Motivation

Choose Your Path

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

And my first retirement comes to an end…

It’s been a month since I’ve written here, and it should be no surprise…a lot has happened. I’ll start with just a series of photos from this past month. If I gave context to each photo, I’d be writing for hours (which I’m not opposed to, but I only have a little bit of time before I go to my first day of WORK!!), so here are a bunch o’ photos that make me happy.




















(Was listening to the song “Dragonfly” and a car pulled in front of me with a dragonfly sticker… Loved the coincidence!)










So here I am now, about to begin a new chapter of my life. I’ve been reflecting so much on the past 6 months – sometimes I get really sad that I’m not still traveling and living in the lush culture of Bali; but like I’ve always believed, “Everything happens for a reason.” I’m so grateful for every experience during this ‘retirement.’ 4 wild months in Bali and 2 months of running around in the States. 

When I came back from California a month ago, I had set up several coffee dates/networking meetings so I could find a way to make an income. I was completely torn. Go back to a desk job – professional, stable, comfortable? Or move away from the corporate world and do something a little different that may challenge me a bit more? I was facing all sorts of paths I could go down, and I knew I ultimately had to walk down the path that made me *feel* the most. After a great meeting with some women that I’ve worked with before, I received a text a couple days later that got me excited for the first time when it came to looking for a new job. 

“My husband’s boss is looking for a nanny… Is that something you’d be interested in?”

In less than a week, I was offered the job and I was PUMPED. They’re very professional, the kiddos are adorable, and all the stars seemed to align. It’s funny how that happens when you follow your heart…

I accepted this position a month ago and today will be my first day with the Twins. Having so much time between accepting the job and actually starting has been an interesting journey in itself. Sure, I’ve worked with kids – babysat a ton – volunteered with many kids…but a full-time job with twins?! Doubt started creeping in… It was always so interesting telling people what I was doing and I felt like I could read their thoughts: “Are you nuts?! You’ve never been a nanny and now you’re taking care of two toddlers? Are you sure you don’t want a desk job?” One person even immediately said, “You’re going to die.” 

I started worrying that maybe I made a mistake. “What the hell did I just sign myself up for?! Am I living in this silly fairytale land – la dee da dee da – that isn’t reality at all? Mo! You’re in way over your head!”

But then there were the few people who immediately reacted by saying, “You’re going to be such a good nanny.” Yessssss…bringing back the thoughts that I had when I was ‘applying’ for the job. I know I shouldn’t care what others think, but I’m not going to lie…I couldn’t really help it. This is a HUGE change from what I was doing before, so every bit of feedback was swirling in my mind. 

But guess what? I’m ready for it… While this past month has allowed a bit of doubt to enter my mind, it’s also allowed me to mentally prepare for these next 6 months and kick that doubt outta here. I am fully aware that this will be a big challenge, but there will be so many great things that come from this experience. Guiding kids through this world, consistency with my schedule, purpose, finally a steady income, excursions/crafts/activities, learning and seeing life through the eyes of children. 


This ‘retirement’ has been an epic journey of self-discovery. Sometimes I felt guilty that I was out exploring the world and not working to save for real retirement – but this wasn’t really a 6-month vacation. Not at all. It was a time for me to learn about myself, to test myself, and prove to myself that if I set my mind to something, I can do it. At the end of this particular journey, the best thing that happened was I learned how to love myself. Sometimes I look back at my memories like a movie and think, “I did that?! Hell yeah!! Mo is pretty awesome!” I’ve never been able to think that about myself until now.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me and believed in me. I am blessed with so many loving people in my life that keep me going. I believe in all of you, too. Listening to your heart surprisingly isn’t the easiest thing to do, but when you do, you’ll feel on top of the world. The Universe is always on our side.

And thank you, Bali, for changing my life. Although it was only 4 months, the lifetime that was lived in them and the lessons I learned will guide me though every day of the rest of my life. “Mo Poppins” is ready for this new journey. Besides, I’ve even got the carpet bag ready to go…

Last night, I went to Modo Yoga because I wanted to end this chapter on a magical note. I’ll end this entry with how my favorite teacher ended his class last night:

“There is nothing you cannot do.”

Believe it.

Namaste.

