Travel

Magic Formula For a Lighter Life

Last week I wrote about traveling being a sacred journey where I lose myself, find myself and reinvent myself, which you can read here. The first month has been a lot of inner work, seeing into my shadow self who reacts without thought, & who desires a little too much. I wrote about how sending those parts of me love has helped to shine a light on the shadows. When we shine the light of love in the darkest of corners, we’re able to see a little more clearly where we can soften our edges.

With this new year, I’ve identified 3 areas of growth that I will intentionally focus on as daily practices. In just a few days of awareness in these areas, I already feel lighter. I feel like the soft exhale to counterbalance the gasping of breath I felt last month.

My 3 daily cultivations are:
1. Gratitude
2. Courage
3. Patience

Let’s dive a little deeper.

Gratitude:

As we move into intentional living, it is important to hold a space of gratitude. It is easy to focus on all that is wrong in the world, or in our current situations. In many cultures, and in my own upbringing, we are hardwired to complain. Venting is ok sometimes, but cultivating gratitude dulls the sharp edges of our worries or complaints.

Appreciating the moment now is an excellent form of gratitude. Harvard did a study on the odds of being born, and the results indicated it’s pretty much a miracle. Each breath is an opportunity to breathe deeper, each step is an opportunity to step lighter and with more awareness. When we can begin by appreciating the simple idea that we are alive right here right now, appreciating the little things becomes easier.

Starting a gratitude journal is a great way to start the day or end the night. Each morning, before I get out of bed, I imagine 3 things I am grateful for, and take that to the heart. They can be simple things like waking up to the smell of coffee, or having a pillow. (I recently became very grateful for having a pillow after 2 different, 10 hour night buses through Mexico). You can also be grateful for qualities within yourself. When we begin the day appreciating ourselves, we don’t desire the appreciation of others as much. I appreciate my courage to wander into the unknown and this year I will cultivate even more courage.

Courage:

Courage is the inner compass that drives you forward past your fears and into spaces filled with potential. Fear is hardwired into our DNA. It serves a purpose biologically. Fear can keep us safe, but is safety all we’re after in humanity?

It seems to be that in Western society we are obsessed with safety. Safety and comfort are imposed on us and sold to us daily. Fences and barbed wire are erected for your “safety”, keep out signs and danger signs are posted everywhere for your “safety”. And why would anyone leave their houses with the amount of things purchased inside those four walls all in the name of comfort?

It’s all ok. Being comfortable is a beautiful, cozy feeling. Safety can help you feel grounded. But have you ever noticed that when you find yourself in uncomfortable situations, the appreciation of comfort goes that much deeper? To leave a space of comfort and throw yourself into the unknown is a courageous move.

When I first grabbed my pack in 2013, I had no idea what the world would bring. When trying to envision a life on the road it was an empty page in my minds eye. This page in my mind has since been filled with imagery so vivid and rich, which before seemed like an empty void.

Osho, the infamous spiritual teacher in the arts of yoga and zen, talks about the void being a place full of infinite potential. If the the things you can’t even imagine are allowed to take shape, the forms that appear before you open you in ways you never dreamed of. It begins with courage. To step into the unknown, with a backpack, or with a song, or with a practice that you think is strange, takes courage. It starts with one step. A step into the void can materialize magnificence.

I’ve learned that when stepping into something new, patience is key. We have to learn to walk before we can walk a tight rope. I have learned this lesson the hard way.

Patience:

Patience is something that I can remember working on even as a child. The child in me is still impatient as ever. I get so excited! I once convinced my mom to let me open every single present on Christmas Eve because I didn’t want to wait.

Patience is connected to allowing. We allow the breath to ebb & flow, we allow the come and go of the waves upon the shore, we allow the sun to rise and fall. These are things we cannot control. So why then do we try to control every aspect of our lives? We don’t yearn for the sun to set faster than it does, we sit in admiration soaking in every blissful moment of it’s return towards the earth. When it comes to relationships, I have a tendency to try to push things along. I justify this by knowing that I’m never anywhere for too long, so in my mind, whatever love is to be shared needs to be shared NOW! {giggle snort} This is my leading edge, the place in me that I hope to fill with patience & gratitude for all that is.

With gratitude as my anchor, courage as my driving force, and patience as my guide, I hope to continue to stay present in my growth and share from a place of light. By authentically connecting to the places in me that still need nurturing, I hope to connect with you from a place of nurturing.

Nurture your self in my upcoming retreat in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. This retreat is about stepping into your full potential and transforming your shadows into light. register here at www.junglevibration.com

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