1. Before Bali 2017

Just Around the Corner

Monday, July 31st, 2017

My last Monday at work… Still hasn’t hit me. Still a little confused as to why I’m not having many emotional moments. 

I did a last Starbucks run with Carmen and Sara; I had a last lunch with Wes; I canceled my membership at Modo Yoga; I walked out of work knowing I’d never experience another Monday in the Plaza again. 

I texted Heather telling her that I don’t know why my emotions are so blocked. She responded, “Just let it be. You’ll process this for sure, just not as you’d envisioned.”

She’s right. I promise to stop this whole “how come I’m not crying?!” response to everything and just….let it be.

And for a last Monday, it was pretty damn special. Sara visited just to take our traditional Monday Starbucks walk. Great way to set a positive tone for the week…

Sara’s last day: September 2015

Sara came back! July 2016

Sara’s last day…again! January 2017

Mo’s turn… July 2017

 

I’ve gotta be honest…none of this feels real.

Recently I wrote about how everything going on felt like minute 60 of a 75-minute Power Flow class. Work events, social engagements, commitments, and deadlines were like all the hardest yoga poses in one sequence while I’m resisting the temptation to get into child’s pose for the rest of class.

Thankfully I have passed minute 60.

Now I’m in minute 70. Happy baby pose and supine twist pose. There is still more to do and I refuse to succumb to “short timer syndrome,” but there is a comfort knowing that I’m almost there. 

Savasana, and Bali, are just around the corner…

Part of the Process

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

“Are you counting down the days?”

I have been for months! (18 days to go, btw)

“Are you excited?”

You have no idea.

“What’s your plan when you get there?”

The plan is to have no plan…for once in my life!

I’m going through a sort of bizarre set of emotions as I get closer to my departure. I’m going through various “lasts” and I’ve been surprised with my reactions. More like, lack of reactions. I’m normally a very emotional person. I am very sensitive and I tend to feel things very deeply. Beautiful sunset? Crying and metaphorically comparing it to life. Saying goodbye to Abby each time I dogsit? Balling. Finding a heart rock while on a hike? Stopping in my tracks, putting my hand to my chest, and releasing a sigh of sheer joy.

Every moment has meaning to me and even a little heart rock can make my heart melt. If you know me, this is no secret.

Right now, I’m going through the biggest moments and the most monumental “lasts”…but I’m relatively unemotional about it.

This week has been insanely busy. [currently trying to keep my eyes open and my energy up for my dinner plans tonight] Everything, though, has been so good. So, so good. Wonderful yoga classes, meals, meet ups, and connections with new and old friends. My heart has been so full and there has been so much love. I really do feel it.

But for some reason, I’m bothered that I didn’t get emotional during my last yoga class at Modo. I don’t know why I didn’t shed a tear at my surprise lunch today with my work team/family. How come during all my times with my friends, I haven’t gotten that overwhelming feeling that this is goodbye for long time? It’s so not like me. I just don’t want my semi-lack of emotion to make anyone think I don’t care.

How have I not broken down yet? When am I going to get into that frenzy where I realize, holy shit, I’m quitting my job, I won’t have a steady income, and I’ll be living in a foreign country?!?! I sold the majority of my stuff and I’m leaving the Pacific Northwest. WHAT AM I DOING?! There’s always a meltdown before a crazy leap like this, right?

I can feel all the emotion in the back of my throat right now, though. It’s definitely there. I think I have my guard up. There is a very, very thin wall I’ve built around these “lasts” and goodbyes. But that thin wall is mighty strong. I know if I release it, it will be a flood.

Writing this is helping… Hope you don’t mind my version of “writing out loud.”

Honesty is essential and I promised myself I wouldn’t hold back in my writing. I know I’ve pretty much only shared the rosy moments of the past few months. But I think it’s important to recognize the good, and also the moments that are a bit more raw.

If I’ve been with you recently and we’ve had our goodbye hugs, I want you to know how much I care about you. I have been so lucky to have THE MOST incredible people, mentors, and spirits in my life. The tears will come, I’m sure. Maybe my body is waiting until I step on that plane. That’s when it’s really real. Who knows?

What I do know is that it just hasn’t hit me yet. My last day of work is next Friday and I can’t really believe it. Doesn’t feel real.

It’s all a part of the process…

Minute 60

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

I woke up with a sore throat this morning and it was my body’s way of telling me that I’m beginning to get a bit overwhelmed. My calendar before I go back to Bali is almost completely full. I don’t see any blank space on any days leading up to my departure. No open time anymore…that is, until August 14th. Then all I will have is open time.

I’ve been getting texts, messages, and e-mails asking to hang out before I leave and my days are so full now that I’m worried if anyone else asks to hang out, I won’t have the time. So many commitments. But I guess that just means that anyone I don’t get a chance to spend time with before I go will have to come visit me in Bali! I wish all my time in the next few weeks could be spent with friends and family, but there are so many work events that I am a part of as well. The stress of wrapping everything up at work and not having any more time to myself is clearly getting to me. However, I see a very bright and warm light at the end of the tunnel.