Kite in the Sky Idea

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

I feel safe now…

I’m in Sanur now, which is a lot more touristy. I didn’t realize just how special Amed was until I left it to relocate. 

Mount Agung seems to have calmed down a bit. Some people are saying it’s probably going to erupt, others are saying it’s not. I’m in the “not” camp. Science says that if the tremors are slowing down, that means the magma is ready to explode out of the top…but it could also mean that Agung is cooling down. I’m not an expert, but no one knows what is going to happen. The morning we left Amed, Francisca and I walked on the beach and noticed all the smoke. My hope is that she has blown off the steam that she needed to. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m thinking positive.

During all the chaos with the earthquakes, I was convinced I was going to fly back home. I was scared and was making rash decisions. I was also on 3 days of practically no sleep. So when the sun came up and the car was ready to take Francisca and I to Sanur, I was at an all-time low. 

“Do I give up on this adventure? Am I going back now?”

But then as we were leaving Amed, the floodgates opened. My heart was broken and my intuition was louder than ever. 

“You can’t leave Amed like this. You will be back.”

I was balling and trying to hide all my tears. We drove by all the little restaurants I frequented, I saw the people I formed friendships with. We drove along the road that I walked miles on the first week and later learned how to get over my fear of my scooter on. The breakdown I had when I was homesick a while back was nothing compared to this burst of emotion.

This is just a temporary speed bump in this journey. Maybe Agung will erupt and everything changes. But maybe it won’t. Maybe in a week, it will have calmed down so much that I go back to the sweet town with one road and continue. [crossing fingers] I thought of my friend Rick and his comment on one of my posts: “Keep going girl!!” I was looking into plane tickets back to the States and “Keep going girl!!” kept running through my mind. I knew deep down that I am not supposed to leave. I am going to a safer place at the moment and seeing a new part of this beautiful island for now…

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

I didn’t finish my entry yesterday, so here I’ll continue…

I’m listening to my Bali soundtrack – all the songs that every single warung, bar, and driver plays nonstop – memories of the times when it was normal in Amed are running through my head and my heart aches that everything is different right now. However, an idea came to me in the middle of the night and I’m feeling energized and driven. I’ve got a fire list under my ass. Before I get to my idea, I want to give an update on Amed and Mount Agung.

I haven’t felt any tremors in the past two days. Some tremors in Amed are still happening, but they’ve slowed down (from what I hear). I have to be careful looking into the news because there are a lot of exaggerated and false reports. But what is true is that there are practically no tourists in Amed anymore. They have all gone South or left the island completely. There are still locals of course, and a community of expats coming together in Amed. I even saw my favorite yoga studio offering free classes to try to keep the energy positive.

Right now, I’m still in Sanur and I’m sitting at a Starbucks.


While I’ve been in Bali, I’ve been listing “Things Cheaper than a Starbucks Tall White Mocha” and here I am, drinking a tall mocha (they don’t have white chocolate here…). And yes, it is on my “Things Cheaper than an American White Mocha” – about $4. I’m happy to be in a place that feels familiar, but I am also very sad. My heart is in Amed and with the people near Agung.

My heart breaks because the locals are already living day to day to survive, and now, it’s even harder. With no tourists, that means no money. No money means no eating. Locals can’t tap into their savings or sell items on Craigslist to make a quick buck. The money they get each day is all the money they have. The mocha I’m drinking doesn’t taste as sweet as I used to remember. The amount of money I spent on this drink is 5 meals for a local.

I’m sleeping in a queen sized bed with 4 pillows while locals are sleeping on the floor in large groups, sometimes with no pillows at all. I get to choose what I want to eat while locals eat rice and meat for every meal. I’m by no means wealthy at all – but in Bali, I’m filthy rich. Filthy. Since I don’t have a source of income, I can’t give away all my money like I’d like to, but I want to try to help in some sort of way. 

My Idea

Ok, so I know there are some push backs to everything. These are some of the thoughts I’m having myself:

  • You’re on an island with a volcano that may erupt. Get the hell out of there, idiot!
  • The Balinese are poor and that’s the way it has always been and the way it always will be. No use in trying to change that.
  • Stop living in this fairytale of listening to your gut all the time. Life doesn’t work this way. You’re in over your head.
  • Come back to reality.

