“You are just as worthy, deserving, and capable of creating and sustaining extraordinary health, wealth, happiness, love, and success in your life, as any other person on earth. It is absolutely crucial … that you start living in alignment with that truth.”
– Hal Elrod, The Miracle Morning
My first Mexico Motivational Morning
I first opened my eyes and stared at this ceiling which had to have been 20 feet up. I had my own room in our Airbnb apartment which allowed for privacy and space for me to practice my morning routine. There’s one window that’s small, halfway between the floors and ceiling that let in some light. It was a gentle, subtle way of waking up, which I enjoyed. I had set my alarm for 6 AM prepping for my morning routine before meeting up with my fellow “LIons” for our guided city tour of Querétaro.
Every day, for over a year, I’ve incorporated a practice of waking up with an intention to journal, read, practice yoga and do some meditation. It’s helped me to connect better with myself and is a non-negotiable for me at this point. If I miss it (which I’ve missed less than five days in a year) I feel “off” or not in alignment with myself, and I also notice my mood becomes agitated, life is just harder when I don’t keep this promise to myself.
I grabbed a pillow off the bed, sat it on the floor, and started to write out my thoughts as they were happening, the experience flying, getting into Mexico, and my excitement for the day ahead. Then I grabbed my cell phone and opened YWA’s monthly calendar, my daily yoga practice. Then I opened up my meditation app, 10% Happier is the one I’ve been using for just about a year now, and I mediated for about 10 minutes. Feeling ready, I ventured out of my room to chat with my friends and walk to meet our group for the day’s agenda.
Historic Tour of Querétaro
After meeting our group at the “LIons Den” we headed out with our tour guide, and I tried to keep up with everyone while seeing a canvas in each view for me to create a photograph. We discovered quaint plazas like the Plaza de Armas and toured the House of the Corregidora, Municipal Palace while listening to our guide describe the buildings in and around this colorful town, as we walked along the cobblestone streets. Our group had gotten to connect the evening before at dinner, but I was really excited for the afternoon workshop, so my attention bounced between really trying to listen to our guide, wanting to create photographs, and thinking about how I’ll create change in my life to move closer to my goals… in other words, there was a lot going on in my mind on this tour. I tried to keep thinking about how I would use the images, as I knew I’d be submitting a photo gallery to Travel Pulse for publication. I wanted my images to be dramatic and really worked hard at getting unique angles while still being part of the group and our experience.
Following the tour, we stopped at Hágase Su Taco for lunch. It’s an “off-the-beaten-path” kind of place and one that local’s love, according to Ray, part of the LI group who actually lives in Querétaro. After making our section and finding a place to eat, I tried to calm down all the thinking; by listening and learning about members of our group I just met. I learned about some struggles as well as wins that my fellow LI members have been working through and their goals for their journey. We also just enjoyed the experience of the cuisine. I had gotten some snacks earlier while on the tour, located in one of the plazas, and was munching on the delectable I’d gotten while also enjoying the tacos.
My Hero’s Journey
The reason I had chose to come to Querétaro is because of the LI Mexico Experience, which was the groups third official in-person meet up. The event was a combination of group travel, location exploration, and personal development. After exploring this town and the diverse culture and food, it was on the agenda to address the third component of this “conference” where we have a business jam session, going over what each of us is working on and where we see our “story” going in the future.
On our worksheet was the “Five Commandments of Storytelling” taken from The Story Grid, by Shawn Coyne. I struggled with the inciting incident, of which there are many, that seems to have to lead me to this desire to discover and take this journey towards location independence. I had decided on my past of being inspired by Martha Rial and her photography and making the choice to go to art school. That lead me into thoughts about having an unconventional life; my struggle financially to lead a life of meaning, after feeling like a failure when losing my journalism job, then turning to sales and “conforming to the average” to pay the bills. Now that I’m no longer struggling financially (keep in mind I’m only one person and still living at home) it has been a new challenge to discover what I actually want to do now that I’m not constantly focused on how to pay the massive debts. Instead of living paycheck to paycheck, I want to save money and have the option to explore the world, like many of my fellow LIon’s do. Part of me wants to believe that in order to move the obstacles (time and doubt) and create action, I need to leave my current full-time job, and become location independent in order to push myself creatively to develop my business. The other part of me knows that if I really want something, I make it happen. The problem is I don’t feel like I’m “ready” to fly around and live on a “shoestring budget” because I don’t have a plan.
“Passion can be a gift. But only if you know how to properly channel it. The same drive that fuels breakthroughs — whether they’re athletic, scientific, entrepreneurial, or artistic — can be every bit as destructive as it is productive. Unchecked by balance (that other culturally touted virtue), passion can manifest as a curse, leading to endless seeking, suffering, and burnout.”- Rich Roll
I recently started listening to the Rich Roll podcast and a recent episode helped me spark a decision about my LI journey. The interview on this podcast about the book, The Passion Paradox, discussed exactly what I’d been battling in my head, how much of a plan do I need before venturing off to explore my “passion” or my “mission” in life? I didn’t know about this conversation or this book when in Mexico but did write out my crisis moments, and decisions I must make, as well as possible solutions or outcomes.
The Crisis, My big decision:
To leave my full-time job, or to stay and save up money, learning the skills I need and making plans to create a location independent business. In Mexico, we broke out into groups and I talked about this decision and expressed how there are challenges for both options. Trying to weigh each on a scale and see which is heavier.
Leaving my full-time job with no savings, means I need to find a job to replace that income (partial or full since I was still not debt free) for my wellbeing and sanity. That meant making time to focus on applying for a job. I’d been doing this for about two months.
I’d decided, mostly after the Denver Experience, to focus on looking for jobs that offer work from home options, so that I could leave my 9-5 sooner because I was struggling with coming up with a plan for a business of my own. This had drained my energy in the past few months, and after doing webinars, and carving out time to apply to jobs (which took an hour for each position due to a hefty application process) and getting rejection emails in my inbox two weeks later, it was beyond frustrating.
One recommendation that I did take action on after returning from Mexico, was that I created a page recently to highlight my service/client offerings on my current website as I’m still in the process of building my new website. So glad for the support and thankful for so many LIons to help me with this journey.
Upon reflection, I’m deciding to stay where I am and work full-time while building my LI business. So I’ll spend the next nine months devising a plan for a location independent business while saving money. As many people might assume, it is true, sales is a stressful field, filled with challenges and frustrations about time management, being at the beckon of others, and the responsibility of checking into an office at a specific time. The overwhelm and stress of being responsive is still a daily struggle, but the simple thought I had and still believe, is that “everything is for me” and I just need to understand that the lessons I’m learning now, will help me in my next adventure.
Evening in Mexico, Connecting with friends
After our long day of work, a few in our group ventured out to find somewhere for dinner and ended up at Arco XVIII, which looks amazing and is what drew us in from the street. The drink menu offered wine and beer while food selections included many Italian pasta dishes and flatbread pizza.
The evening was enjoyable because I was able to connect with new (to me) members of the community that I hadn’t been able to in the past, including Travis’s wife, Heather. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to her recently in their podcast and we talked about their adventures and highlights of 2018. After some less-than-stellar service (Do not go here if you want to leave in less than four hours) I wanted to get back to the room and get a good night’s rest, excited for hiking a mountain.
Stay tuned for part 3