Category Archives: Travel

The fullness of the moment

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Writing this feels like I’m channeling Sarah Jessica Parker’s character on Sex and the City as she gets an idea and continues on with – ‘I got to thinking’. At the yoga studio, Amy often reads from Judith Lasater’s A Year of Living Your Yoga. I liked the quotes so much, I actually got the book and am regularly impacted by its quote of the day. In Wednesday’s class she talked about the ‘wholeness of the moment’ and as we practiced on our mats, ‘I got to thinking’ – how can we embrace that wholeness of the moment feeling more often?

We all have the same amount of hours in a day. We all have the same amount of minutes in the day – but what we do with those minutes and hours make our stories different from one another. I don’t know about you, but on vacation, the moments seem fuller. In summer, the moments seem fuller. When traveling, the moments seem fuller. The ones on the trail, at the ocean, eating ice cream, in a sporting event, meditating, in the midst of a tough yoga pose – those seem to hold a far more powerful moment than the other everyday ones. Something in that reasoning seems hinky. Like you, I aim to create the life I imagine and find joy in those everyday moments. With that in mind, how can we make those everyday moments feel as full and as engaged in the present as the ones where we’re relaxing on the beach in The Maldives or in the midst of a gigglefest with life-long friends?

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When you think about it, it really is interesting. Regardless of what fills our moments, the aim is to be more present in each one. If we embrace more mindful awareness, that potential for not only living in the present moment, but finding that wholeness of the moment increases. Whether it’s the awareness, the breath, the noticing, or the process – the idea of solely being – is huge. When we’re in those spaces that tend to allow for that – we’re there. That brilliant French Polynesian sunset, that first glimpse of a glacier, the awe of witnessing elephants playfully engaging with one another, the foothold of mid-climb on the wall or in the infectious belly-laughing sessions with friends – we find it there. For some reason or another, those moments feel full. What about all of the other ones in between?

I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but some of those answers are out there. It’s there in the poetry of greats like Emerson and the wisdom of trail seekers like John Muir. It’s in the meditative guidance of gurus like Jon Kabat Zinn and the influential philosophies of The Dalai Lama. It’s in the breeze carried by the ocean, the sweet spot of a surfer’s wave, the journey of Everest trekkers and the poise of a gymnast mid-flip. It’s the magic of the present, the focus in the awareness and the ease of letting go of all the rest but the here and now. That’s how we sharpen our focus; that’s how we bring the fullness of that cliff jumping moment into the nuances of folding laundry, answering emails, garnering new business and managing our busy lives.

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Let go of the apocalyptic apoplectic agita-inducing anticipatory anxiety that is all encompassing and see where life leads. Often it’s the dread of worry about what might happen, the future-planning mindset or the grappling with what we’ve decided will happen that consumes and clutters the space where the ease begins and the fullness of the moment takes hold. Think about it. In the spaces without time frames, in the glow of nature’s light, in the heat of an intense conversation with a friend or in the midst of a bite of a mind-blowing morsel – you’re there, you’re truly in the moment – with all of it’s wholeness, all of it’s everything – you’re all there. That’s it.

Over a week ago, the husband and I ran an Australian bushfire relief yoga class fundraiser and a friend of mine from childhood came with her 6 year old daughter who does yoga in school. After introducing the little one as an aspiring yogi to a yoga teacher friend of mine, my friend reminded us all that we’re really all aspiring and continuing a practice. It’s often muttered, ‘it’s not yoga perfect, it’s yoga practice’ and it’s true. The same can be said for life.

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As I write I’m sitting outside in the courtyard of my building. The sun burns hot on my face, footsteps of shared space dwellers pass by, and there’s a humming rhythm of cars flying by on the adjacent street. Bells of a wind chime clang, dogs play in the dog run, a bee floats past my peripheral vision and the wind ripples the water in the pool. It’s a work day, but shifting that perspective to my travel happy mindset helps. If we open our eyes to that noticing, that awareness, that growth that continues to come from practice – perhaps we’ll experience more moments when we’re all in, when the wholeness seems palpable, and the moment exudes presence. I’ll keep practicing if you will. Namaste.