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As I go through this crazy transition in my life, I’ve been turning to yoga to help get me through. I wish I had more time to go to classes, but since I don’t, I’ve been leaning on the lessons that yoga teaches. On Monday, I went to my first class in a month and a half. It was the longest I’ve gone without going to the studio and I was happy to get back on my mat.

These last few weeks in Seattle remind me of my 75-minute Power Flow classes. This is the hardest part. I’m on minute 60. The part of the class where I just want to get into savasana, final resting pose. I don’t know if my body can handle any more sequences, but sure enough, we’re guided to hold runner’s pose. “Oh my God, I can’t hold this pose for another second!” In minute 60, my body is tired, I’m dripping in sweat, my mind is playing tricks on me and telling me to just get into child’s pose the rest of class. My ego is telling me that I’m not strong enough to complete any more poses. But then I think of what my teachers always say, “Yoga begins when you want to break the pose. This is when the real work begins.”

I start encouraging myself and believing that I can hold the pose. That it will make savasana that much grander. That I can learn from this. A little discomfort is okay – it means I’m growing and becoming stronger. This Monday’s class, my teacher spoke of comfort zones and how we can’t always sink into positions that are familiar. Not engaging my legs in downward facing dog or resting all my weight on my knee during triangle pose. It’s more comfortable than doing the pose correctly. But we must go beyond our comfort zones – this is when we conquer our old habits. This is when savasana, and life, become a bit more magical.

Right now, all of these work events and engagements are the last few yoga sequences before I reach resting pose. I could easily do the bare minimum and blame it on “short-timer syndrome.” But I’m pushing through, full steam ahead, knowing that it’s all for a greater good. I’m embracing all of it.

15 more minutes until savasana. 26 more days until Bali.

Ahhh, my sore throat is already fading away….

One Square Inch of Silence

Friday, July 14, 2017

One month. One month and I will be in Bali. Whoa. It’s slooooowly starting to hit me. Just last week it felt like I had so much more time, but now? Time is flyin’. 3 weeks of work left and then 1 week with family. Then who knows… As I write this, there is a big smile on my face – it’s coming up quickly, but I’m READY!

I want to rewind to last weekend. I spent the weekend with my colleague and friend, Robin. She told me a while back about the One Square Inch of Silence. It is deemed “very possibly the quietest place in the United States.” This is one of the many things I love about the Pacific Northwest – I’ve lived in the PNW for 30 years and I’ve never heard of this place. So many surprises. What will I learn of next? When Robin asked if I wanted to go find it, I immediately said yes.

People have been asking if I have a “bucket list” of things to do before I leave Seattle. I did, but it only had one item: One Square Inch. Last weekend, I checked it off my list. I’m so damn grateful for the experience.

Thursday afternoon, we took off on our weekend adventure to the Olympic National Park. I don’t think anything makes me giddier than knowing I’m going to be camping for a couple of nights. Campfire food and s’mores while unplugged in the middle of Nature. No computers, no wi-fi, no schedule. We read, we ate, and we had great conversations. Ahhh, camping. Nothing better.


We woke up bright and early and made our way to the trailhead in the Hoh Rainforest. We found it amusing that even the Forest Ranger knew nothing about One Square Inch. We printed out the map and began the trek. The map said it’s 3.2 miles from the trailhead and takes about 2 hours to get to the stilted tree. “Ha! 2 hours to go 3.2 miles? Nah, that’ll take us maybe 1 hour.”

3 hours later, we finally made it to the stilted tree…

When you’re in the middle of a rainforest, expect to move a little slower and spend a little more time on the trails. Such an incredible environment. Robin and I stopped several times to admire all the foliage, trees, the Hoh River, and surprise waterfalls.

On several hikes, I have told myself that Nature is my favorite museum. This “museum” on the Olympic Peninsula? It may be the best. I saw new dimensions of the color green and I heard bird calls that were more ornate than “Flight of the Bumble Bee.” And the trees were absolutely enormous. Man, if trees could talk…

So we found the first checkpoint on our scavenger hunt, the stilted tree, and walked through the “door.” I loved that as soon as we passed through, we both became completely silent. We wanted to respect the silence, so we didn’t speak a word. We meandered along the elk path, then made it across the wet clearing, and found the mossy log. X marks the spot.



We found the red stone and the “Jar of Quiet Thoughts,” signifying that this was it – the quietest place in the United States. OSI was designated on Earth Day in 2005 – the independent research project discovered this area as completely free of human noise. Nothing is heard, not even planes, except for the rustle of the leaves and the various wildlife creatures.


Robin and I both sat down…and listened.

