What Helps You Exhale?
This is me on my first day of Kindergarten. School was scary until it became natural.
1 year ago:
I glance over to the passenger seat, to my left.
It hits me, like a fist in the chest, that it's been 6 months since I drove on the left side of the road.
Driving on the left side, I breathe easy. I swing by a close friend's house, or visit my mom. I listen to familiar music or my local NPR station or play games with noisy kids in car seats without feeling stressed. Like a fish swimming, it's effortless.
On the right side, each ride invites courage. I feel fear but choose to keep going. Each trip has purpose. I CAN buy food for my family. I MUST take my child to the doctor. I WILL make it to this event...I will make the effort....I will make friends...I will find a spiritual home....I will drop my kid to a play date...I will be rooted.
Driving on the right side reminds me how much potential is still in me, in all of us. How much more stretching is possible. How much more adventure is available. How much more open I can be. How elastic my heart has become, opening wider every time I plop myself somewhere new and discover my people, my soul friends. The right side teaches me grand lessons. Lessons we all know, but don't always experience. That people are people. That human beings all want to love and be loved. That ultimately there is only oneness. This, this is what I love about traveling, living abroad. Like a shofar blast, each journey on the right side screams, wake up! Be present! Live!
But sometimes I glance over to the passenger seat and wish that, for that moment, I could drive on the left side, to feel familiar, to see the friends who know me best, and to hug my mom and dad,
I posted this on Facebook in January 2017 and am sharing with you all now, one year later. Driving on the right side of the road feels natural now and living here feels much more effortless. For those of you who are in an earlier phase of life transition and relocation (dislocation).
To get from 1 year ago to this new state of ease, I did the following:
1. I put myself out there all over the place to see what would stick. I got feedback. I got rejection. Lots of what I tried didn't work. But the work/relationships/communities that did work have stuck. And they are really good!
2. I took on the attitude of fearlessness, even if I felt fearful. I invited people to do stuff. I drove places I was scared to drive. I said yes to things that were scary.
3. I allowed myself days to be sad and lonely. I mean, we just uprooted our lives. Wouldn't it be weird not to be sad sometimes?
4. I let go of perfection. I mean, I did a lot of things wrong. A lot.
5. I lead with relationships. Genuine, authentic relationships and expression have always led to personal and professional opportunities. I will share more about these opportunities in posts to come. But focusing on building genuine friendships and relationships has been the single most important factor of feeling as though I can exhale.
What helps you exhale?
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