No Matter Where I Find Myself - 10 Things Moving Country Teaches Me
1. Change will make you notice everything
We play many internal games with ourselves. Many of them rear their heads around our journey with change.
One game I recently played, was taking an entire year "to prepare myself" to leave Colorado after six glorious years. It put many things into hypercolour - and I'll share the 10 gifts here, simply.
It's incredible where I find myself as I pause to write this.
I stopped to look and listen, because I am leaving.
2. Love and endurance come from moving INTO, not away from, conflict
Here in Colorado I stayed rooted in community for the first time in my life and learnt what comes with patience, from not going anywhere. Returning to conversations with those close to me when they have things to say that are hard to hear. Moving into discomfort, because it's what I really need.
Real love comes from confrontation, from sticking around to tell someone what is true rather that the ease of avoidance.
It is part of putting yourself out there because it is worth it and you want the people you love to ask a lot of the world.
3. Let things be
Something happens with transitions - we let go. There is a lightness that starts to contaminate moments of the day, where you simply don't care anymore. You still feel close to the moment, it still impacts you. But you are not as important to the grand scheme of things as you once thought you were.
This morning I taught my last yoga class, and we all cried. Something happened in our inner and outer experiences during yoga and suddenly we were all sitting in our tears. I don't necessarily know what it was, except that it was beautiful. I felt how pure the sweetness is in letting things be.
4. Resistance is futile
It's hard to be told that you are loved.
It's hard to see someone upset by you leaving, and still stay with your own experience.
It's easier to avoid goodbyes. Someone acknowledged recently to me the good in goodbye. If we embrace the prospect of what it can be, there is a sweetness of parting.
We often resist letting ourselves be loved. Until the immediacy of time breaks through, and so we receive!
Receiving can be more natural than we realise. There are so many sweet moments I can't hold them. So all I can do is listen and get out of my own way when someone shares something with me. I can give my trusted attention to my friend. I value and respect my friend when I allow myself to receive from them.
When time is short, and a transition generates momentum, you choose with intent. There is a level of attention I currently give each of my decisions. I check in with myself, with my body around what I really want to do. Instead of fearing missed opportunities, trying to control my lifestyle, I accept the short-hand of time. I enjoy the short-hand of time.
Drop the fear of saying 'no', leaning towards too much of 'yes', or the fuel of indecision and see time for what it is.
Time is a sanctuary for good choices. When you are indecisive, and feel the pressure of time, make any choice and it will be a good one, because you started something. Better yet, make an informed choice, informed by your greatest need.
It becomes your own hands. Feeling GOOD about what you want and the choice you make, and not looking back. Nothing is permanent. Your daily encounter with your own choices should be a liberating one!
6. Grief and Praise beget one another
Missing something is actually wonderful because your heart is open to what you love.
The happiness we can find, also comes from the perceived transitory nature of time - that was always, always here.
When we embrace impermanence, all that we ordinarily enjoy becomes technicolor.
Foods are deliciously seasonal, the flowers have smells I try to place, and cannot. The snow is exciting to me to ski one-more-time, even though it is semi-mud. I notice the absurdities of where I live, the mountain lions, the seasons, the accents. I start to consider my environment from afar.
I watch the gaps between my "passions" and my "actions" on a daily framework, and accept what is today. I appreciate the day that it is, regardless of the thunderstorm or the sun, and I take it as its very own day with something good to give to me.
Beauty was never so easy to find.
7. Belongings never helped me belong
I gave away 90% of what I lived alongside. These things didn't help me belong although many of them I belonged to in that they took a great deal of my time. I look at my bare adobe walls and notice how striking they are. I find more simplicity inside my own mind simply due to my surroundings. Most of what I gave away did not lead to loss. There was no gaping hole. The things I kept, stand out. I should have had less for years.
Things that held significance, I passed to specific friends. The metaphors in giving a particular friend a certain item were creative and fun. It is sweet to illustrate appreciations, to find an excuse through hand-offs. Some miscellaneous things were extremely hard to let go of, and brought up emotions that I have literally kept inside a drawer.
I'm grateful for the focal point of finally releasing them, and the sensation of open closets now where I look.
8. Humanity is everywhere
There are choice points in the mundane daily moments, the barista, the person next to you in the coffee shop breathing heavily from his allergies. How much or little you acknowledge the people you pass throughout your day. It's not black and white, and there's no right or wrong etiquette, other than to go with what is genuine.
I notice the impact these people have in my move. The bank tellers who know me by name and gave me a goodbye hug. The supermarket clerk who helped me out last week when I least expected it. I'm greatly impacted by their gestures, I'll miss having these people around me.
Yesterday, two hospital nurses (dressed in scrubs on the street) started applauding happily as we freed a bird that was wedged in a trucks roof rack. Once free he took off so fast and high into the sky. We were jumping up and down, the nurses exclaiming how happy they were to see it.
I don't watch television but I do know that once we attend to what's actually happening, moments really ARE that heart-warming and spectacular. I yearn to pay better attention to the little human moments in life, and the small encounters with whoever is around for them.
9. Ignorance is Bliss
Knowing doesn't DO anything. The sooner I realise in returning to where I grew up that I know nothing about the place, the more I'll experience the best of things. I get to be surprised, and see what is actually true. I'll get to meet those who I love across daily moments without expectation and assumption of how they will act.
The greatest gift we give our loved ones, is treating them with open eyes at each encounter. To allow someone to be whoever they are is the most fabulous and accepting freedom. We deserve to greet others and be greeted with curiosity and care, away from long-term labels and associations. Allowing each other the grace of change. Because if change brings all THIS, then we deserve to embrace change daily. To act from whatever is most real and essential in us.
10. Nowhere to go to
The moment I started watching, paying more attention, I realised where i was.
Each moment, another moment took over. And I realised - I made up the whole thing...
Everything loosened its grip on me. Everything carries forward into another moment, no matter what I do.
All the things I appreciate here, the song I sing in my head as I walk, the joy, beauty and inspiration I found inside every one of my friends, didn't exist anywhere else. There is no where else to be.
It didn't make me more sad. My sadness felt more sacred because it could change in a moment.
The only place to be, is the place where I continue to be awake to my world.
This moment will continue the longer I continue to notice.
Change will make you notice everything.