It’s been two days since I arrived home from an epic two weeks in France with my sister Lacy leading the Shift retreat, and I’m basking in all I’m grateful for and how changed I feel. In my life there has truly been nothing like travel (okay, maybe motherhood, but that’s a whole different bag) to tune my heart and completely alter my perspective on myself and the world.
I’m sitting in dappled sunlight basking in the sounds of the jungle while the smell of incense wafts from my neighbor’s porch. It’s been almost two weeks in Mexico, and I’m finally feeling myself slowing down inside and moving with the frequencies of the ocean. I am remembering who I am.
When our family sold everything we owned and left Texas almost four years ago to slow travel full-time, it was for moments like this. We had dreams of spending winters at the beach and summers in the mountains, chasing warmth and good vibes.
And we did it. Kind of.
I am home from a month in the jungles of Costa Rica where I was vacationing with my sweet family and teaching back-to-back transformational meditation retreats with my older sister Lacy Young. For two weeks we watched beautiful souls soften and transform on meditation cushions right across from us, their lives utterly and totally changed. I left the experience completely renewed and deeply grateful for this incredible work she and I get to do together.
Retreating is near and dear to my heart, and it's something I prioritize in my own life. In the last five years I've attended at least one week-long meditation retreat a year (some years more than one) with many other workshop weekends peppered in for good measure.
I lead retreats because I believe in it. Fiercely. And because I've seen the powerful ripples faithfully attending them has created in my own life. In fact, if it weren't for that first meditation retreat all those years ago, I wouldn't be doing the work I'm doing now.
I'm snuggled up in a hotel bed with the covers practically to my chin. (A good hotel bed is seriously one of my happy places.) My kiddo is snoozing soundly on the roll-away at my feet, and my husband is downstairs hopefully winning a million dollars in the casino. (A girl can dream.)
For the moment, all feels peaceful.
We are on an overnight stopover making our way back to the mountains after a week at the beach. And even though it was all sun-soaked and jammed with joy, I am feeling the call of my space and the gentle pull of my nourishing routines.
My heart is full, but my body is honestly drained.
I am leaving the chilly mountains of Colorado today and jetting off to sunny Texas for a well-deserved girls' weekend with one of my all-time besties! The amount of joy exuding from my heart right now is off-the-charts, and I'm already envisioning poolside cocktails and long leisurely patio lunches.
And even though my energy is sky-high, I never leave home without a little crystal support to see me through the ups and downs of travel and of being away from home. These three trusty crystal companions are some of my go-tos for stuffing in my bra or my carry-on and hitting the road.
I feel so soft this morning. I am connected to myself and the whole in such a sweet, surrendered way.
I’ve been noticing lately how hard my edges get when I am entrenched in the trappings of the mind. When I am consumed with my body or with money or with whatever other distraction the ego tells me is truth. But when I pull myself away and I feel into the soft spaces of myself and the earth, I realize how false it all is.
I meditated on my connection with the earth this morning. I felt her beneath my feet, and I slipped into her steady warmth. I felt her core emanating vibrance and her waters fueling life. I felt a part of something bigger, and I released into it with relief.
I'm sitting on the balcony of our coastal condo and I'm staring out at the sparkling blue waters of the sea. Pelicans are chattering noisily to one another as they take turns nose-diving into the water. Small boats laze by, and the lap of the water is lulling me into a quiet, open-eyed meditation.
All is well.
At least it should be.
But I am not completely present. I keep glancing down at the rolls of belly beneath my thin blue tank top, and my mind jumps back and forth between the beer I'd like to have and the exercising I think I probably should be doing. It's a constant assault, and today it's been particularly exhausting.
On Memorial Day of 2015, my husband and I loaded ourselves and our almost-three-year-old daughter up in our SUV pulling a tiny U-Haul trailer filled with what was left of our worldly possessions and drove 1,000 miles across the Southwest USA to our new temporary home in Durango, Colorado. After nine months of planning, researching and selling our things, we officially began a life of full-time slow-travel and willingly flung ourselves into the Great Unknown.
It seems odd to run to my blog to talk all about the deep call I've been hearing lately to go within. And yet here I am in all my oxymoronic glory.
Life has been a little bit strange for me lately. I'd love to blame the full moon that just passed, but honestly I know there is more to it than that. Aside from the completely nutso sleep regression my two-and-a-half year old has been inflicting upon us all in the last week, our family is about to completely uproot and hit the open road.