I have been back in the states for exactly one month and one day. This past month, I've gotten really quiet, gotten out in nature as much as possible so, I could integrate my trip as best I can. Last year I learned that giving myself space after transformative events is essential to my well being. If I don't give myself a pause to rest, reset and let all the new knowledge sink in after transformation then the changes get put on hold or on the back burner. Nothing is ever lost but, it just takes a whole heck of a lot longer to begin applying what was learned. So, I've allowed for the integrating.
Currently, I'm in LA, and I plan to be here through the summer. Upon arriving, I was instantly hit with a grateful swell through my body about not rushing down here when I first got back to the states and instead choosing to spend time with my parents up North. Being in Northern California, in smaller towns where my parents live, allowed me to pick out what I learned through long term travel and how to keep it in the forefront of my mind without the distraction of city life. Let me tell you, our Western world is very seducing and can make one forget a different way of living quickly. Being back in a big city like LA reminds me of this quote:
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”― Lain Thomas
The first thing I realized upon settling back in is what is ACTUALLY important to me; love (all states and forms of it), caring for people and animals, my connection to nature and my freedom. Even though I have only been in LA a short time, I already feel the pull of my hand directing me to care about things like social media, brand, career, money, blah, blah. I'm not saying that those things aren't important because they can be but, only once my foundation in what actually matters is set. If I'm not careful and diligent, I will go back to thinking that the unimportant things are important and my actual important things, will fall to the wayside- obviously I say this from a place of privilege and am currently not fighting for survival.
Every night as I fall asleep, I put my hand on my heart and whisper, "don't forget." As I get back into the swing of working and creating my own business, I want to keep my foundation strong. When I have a strong foundation, I can more stronger choices that align with my true values versus making rash decisions out of fear. It's so easy to get caught up in the rat race and the "keeping up" but, when it comes down to it, do we really even care? Probably not. When I was traveling, I was happy with very, very little. What we actually need is clean, safe living conditions, healthy food in our bodies, clean water and loved ones around us. The idea that we need more is the myth of consumerism and the perpetual cycle of thinking we need more so we buy more, is what keep us suffering. We live in a world of excess and it's making us miserable.
What do we do in the midst of societal pressure to consume, consume, consume. And keep, up, keep up? First, we determine our foundation. Traveling helped me strip away the fluff to get down to what truly makes me happy. However, you don't have to leave home to figure this out. Pick up a notebook and pen and journal about the question, "what brings me lasting joy?" Pick your top four values and these are your foundation. Are you living your life from your foundation? If not, how can you start to make progress to living closer to your truth? For me, that means nourishing my most important relationships, finding ways to be of service to my community and to animals, getting out in nature AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE and taking time to live simply (slow mornings, afternoon walks, reading, etc) and find adventure everywhere.