These are all valid. I mean, the volcano could seriously erupt and everyone is in danger. And yes, the Balinese will likely always struggle to make money. But the thought about my gut? I’m choosing to listen to it no matter what.

Amed has a special place in my heart. I’ve grown some roots there and I’m directly seeing how much tourism helps the locals – and keeps them alive and healthy. People aren’t going to Amed right now and likely won’t for a long time. So right now, I want to try to shed a positive, magical light on the “hidden gem of Bali.” I’m not rich so I can’t donate a ton of money or buy supplies for them. But what I do know – which I cringe saying this because I feel like it’s such a weird, millennial thing to so – is social media. This is where I have experience. 

Hear me out…

When I came to Bali, when I was trying to decide where to go on my excursions, I turned to Instagram. I looked up hashtags and Bali-specific accounts to get ideas. It was because of Instagram that I visited a beautiful waterfall near Amed and experienced a truly magical moment. I can’t be the only one who turns to Instagram to get their travel ideas. It’s a lot more powerful and influential than I think it gets credit for. It’s not just an app. It’s a very valuable resource. Man, I sound like such a millennial…

“Keep going girl!!”

So I created an account for Amed. I’m going to curate beautiful photos of Amed and surrounding areas and build a following. You never know, someone could see a beautiful picture from this account and put Amed on their excursion list. Even if one person travels to Amed because of coming across this profile, it will have been worth it. Back in the States, I grew KOMO’s Instagram account from 8,000 followers to over 30K followers in 12 months. Did the pictures and the profile mean more people were watching the news? Ehhh, I’m thinking no. Will this profile mean more people visit Amed? Maybe not, I have no idea. All I know is that I’m jazzed up about it, so I’m going to follow this energy.

When (not if) I go back to Amed, I’m going to keep my creative juices flowing and keep going with my passion of photography and special moments. I’m going to keep exploring Amed and show people that it is a must-visit town. There is no other town like it in Bali…or the world. My time in Bali is not done. Besides, my Mom made me a beautiful sarong that I haven’t worn yet and I’m determined to wear it to a ceremony. Oh yeah, and I borrowed a book from WaWa WeWe that I need to return…

This is definitely a pie in the sky idea. It was funny when I was coming up with a vision, I thought of the phrase “pie in the sky.” Last night I went outside with Francisca to get a bite to eat and I looked up. Kites in the sky. Not quite pie…but I’ll take it.

Why not try? I have the time, I have the experience, and most importantly, I have the passion. 

If you have an Instagram account, give it a follow: @visitamedbali

Love you all. ❤

Shift

Monday, September 18th, 2017

I know why I’m doing what I’m doing. Why I’m in Bali. Why I left my job, my city, my life as I knew it and set off by myself to the other side of the world.

It’s because of the way I shifted my way of thinking.

A few years ago, I became a bit more self-aware and started being more observant of my surroundings and how certain things made me feel. I started noticing patterns I’d get myself into. I started listening to my gut. I paid attention to signs and found meaning in everything. I read book after book after book. I slowly stopped caring about materialistic things, hashtags, and fitting in. I began to think a bit deeper.

I started looking at my life as if it’s an unfolding story that I am internally writing at all times. I am the main character and the storyteller. I stopped going through every day blindly, waiting for things to come my way. Instead, I began to dictate the story of my life. I asked myself, “If my life were written out in a book, would it be a story worth reading?”

For quite some time, I felt I was leading a life that was simple and…expected. And that was okay. Single female with a busy social life, a good job, and an apartment in a growing city. But deep down, I wanted to make a change.

I started journaling in a way that I’d never done before. I started journaling from the voice of my intuition. It was as if I was having a conversation with myself, but on paper. At first, I felt like a lunatic. Not writing in first-person was a bit odd and crazy. But I really started tapping into my inner voice and writing became a constant companion. It was like a friend I could turn to at any moment.

You know that little voice in your head? That’s your intuition. I started really paying attention to it, because it’s surprisingly really easy to ignore.

