Doing The Work in the Sahara Desert

walking in the Sahara

There’s nothing like walking for miles on the sands of the Sahara.

There’s Nothing Like Sleeping on the Dunes

Nothing like living in an environment that you can’t control. No place to hide. No way to fight the elements.

The Sahara was our teacher for a week. And it taught us surrender. And simplicity. And love.

We brought our busy minds with us. With all our stories of what was important for each of us. And the desert blew that fine sand through our minds leaving us surprised by how little we needed to be happy.

It allowed us to connect with ourselves and with each other and with nature.

The Desert Didn’t Baby Us

It didn’t protect our weaknesses. It made us face our fears directly. There was no place to hide.

It was up to us to adjust to its ever changing conditions of heat, flies, sandstorms, mosquitos, etc. You could fight, but you would only lose. Only in surrendering could we find peace.

And with The Work to support us, we did a lot of surrendering. And found a lot of peace.

It’s Funny, There Were Times When I Just Wanted to Go Home

But now that I’m back home, a part of me wants to go back to that simple way of life. I miss the desert.

Up at dawn, yoga, breakfast on the sand, breaking down camp and walking to the next, lunch, siesta, doing The Work, setting up my sleeping bag, dinner, sharing with friends, singing and dancing, and early to bed.

It was so simple. No one to impress. No Facebook, no email, no business tasks. Just simple living. And noticing my thoughts in order to question them.

I Felt Like I Was Always Being Led

I rarely thought about anything more than what I was doing at the time. Turn left. Turn right. Climb the next dune. Drink some water. Notice a stressful thought and question it.

I was led simultaneously from inside and from outside. And where the two streams met I found my next step.

I still find myself walking that way. Long term plans have little meaning for me these days. I hardly care about my business. Yet, I notice myself sitting down to write this newsletter. There’s not much purpose but yet I do it. Simply because I do. Just as I would adjust my turban each morning and follow the footsteps and singing of ZouZou, our Bedouin guide, out into the desert.

Nowhere to go, and yet we’re moving. How strange it is. And yet how easy.

the group

The group in the desert

Have a great week,

“I used to spend a lot of time in the desert. I would just walk, with no destination. I would walk straight, even if the path turned right or left, because I understood that there was no way to be lost. I often didn’t know where I was or how to get back to familiar ground. But I was living with the certainty that wherever I was, that’s where I was supposed to be at that moment. This is not a theory; it’s the literal truth. If I think that I’m supposed to be doing anything but what I’m doing now, I’m insane.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy

Get two new articles about The Work of Byron Katie every week, plus my checklist for the Judge-Your-Neighbor-Worksheet. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

If you like this article, feel free to forward the link to friends, family or colleagues. Or share the link on Facebook or other social media. If you have thoughts you’d like to share about it, please leave your comments below.