by walking and singing them. By doing so, he reestablishes his spiritual interconnectedness to all things.
“Walkabout” for the purposes of this blog and the Walkabout Woman Project, does not require a trip into the bush — other than metaphorically. A walkabout does not even have to be a physical journey anywhere. A movement toward a longing maybe completely internal. No two women are alike and no two walkabouts will be the same. One woman’s walkabout may be another woman’s walk in the park (and another woman’s unthinkable nightmare!) You get to decide!
My definition above takes liberties with an actual aboriginal walkabout, but I believe it remains true to the spirit and soul-fullness of the experience.
So much of our lives as women have been lived serving others. Even if we have thrived as mothers, wives, lovers and caretakers, we may have put aspects of ourselves “on the back burner.” Over time responsibilities may lessen, we may become more aware of our own mortality and begin to feel more confident about our abilities. “Unlived lives” rattling around in our psyches, whispering softly to us over the years, may now be bellowing like a bull horn.
If that is so for you, it may be time to take a walkabout of your own!
This blog chronicles my personal walkabout. I invite women to create their own version of a walkabout to explore living their longings. So if you are curious, subscribe and follow my walkabout here. If you start your own walkabout and would like to share it – contact me. I would love to hear about it and maybe feature it here on this blog.