(With These Five Things)

Sometimes a week away from home is all you need to realize how much you appreciate home.

And in my case, even when staying in a beautiful, comfortable house and without leaving San Francisco, this is still true.

If you watch my Instagram Stories (shameless plug,) by now you know I spend a lot of time in my second SF home (and watching a certain puppy dog, who I’m so attached to I have started calling her mine — much to the confusion of my friends.) I spent a week and a half there recently, bathed in sunlight and basking in the glory of their view of the city and the bay. Still, there is no place like home (even when you’ve been in a house so beautiful that coming home seems like a bit of a life downgrade!)

Still, there is no place like home (even when you’ve been in a house so beautiful that coming home seems like a bit of a life downgrade!)

Why is that? What is it about our own space and our own things that is so significant to our well-being? As I sat in my space after some time away, I took the time to look around at the small things that add meaning and a sense of peace and belonging in my little apartment bedroom.

Here is a photo of mine:


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Curious what it’s like to study yoga at an ashram in India? Here was my experience.

 

I spent a week living in a spiritual community in India. There’s a sentence I never expected to utter.

 

If you read this blog, you know that I practice yoga regularly and that it became a much bigger part of my life after a traumatic experience abroad (when I experienced and truly needed its healing power.) And if you didn’t know? You likely could’ve assumed given that I live in San Francisco (where yoga clothing is the mainstay on the city streets.)

 

But what you might not know is…I was kicked out of my first ever yoga class. Yes, let’s rewind back ~13 years to when my friends and I tried yoga for the first time in high school in my somewhat-hippie hometown. We were asked to leave after we couldn’t stop laughing when the class launched into ‘Lion’s Breath’ (which, if you don’t know what that is, I dare you to get on the ground on all-fours right now and exhale loudly through your mouth with your tongue out.)

 

So while I’ve come a long way maturity-wise since then (here’s hoping,) I thought back repeatedly to that moment when I was struggling at the ashram in India. That’s right, I struggled. Big time.

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You don’t have to carry all that baggage with you.

Ask any seasoned traveler for advice and it’s likely you’ll be told: “pack light!”

While I’ve never been particularly good at packing efficiently for trips, (though I’ve gotten better!) I realized the equivalent of packing light has been at the center of my life at home since the new year started.

For so many of us, the world seems a bit heavier than usual right now. Intentional breaks from the news and/or politics can help. Personally, the heaviness has prompted some reflection about where I spend my time and energy. I’ve begun a process of thoughtfully letting go of people, places, things, and any other clutter that no longer serves me.  In the midst of all this San Francisco rain, it has become a “spring cleaning” of life, if you will.

So often we don’t recognize the confines of our own schedules, commitments, and demands. We take on more than we can juggle and find ourselves out of balance and unintentionally ‘dropping the ball.’ (Ladies, this can be especially true when feeling the ‘you can have it all’ pressure.)

Yet things are different when we travel. Often it begins before the trip even does. When you only have so much room in a suitcase, you’re forced to say no; there’s a finite amount of space (especially if you fly budget airlines.) You have to examine the purpose, function, and worth of every thing you choose to bring.

What if we took this approach to our lives as a whole, where it’s so easy to pick up more and more without stopping to think about what may be weighing us down?


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my simplest self-care tips, inspired by hygge.

Or, unintentionally cozying up to a new Danish word.

Hello, friends! You may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent from the blog lately. I’ve always strived to share with transparency in this space, so perhaps I’ll start today by telling you that it hasn’t been an easy year for me with regards to writing. I do still write full-time for a living, but it has been challenging for me to write the personal pieces I often share with you here.

Many times I’ve pointed to the block that is still haunting me — yes, you guessed it — telling the full story of my robbery at gunpoint and bus hijacking in Colombia at the end of last year. There’s so much I want to say, but so much pressure (from myself, mostly) to get it right.

It’s fitting I should mention that event now, because that was the beginning of the self-care practices that inspired this post. After the hijacking, my sense of security, my view of the world, my ability to trust myself…all of these things came into question. I suffered from PTSD and sought treatment when it began affecting parts of my life. And while I’ve learned more from it than I can begin to write, perhaps the simplest way to begin to share is to tell you how I learned to take better care of myself.


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Yoga and meditation: where did I learn most about these two things?  While traveling, of course.

They’re both prime examples of why part-time travel is so important: I may have tried them or deepened my understanding while traveling, but it means nothing if I don’t continue to practice them once I’m home. Travel is the source of so much discovery and personal challenge.  But the fact is, I need many of the things I learn about traveling most…at home.

First, a small anecdote about how my journey with yoga and meditation began…


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