“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt with. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding and my dear one, you and I have been granted a mighty generous one.” – Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
Over the course of the last two weeks I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about detoxifying and purifying, in every regard. Purging from my life that which does not serve me and honing in on the things that enrich my life. Working to find a balance by relaxing into the give and take. I spent a week vacationing in British Columbia, purging my whole everyday ‘routine’ life for a short period of time. When you have a moment to look at your life from the outside in, its easier to focus on all of the different moving pieces, which is exactly what I did. With great detail I picked apart all of the pieces, I looked at how they all fit together and found the places that needed more attention. Just as I so often do, I made a to do list and respective goal list. All the while I let myself just enjoy the break and indulge in a life outside my routine. Upon my return I got to work. All week I consciously worked on being my best self. I went to a meditation class, I loaded up on vegetables, I read books, I spent time with loved ones, I called my family back home, I did yoga every day, I eliminated sugar from my diet, I completed some assignments, I watched a movie; I gentle teetered between effort and release.
Khichdi has long been used as a detoxifying, light and nutritious meal in the ayurvedic tradition. Turmeric seasoned rice and lentil dishes are a favorite of mine any time of year.
We spent the week disconnected from our separate lives. In their place we shared a time of calm, reflection, laughter, wonder, mild frustration, adventure, old familiarity and comfort. We talked, we walked, we hiked, we read, we cooked, we sat together in the most comfortable of silences; the kind that comes from having known one another through and through over the years, despite the distance. We marveled at starfish, hoped for whale sightings, gave thanks for narrowly missing a run in with a black bear, climbed 2,800 some odd steep steps, watched a family sing folk songs in perfect harmony, made friends with strangers, listened to old tunes and stared off into the distance. I learned more about my dear friend and more about myself.
And maybe the best part about traveling is neither the destination nor the journey but rather the fact that you step outside yourself and your life in favor of the observation of the lives of others. It’s a glimpse into so many other forms of life on this here planet. It’s a reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for in our own lives. We bring that knowledge back with us to carry us through what we once viewed as ordinary, now viewed through a lens of gratitude. And each time we travel we learn more about this world, about each other, about the human connection and what it means to be an unmistakably powerful vessel of gratitude and understanding, a warrior of love.
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