Seeking that true self

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the true self. Some people find it in their younger years and hold onto it. Others search for decades only to find out in their golden years that they’ve been living by the rules of others for sometime now. Whether it’s been from society, friends, family, religion, what you think you’re ‘supposed’ to do or based on what you’ve seen on television – the focus has been somewhere else, not on your true self. How do we bring that to the table?

It’s a feeling that something is out of alignment, no longer serving you and something needs to shift. Interestingly enough, It’s something deep in the soul that sends shimmers to the brain or being once in awhile. We’ve all seen the memes and Instagram accounts of the octogenarians taking the world by storm. They put on their most colourful threads, throw caution to the wind and are the hippest ladies around. They know, they’ve found it and are willing to share that comfort in their own skin with the world.

I’ve realized how partial I am to shows and movies that showcase that transition somewhere along the line. In Broadway’s Wicked, Elphaba,’the green witch’, has a rocky start in her youth, an experience along the way that changes her and finishes the show standing strong in her own voice. Frozen, too, has a difficult start, an experience that fully sparks Elsa to find herself and that powerful spirit or true self that becomes apparent in the end. Perhaps it’s not the same, but somewhere along the way, there’s been a transition in my world, too.

Wrinkles of that transition probably began long before I can remember, but it sparked 15 year ago when I went to New Zealand and then cracked open along that one year honeymoon around the world. It’s been in the middle of those phases since then and for some reason moving to San Diego has made it feel as if I’m finally beginning to see the other side – that I’m finding my voice, my true self.

All the things, good and bad led me here. Perhaps the challenges help to foster the transition. Perhaps the transition sprinkles in the whispers of clarity. Perhaps the clarity opens our possibilities to embrace that true self. On and off the yoga mat, I feel it more and more. There are still heaps of moments of haze and fogginess where the present and the future seem fuzzy, as if the purpose is not yet clear. But, there are also those moments of that certainty that reminds me to continue to seek, continue to be curious and continue to put one foot in front of the other.

A turn of a calendar page seems to awaken these thoughts, emblazons the curiosity and encourage the seeker to seek. There’s another full year in front of us. Empty pages on which to inscribe dreams, create visions and manifest life the way we hope it can be. Patience plays a role in all of this. Sitting with it all, not knowing the outcome and believing in the possibilities matter. Clarity isn’t continuous. We all have those days when it seems like the world has too many troubles to fix, when the mountains in front of us are too immense to climb and when that path that may have been clear yesterday feels utterly amorphous or filled with potholes.

Show up. Keep showing up and then show up again. Put one foot in front of the other. Smile at a stranger, find gratitude in the every day, help someone and remember that the clarity will return. For me, I head to a yoga class, go for a walk by the ocean, hit a trail or chat with a friend. Little by little it returns, the clouds part and the grounding feeling of comfort in ones own skin returns. Stay open, remain curious and keep seeking. Finding that true self is a continual process, hell, even Frozen has a sequel. What does your next page look like?

Change – it isn’t always easy

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2015 - Yoga

Change is good. For decades I ran away from it, was afraid of it and swore I wasn’t any good at it – today, that’s different (although I’m still not at ease with it). Somehow those beginning weeks of January tend to feel as if we’re standing on a precipice and it could all go in any direction. We could turn back and head towards our same choices and habits or go forward into the unknown. We could dangle here on the edge for awhile and hedge our bets with the thought of lifting off or falling back down the rabbit hole and wait until we feel comfortable with one or the other. We could leap with the possibility of falling, but what if, perhaps we fly? There’s rarely an easy answer, a comfortable feeling or a right time – often it’s trust your gut, trust your journey and believe that the net will appear (because really, you’re your own net). Read the rest of this entry

Abundance, Kindness and Light in 2020

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Hello 2020

Welcome to the new year – Happy 2020, all.

Gratitude. Curiosity. Space. Kindness. Courage. Trust. Change. Boundaries. Forgiveness. Self-care. Openness. Receptivity. Activism. Love. Light. Creativity.

In recent years, people seem to be talking less about particular resolutions and more about a theme for the year. That central theme for the entire 365 days might help to redirect shifts that appear, center choices and realign things that are serving you and discard those that no longer are. Do you have a theme for this year? Read the rest of this entry

Reflections of 2019 – The year I officially got to be a mermaid

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Mermaid Life - Coronado - 2019

Wasn’t it just January? This year seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. It’s as if we’ve been bitten by Disney magic and time is a medium all its own. There are years that seem to last far more than their 12 months and others that feel lightning fast, this one was the latter. How has 2019 treated you? Read the rest of this entry

Begin Again

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1 January 2019

It’s January of 2019 – can you believe it? We blinked and December turned to January, the days are getting longer and the promise of a new year is upon us. What will you do with the blank pages? How will you make 2019 your best year yet? Read the rest of this entry

At home on the left coast

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We made it to San Diego

Exactly four years ago we arrived in San Diego. A cross country road trip (the first of four in four years) designed to plop us here for three months to avoid a New York winter has lasted far longer than we ever expected. What we thought would be a blip on the radar turned into a chosen city and a chosen home. Even when we thought about leaving, life turned us right back around. San Diego has been a far greater gift than we could have ever imagined. Read the rest of this entry

365 Days

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Last year the husband and I spent Thanksgiving weekend hiking in Palm Springs, California. I remember those photos as some of the happiest ones I had for awhile as shortly after, the entirety of my world shifted. The phone call came the following weekend and aside from sitting at the airport in tears, I don’t remember much after that. Flight, hospital, difficult familial conversations, funeral, shiva and a whole hell of a lot of tears – today, it’s been a year since Dad suddenly passed away. Read the rest of this entry

Awareness and awakenings on the mat

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Oh my goodness!!!!! A friend (and yoga teacher) of mine hugged me today and said, ‘Congratulations, yoga teacher’…..and she was talking to me!!! I can’t believe she said that out loud!

“You are never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis

It’s enlightening how goals and dreams change along the way. If you asked me years ago if I was ever going to want to be a yoga instructor I would have looked at you as if you were nuts – fast forward three weeks and I’ve finished a 200-hour yoga teacher training course at my home studio. WHAT? I know; I feel the very same way!

Yoga One San Diego Summer Intensive Teacher Training Class 2018

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Root to rise – on and off the mat

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Genius, she is. Once again, after class ended and I asked Amy why she thought I couldn’t quite grasp one particular pose – she knew exactly what to say. It wasn’t the fact that every body type has different possibilities. It wasn’t about my scoliosis and it wasn’t about anyone’s talent in yoga. And sure, it’s definitely got something to do with the internal and external rotation of the hips, but that’s not the point either. She said, ‘most of the time, in yoga, if you can’t get to a pose – the key is, sit up higher’.

thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

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Be the change

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When I was little, I had a friend who lived around the corner. I can remember building forts out of couch cushions in her basement, creating chalk drawings on the driveway and playing spud on that lawn. But more importantly, I remember her grandparents. They had the most wonderful accents, the most genuine hearts and they were the first people I ever met with numbers tattooed on their arms. This Nana and Pop-Pop who adored a stranger from around the corner were the first Holocaust survivors I ever met. To this day, those adopted grandparents hold a very special place in my heart.

Conversation with Edie Eger Read the rest of this entry