So I’ve officially made it through my first month On the road. When I set out on this journey I had several emotional, mental and spiritual goals .. and one physical mission: to maintain a level of fitness, health, and commitment to a movement practice with my body. I didn’t really have any idea or attachment to what that would feel or look like. Reflecting on this mission so far reminds me of a quote from the movie, Soul Surfer, “I don’t need easy, I just need possible”... because it hasn’t always been easy....but it’s definitely possible. Between an eight day chest cold, then catching a stomach bug that lingered and left my digestive a mess, and my body sluggish, it is sometimes difficult to find the energy to do as much as I would love to do. So, I shift my focus to doing exactly what I can do instead.
In my head before my trip I thought I could easily commit to 20-30 min exercise /day unless I was doing something super active for the day as part of my fun and adventure, then I would skip the workout. Initially prior to getting sick this was no problem at all... I did what I could when I could, where I could, and wouldn’t let anything hold me back, not even worrying how silly I looked. I worked out in my hostel room, on a beach, on the outside deck of a riverside bar, a rooftop, and now a 3rd floor balcony.
Prior to being sick I mostly stuck with the 20-30 minute goal, picking out a small variety of body weight and band movements with a strength focus, while sometimes adding in a few movements together done with more speed for conditioning. I have worked out alone, and I have also had friends along the way join in with me.
What’s interesting is what happened after I got sick was unexpected and so far wonderful.... Because my energy levels were off I started slowing down a bit, and with each passing day I started getting more creative. My only goal would be to do whatever I could, knowing that was enough. And I feel that now more then ever in my life I’ve been practicing my own form of “yoga”, if you will. A movement practice of mindfulness, approaching each session intuitively. I look forward to my alone time, my sacred space, where I can go into the experience unattached to any outcome, and then flow into each movement, as it feels right. Even my thought process has shifted - I don’t look at it as “I have to get my workout in,” rather, it’s just my movement time. My muscles and joints feel better then they have in a long ass time, I feel more intuitive, connected, whole and present with movement... I look forward to this time everyday, knowing some days I need a little less, and some days if I have a busy day and I miss it, it’s ok ... At least no matter what I will likely be walking a ton daily allowing blood to flow and body to move.
I am just excited to continue on this path, and see what shows up around every corner. What started as such basic group of movements has expended into a large tool box of creativity and fun. 95% of the time it’s just me, my body and a band... and it works!!!! Traveling for a long time, not having a gym, not having a big space, no fancy equipment - it’s no excuse... there is always a way to move.
Boundaries ... I think we all have them whether or not we realize what they are !!
It has taken me 38 years to learn what boundaries even are and I’m now on a journey of discovering what mine are - and more importantly how to honor and protect them. I feel this is a huge part of the self love journey.
On this trip I’m committed to honoring my boundaries, guilt free, no matter what ... I’ve not been perfect, but it’s getting easier with every passing day and week. My daily mantra is “to be unapologetically me” .... and what is me? Me could be different everyday.... or at least what I need can vary day to day.
In my awareness I am already noticing a few patterns that I’m able to quickly redirect myself out of ... but to be aware of my reactions and automatic initial habits and emotional addictions....
First, I notice that often I will have a boundary that I’m not acknowledging and I’m in a situation that makes me uncomfortable or upset and I’m quick to get frustrated - and project this frustration onto the other as though I’m stuck in it - when the reality is - I’m more upset with myself for not speaking up and expressing what I need and what isn’t working for me - and more importantly having the courage to walk away if we can’t find a mutual stomping ground.
However, I’m so excited to just be aware of this and be given multiple opportunities to make shifts in my reactions and altering the outcomes. I feel confident in my strength to now be aware of something that doesn’t feel right - ask self what it is - ask self how can I correct this or what can I do about it differently - ask self what positive is coming out of this - and then take action.....if necessary (when the benefits do not outweigh the cost or when we are dealing with a nonnegotiable), which leads me to the other awareness I have - my emotional addiction of guilt.
I find myself slipping quickly into guilt if I decide I need something to be different then what is and I have made a commitment already, for example, a period of time in a work trade, or if I’m in a group and we are trying to make plans and I decide to go a different direction ....
The thing is - both the anger at self projecting outward and the guilt - neither are self loving or compassionate or solution oriented .... and I’n learning to quickly realize this and work toward releasing these emotions and keeping my heart open - recognizing that whatever my needs are is ok - and I’m allowed to honor that first- especially because at no point is it ever harmful or hurtful to anyone else.
In this journey and exploration there is also this balance of learning where I can be more flexible... aka - what are my nonnegotiable boundaries - verse where can I be more flexible in life whereby going with the flow is actually more healthy for me - because growth does come from stretching ourself (often) into what is not comfortable .... while it can be a fine line, there is always a difference.
