Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: reconnect

Finding my Footing

I've been back in the U.S. for about a week now, and it's been like a hazy dream. Because it's the holiday season, and I'm back with family, I feel like I'm in visiting mode. So in some ways it doesn't feel like my travels have ended. I'm still living “out of a suitcase” (meaning my clothes aren't in a bureau or closet where they will remain permanently for the next year, at least), and not in my own bedroom or occupying my own kitchen with my own dishes, spices, sauces, cooking utensils. Funny how my own bedroom and kitchen are what dictates my feeling in my own home. Sleep and food matter to me most.

My immediate steps post-travel have been unpacking, sorting through my photos to post and share in some kind of coherent way, and reconnecting with friends (mostly by phone and email). But what about when that ends?

Christmas is two weeks away, so I'll be occupied with baking, preparing recipes for family dinners, wrapping some presents, and getting ready for a family reunion.

And then after the new year, I'll be going to a yoga teacher training retreat in Sedona!! I've been wanting to do a teacher training course, and when I was traveling, I did research on programs in Asia which might have worked for me (cost, timing, location). And although I found some interesting programs in Bali, Thailand, and Malaysia, the timing didn't work out. So while I was in Malaysia, I did some more research on programs in the U.S. and found this center, 7 Centers Yoga Arts, in Sedona that had a training for right after New Year's Day. Perfect! Timing was perfect. Location was perfect. The cost was around the range of programs wherever I looked.

After some hemming and hawing (could I afford it? how would I know if it was a good program? would this be a good time?), I decided to do it because when else will I be able to take a month off to do a teacher program? And the cost now will be recouped later in life; it's not a totally sunk cost. Yes, I'm taking more out of my savings, but it's an investment in myself and my skills.

The course will take me through the beginning of February. Then I really need to start figuring things out. The big questions remain:

  • Where will I move to?
  • What kind of work will I be doing? Or, more to the point, what will I do to make enough money to pay for housing and food and bills?

And the small questions that come under that are also lingering in my mind:

  • If I leave Boston, how will I move all my stuff? How will I tell everyone and say goodbye for real?
  • If I move to a new city (at this point, I'm only considering cities where I already know people. I don't have any desire to move somewhere where I don't know anyone at all.), how will I start over finding my community and setting down roots?
  • Will I be OK? Will it be scary?

I'm trying to “lean into uncertainty,” and not stress too much. I've learned, especially this past year, that when I stress and worry, all that happens is that I'm stressed and anxious and everything turns out OK. Instead of being stressed and worried, then, I might as well enjoy each moment and day as they come, especially since I won't be able to enjoy this kind of free time once I start working again.

I tend to gravitate toward the safety of answers and certainty. I want to learn how to live with questions and uncertainty.

The yoga training/ retreat will be good for me to get grounded again. I'm looking forward to it. We're supposed to disconnect from technology for the month and take the time to meditate, reflect, and breathe/sleep/eat yoga. It will be a cleansing experience in many ways.

In the meantime, I'm listening to lots of Christmas music to make up for all the lost weeks since Thanksgiving when I usually would start listening to my collection of Christmas songs. And I'm gearing up to do some baking and cooking this week. Pumpkin muffins. Lemon cookies. Maybe experimenting with some new recipes.


A Wee Post to Reconnect

It's only been a few days since I last posted, but each day feels so long here on my travels since so much happens, I think. Not that so much REALLY happens, but I'm doing something different each day, learning new things, seeing new things, talking about new things, and each day feels more than its usual 24 hours. As a result, one day passes, and it feels like more have elapsed.

View of beach at Paihia, on the bus en route to Kerikeri

I am now in Kerikeri, almost at the top of the North Island of New Zealand. I'm at a lovely couple's home in the countryside. They own 13 acres and have it used for gardens (veggies and plants and flowers), for livestock, and left for paddock. I'll talk more about the WWOOFing in another post.

