I quit the gym this year to take better care of myself. I know that might not make sense to most people, but I know that for me, it was the right decision. Besides saving money, I saved about 25 minutes by not having to drive back and forth, having more time at home to love myself. The mural I found in Austin reminded me of this goal. (P.S. I love this amazing artist too!) I now dedicate my mornings to making coffee and grabbing a pen and a journal. Currently, I’m working through the Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living and the Artists Way, which encourages “Morning Pages”, writing three pages of unedited thoughts, ideas, feelings, and anything that just comes out on the page. (Although I recently just started Sweet Ass Journal To Develop Your Happiness Muscle.) I find that journaling in the morning is such a great outlet for my thoughts and doing the pages have helped me clarify what I want to do or say during the day.
Another morning habit, yoga has taken the morning stretching to a new level. I found Yoga With Adriene on Youtube and was instantly connected to her contagious laughter, her ability to create calm, and her loving spirit. Adriene (who lives in Austin and started teaching yoga at the studio pictured above) really has helped me in my at-home yoga practice, which helps me become stronger each day. I feel a deeper connection to my mind and body each morning. The concept of “Find what Feels Good” has been my mantra with her each morning. I’ve replaced my spin classes with hiking or walking before work each day. Being in Austin was no different. I took more time slowing down and being present, knowing that this may be the only time I ever walk down these streets.
When I arrived in Austin and got settled into my cute little apartment, I decided one of the focus points of the week was going to be that I deep dive into my reactions, my interactions, and improvements I can make with the relationship with myself. The extra time I had was well spent in writing out these concepts. I had brought my Domination Deck cards and put them all over the apartment, then practiced my meditation in the back of the room, while looking all around before and after, feeling a sense of peace, calm, and positivity.
Having a connection with others has recently become a clear sign of challenge for me in the past few weeks. When I was in Austin I was able to connect with a member of my Location IndieLocation Indie group, Alexandra (pictured below) who lives in Waco, just a little over an hour north of Austin. Not only was I thankful for connecting with her that day, I realized that being able to spend more time connecting with myself allowed me the space to connect with her, in a different way. If I hadn’t focused on writing out how to better connect with myself, I don’t think I would have been able to connect on a deep level as I did with her.
In the past, I had felt a sense of overwhelm about working out, my career, and all of the things that I haven’t done, and want to do. This year I’ve realized that while my life isn’t exactly where I want it to be, I’m thankful for where I am, which is in a place of practice, learning, and growing. I’m right where I need to be, and doing what I need to do.
Being in Austin made me realize that it’s possible for me to travel, and connect with others in places I don’t know, and I can have a great time anywhere, with anyone. I can give myself time to breathe, and enjoy each moment. And that’s what traveling is really all about. That’s what LIFE is all about, breathing, experiencing, learning, and feeling pain. That discomfort means we are still alive. (or it’s the pebble from the day before in my shoe)
Here’s a link to the Peace, Love Austin mural (another favorite of mine from downtown)