First off, Happy New Year:)
I’ve been feeling pretty inspired lately, finally! I think it has something to do with the appearance of the New Year. As soon as New Years Day comes and goes, your mind can’t help but be filled with ideas of new years resolutions, fitness and eating challenges and upcoming travel plans. There is something about a clean slate and starting fresh that is so appealing to us humans.
I’m not really one to do things that are typical or ordinary. Not that I don’t want to be the person that does things out of the ordinary, I just can’t seem to do it. For instance, I tend to think of things after-the-fact. New Years Resolutions– I have a hard time sitting down and pondering on the topic, until New Years Eve has come and gone. So now, it’s January 7, 2014- and I am sitting down to reflect on the past year, sit in the present & look slightly forward. I suppose you could say my timing is slightly off, but for me- it has to feel right. I have definitely been thinking about what to write and when to write for the past few days (ok, if i’m being completely honest, the past few weeks)– however, it just hasn’t felt right.
So finally, I have been hit with the writer’s tidal wave, and I couldn’t be happier. I am sure that a lot of this motivation and influx of emotions/thoughts has something to do with the fact that I am coming to the end of my incredible World Trip. It’s quite a bittersweet moment; a sweet & sour taste in my mouth. In some ways, I am beyond excited to get back “home” to Vancouver so that I can absorb and allow everything I have experienced and witness to flow through me. In other ways, I don’t want to ever stop traveling. There is something about traveling that is SO appealing. Every day is such a new and unique day, and your experiences are constantly changing. The thing about this is that you have to kiss goodbye to things like “routine”, “regimen” and “practice”. I realize I just wrote about this in my post yesterday, but to be honest- it’s really something that has been pervading my mind quite strongly in the past few days.
When I returned to Dubai from KL, I have to be honest, I suffered. I woke up the morning after my arrival and felt completely defeated. I broke down into a waterfall of unflattering tears. At first I really didn’t know where it was coming from. I really couldn’t blame the juice cleanse at that point because I was only a few hours into it. Could my body really be experiencing the symptoms of a detox that quickly? I don’t know about that. Lets just say, that particular day was quite painful & difficult. I was happy to go to sleep that night and say goodnight and farewell to January 5th, 2014. When I woke up the next morning, I realized that those are the moments that you should really embrace and sit with. I watched a video post by one of my favorite Bloggers, Tara Bliss of Such Different Skies– and it really hit home with how I was feeling, and how I continue to find myself feeling at times. The blog post is called “I Have the World Best Hangover Cure. Let it Be known”. You can imagine, I was quite intrigued and immediately clicked on the title! This wasn’t a blog post on a new recipe, or, as she puts it so perfectly: advice on “black coffee, cold showers, the hair of the dog (you’ve gotta be kidding me, right? I think an alcoholic came up with that theory)”. Instead, Tara talks about the experience of a hangover, the feelings that come, the pain that you feel. Tara encourages you to move past a mindful place of regret, pain, judgement and self-hatred, and instead to go deeper and sit with that feeling.
This is something I am continuously trying to learn, in life. The idea of embracing the feeling of pain and experiencing it, in opposition of running away from it as fast as you can. I used to think that I was very good at feeling pain and would meet it with open arms. During my trip around the world I have learnt that I am not so welcoming to pain as I used to believe. In fact, a lot of what I do and why I do it- is because I am in fear of feeling this pain. The thing about this concept of sitting with your pain is that when you are thinking about it in your head, void of pain, it seems either incredibly outlandish (aka “what the hell are you talking about Chloe”) or really simple. However, the point is that when you are in the face of pain- your entire being goes through a sequence of events. Our minds have been conditioned (and are biologically, evolutionarily inclined) to create patterns in place to avoid pain. Our bodies have pathways and sequences in place to remove us from pain (think “fight” or “flight”). Thus, it is actually completely against us to ‘sit with our pain’ and face it, eyes open and arms wide.
