We have just spent ten days in Spain exploring the magical cities of Andalusia where cultures and civilisations have met, blended and clashed since the Roman times. We witnessed the layers of feuds and allegiances between the various monarchs and princes of the Iberian peninsular, the attempts to bring unity to the land through marriages and reforms, notwithstanding the religious fundamentalism and the political persecutions that have shaped Spain over the centuries. All the movements of exclusion and the resulting divides are still very present lingering in the buildings or in the attempts to believe in ever growing prosperity. Nonetheless, under the noisy and boisterous surface of tourists posing in front of historical sites for their collection of selfies or strutting in the main shopping areas hampered by their bags, we also captured the sense of inclusiveness born from the times when people and different religious beliefs lived in harmony focussing on nurturing the land and honouring the abundance, the beauty and the quietness of the landscape. Andalusia is most certainly a land of contrast where we can expect to meet the known and the unknown along our journey to wholeness.

One moment to remember is contemplating Christopher Columbus’ tomb in Seville cathedral. It is a gigantic monument that can’t be missed. Over the huge tombstone, four robust male figures representing Spain and America are bearing a casket. The monument captures the determination to go forward, to expand, to conquer and to bring back limitless wealth. The four carriers embody the archetypal energies of the sovereign, the warrior and the explorer. I could sense the intensity of their move towards the future half expecting to see them fearlessly march across the cathedral with their regalia and symbols demonstrating the power of believing in a world of possibilities and in conquering the unimaginable.

Again many tourists surround the area eager to snatch a selfie that will instantly be posted. Do they remember who Columbus was and what he did? Are they aware of the subtle orchestration that made it possible for him to undertake his voyage? What do they know of the political manoeuvres in the background that supported it? How do they measure up the consequences of his discoveries? What do they know of the fear and desperation that might have pushed him to cross the threshold? As I stood there projecting my questions on these photo enthusiastic tourists, I was able to slow down, go within and connect to a deeper sense of the adventure of mankind and the driving forces that take us beyond the known into unknown territories and through the eye of the needle.

Christopher Columbus stands out for me as the archetype of the explorer who sets out with no agenda or map prepared to welcome what arises and to embrace the emerging future. With this there is an invitation to let go of old belief systems that serve no longer and to be prepared to change and, in doing so, to change the world around us. In Seville cathedral I could suddenly sense the deeper and profound meaning of the steps taken by Columbus as he opened wide the gateways to the world of discoveries. Or course, I know of all the historical facts, the scientific and cultural heritage that grew from the great discoveries. Only, silently standing besides his tomb, I was able to tune into the essence of the explorer’s archetypal energy and to capture the crux of taking that first step.

I was also reminded about something that I have repeatedly heard and read about regarding the unknown territories we still have to discover. For many of us the journey is now an inner one as we allow ourselves to explore the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world that is ours. This inner journey helps us understand the outer world we are creating, to take ownership for what we are holding and presencing, and to be the change we want to bring into the world. Since a New Year has just started I have also been reading several interesting comments on New Year resolutions, when we promise ourselves to become bigger and better, to undergo deep transformations, to serve and to bring deep changes, only so often to end up failing to follow through our best intentions. This bought me back to the importance of committing to go forward, the courage sometimes needed to take that first step into the unknown and the inevitable resistances we will meet as we walk our path.

These insights have led me to ponder on my next steps. Can I be inspired by Columbus to overcome my resistances? Dare I be authentic and allow myself to expand without desperately crying out for safety and comfort? What am I prepared to truly let go of and free myself from so that I may discard the illusions that are holding me back? My next steps are intent on giving birth to Yggdrasil Living Wholeness and launching the programme for 2018. A whole new adventure with a new website and an online class inquiring into servant leadership. As I step forward I start to believe in my adventure – like Columbus believed that he would find a new route to the Indies – and I trust that, whatever the circumstances, I will serve deep changes within and without, and that people will gather around my explorations of wholeness. What will your next steps be? Can you arouse the explorer in you and ask him/her to lead you into the emerging future?