Sitting with it all

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Have you ever had the thoughts that were constantly spinning in your head? You know, what you think you have to over analyze and then realize that you’re really over thinking and it’s not such a good thing. Have you heard the phrase, ‘sit with it’? Whether you’re a meditation guru, have random talks with your therapist or listen to the speeches of World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe – you may have (at one point or another) heard the phrase, ‘sit with it’. Read the rest of this entry

Connections in movement and mindfulness – an interview with a passionate performance artist

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My best friend in high school wanted to be a dancer. I remember countless nights practicing with friends as she choreographed our performance for the Senior Show. When she majored in modern dance in college, I went to visit her and see all of her years of work come to fruition. This week it seems another part of life has come full circle. Read the rest of this entry

14 year old wisdom

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“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

The other day I spoke to my favorite 14-year old. In perfect teenage fashion, she was lounging in her room, babysitting her brother and detailing her excitement for the end of the school year. We did social studies homework, found frustration with end of school year insanity, dreamed about travel and talked of the utter joy she gets from her passion for horses. And then, unknowingly, she paid me the best compliment ever. She called me ‘earthy’ and seemed to light up at the thought of taking time out of the day to go to yoga and find an ease. She has no idea how big my heart smiled at that very instant. Read the rest of this entry

Seeking home

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Home. For some it’s the beach, the mountain or the smell of a clean sheet. For some it’s a meadow, a valley or the smell of the leaves after the rain. For some it’s traditions, the aroma of baking bread or the sound of family waking up underneath the same roof. For some it’s a place, while for others it’s a feeling. Home is an interesting concept. As a child – home was my nuclear family, the house in which I grew up, the only street on which I lived and the town to which I was associated. Home was a short walk from the high school, down the block from the youth group, twenty minutes from the beach and about an hour from sleep away camp. Home was the people, an address, an abode, a town and a state to which I referred when introducing myself. Damn, a lot has changed. Read the rest of this entry

Getting to next

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What we expected to be three months turned into three years. San Diego became more than a spot to wait out the New York winter, it became our home. Three years ago we were bitching about the impending winter and hoping that someone would come through with a work visa for the United Kingdom and that that would be our ‘next’. Why wait in the cold when we could experience something new, we thought. We packed the car, drove west and found a home in San Diego.

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In those three years we’ve grown more than I could have imagined. We’ve done exactly what we wanted to and fully embraced the outdoor year ’round lifestyle. We’ve added hikes to our routine, elevated our yoga and gym days, come to love fish tacos and have without question come to favor a more holistic approach to life. Our daily life includes making time for self-care, being sure to find time for mindfulness activities and learning that health and wellness matter more than we ever thought before. We’ve gotten rid of those toxic relationships, become more aware of what makes our happiness flow and have decided that it’s more than okay to put that happiness first. No matter where we roam, these things are now ingrained in us and I hope, will continue no matter the post code.

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The two of us our lucky to have many places around the globe that we call ‘home’. Between the both of us, there has been life in New York, Melbourne, London and San Diego. When we headed west, we made the official decision to work contract and freelance so we wouldn’t be tied down and would be be able to jump at opportunities when and if they came along. Since the husband got an offer that was literally too ‘good to refuse’, our journey continues as we head back to New York for a little while. But we’ve made a decision that we didn’t make when we returned from our first ’round the world trip and this is the game changer.

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Experiences change us and those internal changes aren’t visible on the outside. Upon that first re-entry, it was almost impossible for others to see the changes and we felt as if these newly square pegs were supposed to fit back into our previous round holes. Needless to say, we felt squished, frustrated, agitated and struggled with the ideas of not wanting to push those life-changing experiences aside to fit back into the people we were before – well, not this time. After two ’round the world trips, two (with an impending third) cross country road trips and a three year stint living in a place we adore the changes are evident. Our attitudes, lifestyle choices, and views on health and wellness have shifted and those shifts are here to stay.