So, if our bodies and minds are so conditioned to keep us away from pain- how are we supposed to sit with it? Like most things in life, there is no EASY answer. There is no quick fix. I believe it is something we have to work on. Depending on where you are in life and what you have been through, I think that it may be easier for some than others. This is just a feeling of mine though, I could be wrong. If i’m being honest- I have a lot of patterns and boundaries in place when it comes to experiencing pain in relationships. If you have read any of my previous posts, you will already know that this comes down to something I speak about quite frequently, self love. For me, opening up to the possibility of accepting love from another is so frightening because that also could mean that it could be taken away from me; it could hurt. However, that in itself is the feeling that I must embrace and sit with. If I allow myself to experience the possibility of being loved and having that love taken away, maybe one day I will come to the point of knowing my truth- that I am love. Knowing this, I will (I believe) be unmoved (technically) by the removal of another’s love for me.
This same idea can be applied to a hang over. When you think of a hang over, you think of the pain that you feel- and the burning desire to crawl into a dark den and have it disappear. The interesting thing about a hang over is again, it is self-inflicted pain that is the result of running away from pain (or running towards feeling joy). So how many hang overs does one have to experience until they decide that they no longer want to feel it? I suppose it depends on the person… and this is kind of what I mean by for some it is easier than others (depending on what they have experienced and who they are). I know that when I woke up on New Years Day, I decided almost immediately that I want to have a more meaningful new years eve next year. What does that mean though? I was with my family on new years eve– we ate, we drank and we danced. It was honestly quite a beautiful evening. So why can’t I just enjoy that and be happy and grateful for the beautiful experience with my beautiful family? Instead- I woke up so upset with myself because I felt as though I drank too much and was in complete regret for my late night Mamak stall run (think roti canai & mee goreng) that Dad and I couldn’t resist at the time. Once again, just another experience- and my body was probably in need of some food after all the drinks (champagne, white wine, red wine).
I do have an idea of a New Years Eve I would love to experience: with close loved ones, accompanied by a beautiful vegan meal that I have prepared- watching the sunset from a beautiful location/beach/mountainside/viewpoint. My question is why do I wish I had this & if it was so important, why didn’t I experience it? I wonder if I woke up, hungover, in full regret of the food I ate- and my immediate response is to go to the opposite of wanting something in complete control. I’m not sure if I am making sense anymore… probably because I am not yet sure how I feel/think about it all. This is still something I must experience for myself.. and continue to bring awareness to.
One thing though, is that I hope to wake up from my next “hang over” and instead of being filled with pain, regret and self-hatred; be filled with gratitude for everything I experienced, the people I was with, the food I ate and the joy I felt. Perhaps I will change the term as well… hang over just doesn’t really embody a sense of gratitude. Any suggestions? Something to work on/ponder on.
For all of you Vancouverites– I can’t wait to see you! I really am so excited to return to the West Coast and indulge in all the beautiful BC food that I have been missing. One thing that I have also learnt from my travels is that we are incredibly BLESSED in and around Vancouver with the food and amenities we have available to us on a daily basis. The rest of the world is pretty damn different. I can’t wait to be reunited my beautiful boy OLLIE (for those of you who haven’t been blessed with his acquaintance, its my Australian Shepherd dog) & to once again get into the mountains and take our daily hikes through the endowment lands of UBC.
As for New Years Resolutions/Goals– I think my number one goal is to continue to experience and uncover the love that I have for myself.
OH, and I want to find or create a position for me to be a freelance writer, that can travel around the world and write on topics that inspire me. I would love this more than anything.
& my Resolution is to continue to write in my Gratitude Journal on a weekly basis throughout the year- so that I can remind myself (when I quite frequently forget) how beautiful my life is and how incredibly blessed I am to be living it <3.
I highly encourage you to write down your thoughts/feelings/inspirations/aspirations for the current moment and the upcoming year. You never know what may happen, but, I know that writing is powerful and does SO much for me, so maybe it will for you too. Lots of love & light and again, Happy New Year. xoxoxo