So these are the two main themes I’m noticing and just simply noticing. It’s just becoming so fun to be aware and curious - playfully challenging myself, my beliefs, and my needs, while practicing patience for myself and others as we navigate this journey of life, remembering the goal is not perfection but simply progress. #progressnotperfection #perfectlyjmperfect #growthmindset #loveyoself
Gratitude .... this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this topic, and it won’t be the last - it’s one that can’t get enough attention... I don’t know about you but I would rather focus my attention on higher vibrational concepts & emotions these days.... I would say, in general, it’s always harder to be grateful for things when we are surrounded by so much luxury that we can forget to appreciate the little things we have that make a big difference .... so I would say, if anyone is in a bleak mindset or funk where they are having a harder time seeing the vast amount of richness and blessings they are surrounded by - I would suggest traveling 3rd world.... in a short amount of time and experience it is impossible to not start to be aware of ALL the many ways we are so spoiled in the states.
Ok, let’s be real, in some way or another everyday is a reminder for me to count my blessings.... it’s just some days and some things are extra loud and clear! For example, yesterday was the FIRST amazing hot, solid pressured shower I have had since I left 36 days ago... and oh my what a reminder it was - I felt so spoiled, so lucky and I was on cloud 9 buzzing afterwards... I mean I could actually get my hair wet, and shave without goose bumps & raiser burn!!!!
We live in this delusional world where we just look at the “luxuries” we have as normal or expected - without realizing what blessings they really are ... running water! So many people in this world don’t even know what that means - the amount of work they have to do to bath is incredible - life is harder. Ok, so some people have running water, but they have no experience of water pressure or heated water... they only know how to experience heating water on a fire.... then we all sit around complaining about how our water has fluoride and it’s “killing” us - but in truth... is it? Sure, yes, absolutely it’s not beneficial and we are better off without, I would be lying if I didn’t admit I paid the premium for a special filter system to remove fluoride (again, a blessing), ... but hell can we just be grateful we have running water we can drink without ending up with a bacterial infection?? We just get so entitled sometimes, and yes, it’s ok for us to hold our government and agencies to higher standards, because we are blessed enough to live in a country that can afford higher standards, but in the process of fighting for more, my hope is we can not get so lost in the expectation of more that we forget to be grateful for what already is, and celebrate the blessings everyday.
Gratitude - we can never have enough and if we look around we have a million and one reasons everyday to be grateful ... we are always going to find what we are looking for ... are we looking for what isn’t working? What isn’t good enough? Something to complain about? Or we looking for blessings? For joys? For reasons to celebrate and be thankful?
It always comes down to perspective.
I love the quote, “if we don’t like something, change it, if we can’t change it, change the way we think about it”
We always have a choice. Do we want to live our life in gratitude? Or complaint?
PS ... there is truly beauty everywhere .... it’s such a blessing to be able to make the choice to be bold and adventurous and explore other nooks and crannies of the world, but it’s important to always remember that their is beauty right in our own backyard - going far to experience it is such a gift, but not necessary... one must just open her eyes & be willing to see what is all around.
It’s in the sunrise, the sunset, the stars, the clouds, the raindrops, the moon, the flowers, the trees, the hillsides, the mountain tops, the coast line, the lakes, the salt water ocean air.. it’s in farms and fields, meadows and ponds, it’s in flat and hilly, hot and cold, east and west & so much more. It’s in nature and people, land near and far, clean and dirty and everything in between. Gosh, life really is a dream... we get to choose what kind of dream 💕
One of my biggest goals with this trip was to learn how to be unapologetically me. To learn to live authentically and intuitively - to honor my truths. To learn to also love and fully accept myself more, thereby creating space for others to do the same. Also to no longer care what anyone thought of me, knowing and trusting that all the right people for me will be in my life in the right time and place. I’m noticing already, one month in how much more conscious, present and aware I am becoming ... often in the moment ... and how when I notice myself falling back into an old pattern or thought habit I can acknowledge it with grace, with loving kindness, and quickly autocorrect or realign. Whereby before I would beat myself up, feel guilty, get mad or frustrated with myself for my “continuous failure”, often feeling like I would never be able to change when I kept “messing up”. These days the idea of growth and change isn’t even in question- I know beyond a certainty of a doubt I’m already on a new path - walking in a new direction everyday - developing this deeper more meaningful relationship with myself and spirit, and that feels really good. I hold this belief that if we could all walk through a journey into developing deep meaningful relationships with ourselves first founded by authentic love - that we could all be so much happier, healthier and connected to one another. This takes courage ... and commitment.... and many moments of discomfort... sometimes it takes loneliness... it takes questioning ourself constantly - asking deeper layered questions - getting to the raw source of our belief systems, and often stripping away all that we have known or thought to be our truth. It takes presence, awareness and discipline - a constant reminder to not slip back into an autopilot state of being. It takes a willingness to challenge ourself rather then defend ourself. And it requires compassion, non-judgement, forgiveness, and love.
It’s crazy because I love the idea of falling more in love with who I am and what I stand for, and it helps me fall in love with humanity - with life - with all that is or ever was- finding beauty even in the struggle - the challenges. There are so many times on this trip I’m overwhelmed by the beauty I am surrounded by - both in nature and humanity - in joy and sorrow. I envision world where everyone can wake up tomorrow and make choices from a place of love - not ego masked as love - but genuine loving kindness.