Asheville fish market building

getting away = getting closer

I know it sounds nuts, but the last few times I have gotten away for a few days, whether it was a cross-country trip out to the West Coast or a six hour jaunt to Asheville, I have found that something remarkable happens: I get closer. Not closer to home, obviously, but closer to myself…and sometimes closer to others who serendipitously cross my path as well. In short, when I get away I connect.

There’s a quote I love that is centered around yoga that says, “It’s amazing how much right-side up can come from being upside-down.” I’d like to come up with an adaptation that has to do with getting further away to get closer…maybe something like, “The further away we go, the closer we get to what really matters.” I truly believe that when you need to figure some things out, you have to get outside of your daily routine, away from the distractions that so frequently fill the time, and go someplace where you’ll be forced to simply listen to yourself, follow your whims, and go wherever the day takes you in order to feed your soul.

I went away this past weekend so I could brush the dust off my aura and clean up my perspective a bit. Day one was a lot of driving, but sometimes driving is good for thinking (ok, not sometimes, almost ALL the time). I thought about a lot of things that have happened recently, and some recent interactions that had left their mark on me. As I wrapped myself around how I wanted to feel moving forward, I made the decision to stop dwelling on things in the past- things I can’t change or control. I realized I need to move forward and just…..let. it. go.

Day two handed me a bump in the road when I got an unexpected message delivering some unpleasant (and unnecessary) news, and it affected my mood for a decent portion of the afternoon….which was disappointing since I had gotten away to – well, GET AWAY. I was hoping by then to be feeling more centered and grounded, but instead of the usual peace I find when I go someplace new to wander and shoot, I was feeling cloudy and quiet, and couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. And then something interesting happened. I stumbled upon a shop that was having 15-minute sessions with a psychic that afternoon. I wavered for a minute, then decided to venture in and see what she had to say.

She could tell right away that I was struggling with something uncomfortable, but within a few minutes she had given me some really positive things to think about- including some major changes she strongly believed were coming into my life soon- and I actually felt a mixture of emotions and relief wash over me…I spent some time afterward thinking about what she had said, and realized she was right- that this is MY time to do with whatever I choose. I get to decide where I go from here. And that’s when I finally started to connect…

I realized that every day, every moment, we have a choice. We can dwell on the things we can’t change, obsessing over them to the point where our minds control us- or we can choose to let them go. Someone told me last night that I need to stop thinking and just be. He said we shouldn’t spend our lives setting expectations for how we think things should be, and instead practice accepting- and embracing- how things just are. Every day, every minute, just be present and experience it for what it is. And if we are able to live our lives that way, eventually instilling a new perception of our existence within ourselves, we might be surprised to discover how much richer life becomes.

I’m going to start encouraging myself to stop setting expectations, and instead focus on where I am, right now, appreciating the beauty that comes from being fully present. I find that when I am “fully present” it is no longer a challenge to feel true happiness…it just happens naturally because I know that wherever I am, I’m there because I chose to be – I’m there because I am meant to be there. And once we accept and let go of the past, and release the things we cannot control or change, amazing things start happening…

Something pretty amazing happened to me two nights ago. And for now I’m holding it close to my heart, guarding it like a gift I stumbled upon. But I will say that the universe has a funny way of putting things in your path when it decides you’re ready for it, for whatever reason that may be. The feelings of familiarity and comfort, connectedness and understanding run deep.

I’m so grateful that I took this trip – which has brought me closer in many ways – and as I explored someplace new out in the world but also within myself, I gained a new perspective (and a new connection) that was out there waiting for me to find it.

The time is right. The time is now. Embrace it.

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