I had found a comfortable spot and crossed my legs and prepared to close my eyes to meditate. I realized that in this spot, I didn’t actually need to close my eyes. What I usually visualize during meditation was right in front of me.

I don’t meditate as much as I should, but it’s becoming a fairly regular practice for me. What I like to do is visualize and quiet my mind. Most times, I picture myself sitting in a forest, surrounded by trees and the sun is shining. Birds are chirping and there’s a sense of peace over everything in sight. While I was in One Square Inch, I was sitting exactly where I usually visualize myself. It was a very special moment to look in front of me and see what I so often imagine. It was even more special to know that this was a place where people come to find that same sense calmness. The energy was very, very positive.

Eventually, I did close my eyes and sat still for about 45 minutes. I listened to the birds and paid attention to my breath. There was nothing to distract my often-wandering mind. Even where I am right now, I’m sitting still, but it’s not complete silence. Cars, the hum of fans, planes in the distance, and a lawn mower. Try it right now…what do you hear?

45 minutes went by and when I finally opened my eyes again, it felt like I had taken the best 2-hour nap of my life. I was so happy and I felt completely grounded. Once fully back in reality, we made our way back out to the trail. It was a sweet surprise when I found a clover attached to my shoe. I find joy in moments like these…


We made it back to the trailhead and began our journey to find a new campground to stay at. After a couple “Full Campground” signs and a wrong turn that made for a 2-hour detour, we finally found the Queets primitive campground along the river. All was good. We made some delicious fajitas, ate s’more s’mores, and hung out in the hammock over the water.


And just when I thought it couldn’t get better, we visited the Tree of Life the next morning.

I spent my 30th birthday at the Tree of Life because it represents growth and strength. This Tree has nothing below it, yet it’s roots are helping it float. On rainy April 29th, my 30th birthday, I stood in front of this Tree and thought about my life and what I knew, deep in my roots. It was while standing in front of this tree that I listened to my gut.

“Leave the nest. Make a change. Don’t renew lease. Let go. Go to Bali.”

It was an honor to visit again. At this point, what my gut was telling me months prior was coming true. I’m making that change. I didn’t renew my lease. I’m letting go and I’m going back to Bali. My roots will always be here, but it’s time to leave my nest.


What I believe is that silence is in the mind. There is a “One Square Inch” in all of our minds, we just rarely take the time to tune the rest of the world out. It’s amazing what you learn when you don’t listen to the Outside and Start listening to the Inside.

What do you hear?

Beauty Everywhere

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

This past weekend was spent in the Olympic National Park and it made me feel so grounded. I’ll share more of that incredible experience when I have a bit more time.

While in the Hoh Rainforest, I saw so many different types of flowers, trees, and forest creatures.

I was struck by this dandelion. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s perfect. Yet, we call it a “pesky weed” and purchase products to get rid of them. It makes me wonder, what other things do we look at and don’t even notice how perfect they actually are.

I thought of this dandelion when I drove by a homeless person this morning. A man with ripped up jeans and a dirty jacket was slumped over on the corner of Mercer Street, his bedroom, and people just walked right by him like he didn’t exist. Like he was a weed. He’s a human with a childhood and a favorite food and a unique laugh and an eye color. He needs love, but he is still perfect.

There is beauty in everything and everyone.

Finish Line

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Meetings, contracts, deadlines.
Homebase is a chair and a screen.

Hours, minutes, seconds.
Competition within the team.

E-mails, forms, logins.
Smiles are seldom seen.

Corporate America.

Beach, moped, heat.
Freedom to roam, wherever that may be.

Sun, waves, moon.
To a mountain, a field, or the sea.

Temples, gardens, markets.
No time, all love, me.

The World.

Life Is Good

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

Reasons for a happy weekend:

  • Finally no more packing, organizing, cleaning, or moving.
  • Happy Hour with my book club girlfriends.
  • Sunset over Lake Washington.
  • As I walked back from watching the sunset, I came across something I’ve always wanted to find: a feather from a Blue Heron! I had no idea where I was going to watch the sunset and ended up in a swampy field behind a condominium building. Good view, but very muddy. Completely worth it for that feather. Is that weird? Yeah, kind of weird. 
  • SLEPT IN! Haven’t slept in for months…
  • Took a long nap shortly after I woke up. My body is catching up on a year of no sleep.
  • Greenlake reading session. I wondered how it would feel going back to my “terrarium” once I no longer lived there…thought it would be strange to be a guest. Luckily, it’s still amazing as usual. I did forget where I parked, though. That will take time to get used to.
  • Burger on the deck. Can’t beat a homemade burger with Big Mac sauce.
  • Hike to Goat Lake. In Nature is where I feel happiest. It was the perfect Sunday for breakfast at an alpine lake.
  • Right now: sitting on the deck, relaxing my legs, and smelling dinner in the oven.

Life is good.

I hope you had a magical weekend, too.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road can take you there.” Lewis Carroll