I can't get over how amazing this time in New Zealand has been. Food, people, fresh air, sights and sounds. I haven't really done anything spectacular or adventurous; but I've met beautiful people, reconnected with the earth physically and metaphysically, and have extricated myself from a desk-technology-centered life for just a few months (well, except for my iPad and iPhone).

Instagram-ed photo of the Tasman Bay in Nelson, from the bus on our way to Picton

When I talk to people and tell them that I quit my job before coming out there, I often get the reaction that I'm brave or that it takes a lot of gumption to up and do that. I didn't feel that brave or gumption-ful at the time– it just felt like it was time to leave the job, and I could have gone on to find another job and continued on with life in that fashion.

I'm going back home to the U.S. with new insights, with new ideas, with new friendships, and with a new appreciation for lamb (I never used to eat it, but free-range, grass-fed lamb is quite tasty!).

I'm getting clearer ideas of what I want to do and where I want to be when I get back, but I'm not quite ready to share with the world yet. I know I have to, not only just to let people know but also I'm realizing the importance of feedback and support from others. I'm anticipating big changes up ahead. I need the courage, also, to take the big leaps because I know I am capable. I fear failure and slow-going and mistakes. I have to learn to embrace all that and accept that things are always messy when there is big change involved.

So just wanted to reconnect with my inner self in this post. And to once again appreciate all that has allowed me to be here, in this place, at this time.

Reconnecting and Finding Meaning

Since I ended my streak, I haven’t been blogging regularly. Having photos everyday to share made it more interesting to blog and actually gave me a reason to blog. Now I’ve lost some reason to blog. I know that once I start traveling, I’ll definitely be blogging. But now, I’ve lost some direction.

I also haven’t been taking photos as much since the streak ended.

So I’m trying to start a new streak: deep breathing at the end of each day right before I go to bed. I often get home and realize that I haven’t really breathed all day. I mean, I’ve done the involuntary breathing, of course, since I’m still alive. But I haven’t done any real breathing where I feel the expulsion of bad air and energy and intake of fresh, rejuvenating energy. So I’d like to do at least 10 deep breaths before I turn off the light and go to bed.

I started this last night and it felt good. But then I went through today with its craziness and lost the effects. I’ll see what happens by the end of this streak. I’m aiming for a deadline of August 31st– my last day of work.

Reconnection is about plugging back into something that you became unplugged, separated from. How do I reconnect to the blog? How do I reconnect to meaning in my life? I’m hoping that my travels will allow me to do that. But what if it doesn’t? I guess the worst that could happen is that at least I get some time off of working and get to have a change of scenery. At least there’s a benefit to that.

Some of the bloggers that I follow have been raving about a recent event called the World Domination Summit which is organized by Chris Guillebeau, writer, blogger, traveler, etc. I’ve been jealous to hear about the amazing event and wish I could have gone there! I’m looking for more people to commiserate with who are in a similar mindset of wanting to do and be more. And wanting to use creativity, mission, passion, and innovation to get there.

It’s interesting how I’m looking outside of my networks, relationships, connections, friends to find something. Why can’t I find what I’m looking for among what I have? What’s missing? Will I end up coming back from my travels and want to come back to the comfort and known of those who are here?

The main point here, though, is I want to determine the goals of my blog. I read this post from a
“Freshly Pressed” WordPress blog. The blogger talked about needing a purpose for his blog and how he needed to write about something he was really passionate about. It was a good reminder that I don’t want to be aimlessly blogging just to fill cyberspace with more useless drivel.

So here are some thoughts about what I’m passionate about that I could blog about:

  • amazing people in my life– youth I’ve mentored, people who have mentored me, friends, family
  • recipes, restaurants, food reviews– I love to eat!
  • meaningful quotes I’ve come across
  • a line from anything I’m reading– a book, blog, newspaper article

I need to set a writing schedule, too. Once a week? More than that?
Hmmm. Where to go next…

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