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After countless conversations, ‘getting to next’ has appeared more often than I can count. The ideas of planning for the time when your teeth might fall out more easily, where and how your heart is happiest and what makes your spirits soar are categories of chats that regularly appear around our picnic table. How to get the opportunity to spend the day to day in a space you adore while having the expendable cash to jet off on a moment’s notice and not have to worry about ‘taking time off’ – these are only some of our beach walk and hiking conversations. For now, we’ve added San Diego as a place we call home and would happily do so again. Who knows exactly what the full definition of ‘getting to next’ will entail, but for the moment, ‘next’ is bringing us to the land where the boys in pinstripes play, bagels reign supreme, and the Atlantic crashes on the shore.

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You’ll find us wearing newly purchased base layers, searching for new adventures, playing outside, wiggling our feet in the sand, seeking out proper fish taco shops and chowing down on those flagels that never seem to make it west of the five boroughs. We’re headed out in a few weeks and will fill you in on the road trip spots along the way. We’ll land in early January and are always open to new ideas, new experiences, new opportunities and new places to play. Join us along the way and come say hi when we hit the Atlantic. Wherever the journey takes us, we hope you’ll be a part of it all…here’s to ‘getting to next’.

Returning to bliss

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I’ve been travel dreaming my entire life. At an early age, I didn’t yet know it, but it was definitely there. I adored the family beach holidays and trips to Disney and loved the feeling of full-fledged freedom each brought with them. I guess, at the time, that feeling meant no homework, not having to wake up early to rush to get to school and the possibility of having ice cream three times a day. As the years progressed and I was the one choosing the destination, footing the bill and deciding the length of time and distance of the journey, the feeling of freedom was the same but the meaning, different. It started with something special to look forward to, to do during those educational holidays (while in university or teaching) and has grown into a desire to have that freedom feeling of travel dreaming joy all the time.

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Hugs and a serotonin shift

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The world has been shrinking due to the fabulous power of things like travel and the Internet. It seems only yesterday when snail mail was the focus and cell phones were things you saved for emergencies. Today snail mail is held for IRS notifications and the once in a blue moon actual birthday card and most of life’s communications are made from the tiny computers in the palm of our hands. If you’ve ever been to Disneyworld® and watched the Carousel of Progress go from the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder to that of George Jetson, it’s easy to understand how nutty it is that I can tap a button while at the beach in San Diego, California and can video conference with my godson while he’s on the rugby field in Hong Kong. While technology broadens our global relationships, there’s still a feeling of separate in a world of connection. Read the rest of this entry

Travel…a shift in the everyday existence

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A friend of mine used to tell me that I loved travel because I didn’t like reality. She swore that was the reason I loved laying on a beach in Cancun or seeing the sights of Europe. Perhaps part of that is true, but most of life was pretty great. If you’re healthy and have the ability of choice – what’s the problem, right? I had another friend who told me that if I loved ‘summer Stacey’, wouldn’t I want to try to embrace that person all year ’round? I imagine, in a sense, they were both right. Travel and summer, for me, have always provided a lifestyle involving freedom, possibilities, smiles and endless optimism. They’re the chocolate ice cream for toddlers and the glitter for crafters rolled into one. Read the rest of this entry

Journey, change…forward

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Do you know if you’re on a path? Have you felt stuck, in search of a new goal, or have you realized that there’s something else you can do or learn in this world? I’m not sure how much stock I ever put in all of this stuff. For years, it wasn’t for me. I didn’t need a path, journey or any of those what I once thought were ‘life coach moments’, I was living, enjoying, being – that was enough. I can’t tell you if there was a specific ‘aha’ moment or that I read this thing on @Pinterest or saw it on @Oprah® that seemed to click, but somehow, this mindset has entered my existence and it seems it’s here to stay.

“No matter how hard the past…you can always begin again” – Buddha Read the rest of this entry