For example, if someone hands me a menu and there are three sandwiches listed: Chicken Sandwich, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and a Reuben, I will feel very torn. Do I get the Pulled Pork or the Reuben? I love both so much. Decisions, decisions. But my little voice, my intuition, is saying, “Duh, you know what you’re going to order. Don’t spend any more time looking at this menu trying to decide.” And then I order a Reuben. Duh.

Obviously, my intuition helps with more things than ordering a sandwich…

At the beginning of this year, I started writing more and more from this positive voice in my head. Nearly 70 pages in a month. Maybe I am a lunatic, but it seemed to work.

In March of this year, this is what I wrote:

Change.

That’s a word that you love, but also terrifies you. Change is coming up. Big changes. You know it and you can’t run away from the change anymore. You will be moving somewhere and you will be changing jobs. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Trust me. Trust yourself.

It has been really incredible looking back at what I was journaling and seeing how it is now coming true. A month after this entry, I was vacationing in Bali and it was the start of my big change. The shift in my story.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

I left everything to come to Bali to start a life worth writing about. This is what motivates me.

Will I stay? I don’t know the answer yet. Did I make a mistake like I’ve sometimes wondered? No. Do I miss Reuben sandwiches? Hell yes. Am I happy? Very much so.

Am I doing something worth writing about? I’d like to think so.

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Kept Going

Friday, September 15th, 2017

First of all, thank you for all the sweet, uplifting e-mails, messages, and calls over my homesickness. I didn’t intend it to be a ‘cry for help,’ but I guess it sort of was. And all of the support I received from across the world helped. I’m feeling so much better and rejuvenated.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait…she’s in paradise, not working, and can sleep in every day. How can she be feeling sad?!” At least that’s what I was asking myself. But I faced the truth…it can be lonely. I was feeling very homesick and wanting to buy a plane ticket home after getting into a negative headspace. I was missing my family and friends, and I am surrounded by groups friends and couples on their vacations. It finally hit me in a bad way, but thankfully I was uplifted by lots of people reaching out.

Sending all my love your way. Sama sama.

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The day after my meltdown, I was on a mission: find a new place to live. Diver’s Cafe was wonderful – amazing location, affordable price, and I made a couple friends out of the staff. But one of the things that made me feel I needed to look elsewhere is the fact that I had no wi-fi. I haaaaaate hate hate that wi-fi is even an issue, but it started frustrating me enough that I wanted to move. I could get okay wi-fi in the restaurant, but I was tired of running down several flights of stairs and across the street to check messages. And even then, it had to be just the right wind for me to connect to anything. Plus, it was strange having FaceTime conversations with people and having a bunch of diners and divers all around me. And e-mails? Forget it. Wouldn’t load if my life depended on it.

Worst part was I couldn’t write. I’d have to walk somewhere else to use their wi-fi. I’m not opposed to that, but I always had to buy something in order to use their wi-fi. So in my own room, I couldn’t write, have real conversations with family and friends on FaceTime, or even stream a video. Part of the allure of Bali is disconnecting from technology and social media, but if I’m here all alone for a long time, I need to have easy connection back home.

So the mission began. My 3 hopes: wi-fi in room, decent view, and air-con (by the way, NO ONE says “air conditioning” here. Always “air-con”). My hope was also to spend less than what I paid for at Diver’s. I hopped on my scooter and rode from Jemeluk to a little past Lean. I stopped at about 15 places and by the end of it, I was feeling like a bridezilla trying to pick out a wedding dress (Too much sparkle. Not enough sparkle. It’s not the right kind of white. No ruffles, please. Can you remove the bows?). I felt like maybe I was being too picky…

Here are the moments worth mentioning:

#1 – Budget: $
Everyone in Amed has a cousin or a friend with bungalows or a homestay, so I was told to check out this cheap place near Diver’s. I walked into the room and the sound effect from the shower scene in the movie “Psycho” immediately started playing in my head. Dead cockroaches in the corner. ZERO view since it’s tucked back into a local village. I sat on the bed and noticed cat prints on the pillow cases. Then I saw the bath in the bathroom and thought, “Oh how nice – a bathtub!” Then I walked closer and thought, “What died in this bathtub?!?” Veto on this room, regardless of how cheap it is.

