We just cancelled a trip back East to visit friends and family. We haven't been back "home" for over a year and we had A LOT of people to see and plans to keep. This decision was done with a heavy heart but a very clear intention.
We need to rest. Be still. Live in simple, boring ROUTINE for a while. (More than just a week at a time, which is all we've been able to scrape together in the past year. To read more about how we 'quit life' and decided to travel the world, check out our personal blog: Love & Luggage)
With everything that we've been through, we have rarely had time to just be... Still. Quiet. Reflective. Open to inspiration. Able to heal.
As a practicing wellness coach, this is a huge part of what I help clients do. (Isn't that always the case.. so hard to do for ourselves what we suggest to others?)
I am ready to put my money where my mouth is.
Practice what I preach.
Walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
Granted I have done MANY a thing that I suggest to clients (elimination diets, supplementation, meditation, journaling, therapy, herbal remedies, yoga, naturopaths, colonics, quitting jobs, ending friendships, quit drinking, reduced caffeine, spend more time outside, SLEEP!!... the list could go on and on) BUT saying NO to fun and expectation is something that has always been hard for me (hello, FOMO?!?). True, I was getting better, but canceling an entire trip was a big, BIG test.
Would I listen to the still, quiet voice inside of me saying:
"go home, be still, relax, rest, and take time to heal"
OR would I listen to the voice shouting:
"it's fun to be with friends, you miss your family, it's your turn to travel, NOW is the time since you both don't have jobs, why postpone? You're being selfish and you know you will be fine once you get there"
Both have valid points. That's the hard part. There is no obvious right or wrong for most situations in life. There is only what FEELS MORE right in any given moment.
So, what are we doing now, instead of traveling and having FUN??
We are resting, sleeping, NOT living out of a suitcase. Checking in with doctors and healers. Talking. Laughing!! Walking. Connecting with friends and family from afar. Thinking. Writing. Eating whole, real foods. Cuddling with our dog. Enjoying nature. And INTEGRATING.
What is this "integrating" I speak of?
It's the coming together of seemingly separate things to benefit the whole.
It is just BEING.
It is a critical step that is often overlooked but so, SO POWERFUL.
- If you are a baker/cook you may relate to the idea of letting the meat "rest" or the pie "set".
- If you are a yogi you may relate to the idea of "savasana".
- If you are a parent you may relate to the idea of "quiet time".
- If you are in a romantic relationship you may relate to the idea of "simply being together, in comfortable silence, yet feeling totally connected".
- If you are religious it is the moment after prayer where you simply sit in silence and feel.
Integration is where the magic happens. It's like the meditation for your LIFE. Stillness and staying right where you are. Where you can allow the experiences, emotions, pain, and observations of your life come together and TEACH YOU.
We are not wired to do two things at once. As much as we like to THINK we can multi-task, it has been proven time and time again that we cannot. So intentionally doing nothing is VERY necessary for deep decompression AND strengthening us to move into the next chapter.
My husband and I have been so busy DOING we haven't have time to ABSORB what we have seen, done, learned, and felt.
We have had some HEAVY life experiences of late yet we haven't had the time or energy to fully process or grieve (Infertility being the most earth-shattering yet it seems to have shockingly been placed on the back burner while the more mundane day to day tasks piled up). We also haven't had to time to celebrate and feel overcome with gratitude for ALL we have been able to do and see, AND for just how miraculously our "plans" have worked out.
Something new and exciting has always laid right around the corner and that has kept us just distracted enough to compartmentalize those feelings.
I believe there is a season to all things. Nature showcases this perfectly but human life cycles are just as obvious if we let them be. Right now I am going to hibernate in a "winter" of my own making (thankfully it is a shorter and more enjoyable winter than nature provides) BUT I will be ready for "spring" soon enough, to bring in the new and fresh perspectives that only rest and time can provide.
My inner groundhog has seen her shadow, so it's 6 more weeks of winter for me.
What season of life are you in??