#2 – Budget: ?
A cute place I ride by all the time has signs for meditations, yoga, and a shell museum. Kind of random, but kind of quirky. You never know! I walked in and met a French woman with armpit hair almost longer than the hair on my head and I asked if she had a room for a month. We went down my checklist and she was checking them off. Then I said, “Do you have wi-fi?” “No. This is a place for healing.” I quickly apologized and walked away. I totally get it – I’d feel healed after a week of no wi-fi, but I’m not good enough to last a month…

#3, #4, #5 – Budget: $$$$
A few places I stopped at looked a bit nicer (Why not try? It’s slow season!) and as I would walk back to the reception table, it would become very apparent that these hotels and villas were waaaaay out of my budget. One in particular had an older couple lounging by the infinity pool and they watched me as I spoke with the owner. It’s like they knew… The conversation lasted less than one minute after I finally said while chuckling, “I don’t think I can afford this place.”

#6 – Budget: $$
I had good feelings about Good Karma Bungalows. I’d eaten lunch there before and loved the vibe, the staff, and the food. When I walked in, I spoke with Made and she showed me an affordable bungalow. No air-con and open-air. Strikes one and two. I wouldn’t get sleep and I’d get eaten alive by mosquitos! Third strike was no wi-fi. Again, I didn’t want to have to be in the restaurant to keep in touch or write. Made was so sweet that she told me about their other location that has wi-fi and air-con.

#7 – Budget: $$$$$$$$
The other location… Made hopped on her scooter and led me down the road to the other bungalows. I started laughing when I walked through the gate. I was looking at the most beautiful bungalows with their own private lawns. She opened the door to the bungalow and it was two levels, the bottom had a huge couch with a TV (TV’s are very rare in Amed) and huge windows looking out onto the lawn and the water. I didn’t even let her show me upstairs because I knew this one wouldn’t happen. She said, “I talk to owner. Maybe he will do something special for me because I like you and you are good.” I appreciated her earnestness, but the cost of this bungalow for two nights is my entire monthly budget. Sure enough, the “big boss” showed up, didn’t even shake my hand, and had about a 30-second conversation with Made before he walked away. Not one English word was said. She looked back at me and said, “I’m sorry.” I actually loved that she tried – very bold.

#8 – Budget: $$$
Another cute place I’ve been drawn to had a yoga theme so I stopped to check out a room. The owner was an Australian woman that was really lovely to talk to. She said she had a ‘budget room’ that I could have for a month. Basic room, barely any wi-fi, and the view was of a wall and laundry line-drying. After going to all of these places, I got a better feel of what rooms were worth. When she told me the price for a month, I would have spit out water if any were in my mouth. Budget room, ha! It was twice as much as what I was paying at Diver’s so I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

There were a few more that were okay but I ultimately knew they weren’t right. Creepy owner; too far away from the hustle and bustle; a driveway that I literally would die scootering on; and an owner that bargained so hard and wanted me to cut a deal right then that I felt too much pressure.

Was I being a homestay-zilla?!

But I kept going…

I was told about a place on Jemeluk that has a room right on the beach. I’ve checked out 15 places, why not make it 16?! You know that feeling you get when you just know something is right? As soon as I walked in, I breathed a sigh of relief and knew this would be my home for the month.

Within budget, big room, air-con, hot water, breakfast included, in my favorite neighborhood, private, and I wouldn’t die on the driveway. Then the wi-fi test – passed with flying colors (helps that the router is on my balcony). Instead of watching sunrises from my room, I’ll be watching sunsets. I shook hands and the deal was done.

But wait, there’s more! I have a neighbor from Switzerland who is staying for one month as well. Her name is Francisca and she writes children’s books. Soooo yeah, I am meant to be here.

I will miss Room #7 at Diver’s and the little chickens that would come and eat by my deck. It was a perfect place to ‘land’ and I’m happy that I’m still neighbors with them.

But right now, I’m sitting on my deck, writing. My beer and a plate of French fries were delivered to my room and the sun is setting. And literally just as I was about to hit “Post” – fireworks lit up the bay.

Glad I kept going.

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Keep Going

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

It finally hit me. The emotion. The homesickness. The minor meltdown. I was always wondering when it would happen. I thought it would happen while I was still in Seattle, packing up all my belongings, saying all of my goodbyes. But it never hit me.

After a few weeks on a new island, instead of thinking when, I started wondering if it would ever hit me that I uprooted my life and left everything I knew to start a new path on the other side of the world. It was a hectic 3 months preparing and it confused me that I never got very emotional about it. But yesterday, it finally hit me.

“What the hell am I doing? I left an awesome job with wonderful people. I left a city with so many of my friends that I could call at any moment and grab a cup of coffee with. Instead of a 4 hour drive away from my family, I am now a 24-hour travel day away. I sold half of my belongings and moved away from my happy place, Greenlake. I left the comforts of home. For what?”

It was especially frustrating that the emotion hit me after such a positive yoga class where we were guided to think positively and trust the Universe. But during the day, my mind was swirling with all these negative thoughts that have probably been waiting to come to the surface.

Did I make a mistake? Am I doing the right thing or am I just putting my life on hold for an “extended vacation?” Maybe those couple of people who doubted my decision were right. Maybe I really am crazy for doing all of this.

My main hurdle is not feeling a sense of purpose. Each day, I sit at a beach or a different warung and soak up my surroundings. I am meeting people and I am delving deep into the culture of the Balinese. But am I making a difference? Maybe I am supposed to work 40 hours a week in order to feel like I’m contributing to the world. Maybe I’m supposed to be in America and find that person I’ll marry and buy a house and have a child.

Why was I called to Bali? Why did I have to be so drawn to a place that is so far away?

What I do know, is that I’m not quite ready to leave. Regardless of what my crazy mind is thinking, my gut is telling me to stay. Maybe I don’t feel a sense of purpose…yet…but I trust that I am supposed to be here. I just need to keep going.

Something that brought me comfort during my mini meltdown was this picture. This reminder of support. I am so grateful for my friends and family for believing in me. Right now, I’m struggling to believe in myself and there’s this little voice that’s telling me to pack up and go back and find a job and get back into ‘reality.’ But a stronger voice is telling me to not give up.

My little nieces are a huge part of my heart and they are infatuated with the movie Moana. Yesterday morning on FaceTime, Avery sang “How Far I’ll Go” and it made me so happy. I watched Moana pretty much every morning I was with my family before I left for Bali. Claire is especially obsessed with it. It’s actually the perfect story for me to think about right now. Even last night, I was walking on the beach and a man said, “Watch out, I’m catching something!” He reeled in his fishing line and instead of a fish, it was a manta ray. It was absolutely beautiful. The fisherman pulled out the line from its mouth and placed it back in the ocean…but I couldn’t help but notice my timing and how I was in the right place at just the right time to see this beautiful creature. And I was reminded of my nieces and Moana at that moment.

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I’ll know, if I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go…

I’m going to keep going. Let’s see how far I’ll go…

Love you all more than you know.

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Believe

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

A while back I wrote about “Notes from the Universe.” My friend Kait told me about it and I immediately signed up. Each day I receive an e-mail with a positive message that makes me feel like, “Yes! Magical things CAN happen!” They’re kind of cheesy, but I’ve grown to absolutely love them. And I feel like they’re part of the reason I am here. 

The other day, I got my e-mail from ‘The Universe’ and this one seemed to stand out.

“Odd, isn’t it, how folks will look back to great milestones in their life – to when they met someone, fortuitously changed careers, or were somehow found to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time – and consider such incidents turning points?

Because actually, Andrea, the real turning points in any life always occur well before such manifestations, in the moments when they finally began thinking, speaking, and behaving like never before.

Hey, it works – 

   The Universe

p.s. Then, the inevitable serendipities that will follow – chance encounters, thrilling work, and breakfast in bed – are just a matter of us (in the unseen) rearranging the “furniture” of their lives, Andrea, setting them up for some magic. (Yeah, talk about the right place at the right time… More syrup?)”

I thought back to when my turning points have been. It’s awesome that I have proof of when I started thinking, speaking, behaving, and believing

I can’t describe the feeling upon reading that post again. It’s all coming true…

At this moment, I’m writing and enjoying a delicious juice while watching the waves roll in.

What are you thinking about? Why Not do it? 

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….