It's happening. As you read this, Chris and I (with puppies in tow) will be somewhere in the sky headed to Cozumel. It's what I have planned for all summer - it's actually what I have planned for before I even knew I was planning anything. Well, kind of.
A little over a year ago, I decided to move outside of downtown to give myself some space, which led to a commitment to meditation, which led to humbly asking for some sort of guidance when it came to reaching my hidden potential. I released a number of barriers I had built up throughout my life in terms of not feeling "worthy" or "good enough," which led to meeting Chris, which led to a trip to Puerto Rico, that in turn led to bringing home island pups and ultimately deciding to sell everything and give island life a permanent try.
As I am writing this it's actually only Saturday. I won't have time to post this before our flight, and to be quite honest, this post means a whole hell of a lot to me. The last thing I want to do is rush it. If you haven't caught up, check out the last post here, where I divulge our struggle with switching up our entire plan after Hurricane Maria. I wish we could have stuck to the original plan, but sometimes life throws you curveballs and you just have to remember the big picture of your endeavor, and swing the bat anyways.
Whether we ended up where we planned or not, I have learned quite a bit this summer, and there is really no better place to share a handful of these lessons, than here on my blog, with a few like minded readers. Below are the 5 of the most important lessons I have learned on our adventure to sell everything and "run away to an island."
5. I actually don't need that much stuff.
I don't really own a whole lot right now. I don't have a TV, a couch, or shelves full of toiletries. I don't even have a closet. I have enough clothes to fit on 2 shelves In Chris' room, some electronics for this bad boy blog/work, and a financed car. That's pretty much it. And I'm going to be honest here (when am I not) it hasn't been an issue at all. There has been a time or two on a girls night that I feel like I have worn the same thing too often, but the things I kept I really liked and feel good in, so it ended up working out.
I am more particular and thoughtful about the things I do buy, and I am more appreciative of the things I already own. I honestly haven't seen a downside to this part of the preparation. I still don't know if downsizing to one bag for travel will have the same positive effect, but there is really only one way to find out!
4. I can welcome everything with open arms.
i'm still working on this one. But what I have been trying to implement on a daily basis, is metaphorically opening my arms to all situations and emotions that drift through my consciousness - not just the good stuff I want to pay attention to. Feeling euphoric in yoga class? Come here, I accept you euphoria. Feeling competitive and jealous in yoga class? Come here ego, I welcome you with open arms. Annoyed with all the shit that's out of my control right now? You guessed it: come here, you. There's a spot at the table for you too.
It is one of the hardest reactions to re wire. To feel judgmental towards another human being sucks. It sucks because I want to be a good person. I want to choose love. I want to foster openness and acceptance, and every time I judge someone, I am behaving in direct contradiction to what I truly believe in, and that makes me feel like a phony and a failure. But it's part of being human. By accepting my "negative" emotions, instead of trying to ignore them and push them away, I strip away their power and let them run their course. Plus, let's be real - does ignoring negative thoughts make them go away anyhow? Not in my experience.
So instead of beating myself up when I have a thought or feeling that makes me feel like a bad human, I just open these little T Rex arms to them and say "you are a part of me, let's chill until you feel like leaving." Now this is easier said than done, but it has been beneficial enough to warrant an attempt to keep trying.
3. I might not have to make "sacrifices," but I sure as hell have to make choices.
Sorry ladies, I don't believe we can have it all. Or maybe some of you can, but for me, it's not worth it to run myself ragged trying to attempt it any longer. I have priorities. And having priorities means that certain things just come before other things. I would rather really concentrate on what is deeply aligned with me at that particular moment in my life, and give that my full being, than try to do 10 other things and burnout.
I realize this is entirely personal. I have come to the conclusion that I am not a go go go kind of person. I can be, if the time is right - but for the most part, I would rather take things slow and just concentrate on a few important things. My boyfriend is one of them - he makes me so happy my cheeks hurt from smiling, and we have been dating for less than a year so we are still in a very blissful honeymoon stage. So yea, I picked him over a lot of things this summer. It is what it is. I know that isn't the "right," or "independent" thing to say, but it's the aligned thing to say. It's how I really feel deep down. So I trashed the "I'll never be with a man who makes me choose" mindset, and just did what I felt like doing at the time. Which a lot of times was doing stuff with him.
ACE means a lot to me. This blog means a lot to me. The yoga, nutrition, and experiences I want to brand and create as an extension of this blog mean A LOT to me. They fire me up, they get me excited and they make me feel a passion I have never felt about any endeavor. So when it came down to watching TV all night or writing a blog post, I picked the blog post. When it came down to enjoying my evenings at home with my family/friends or spending 5 hours a day on yoga teacher training, I chose yoga teacher training. When it came down to going on a trip or getting yoga classes in, I chose the yoga classes. None of this ever felt like a sacrifice per se, but they were very clear, well thought out choices. When I felt overwhelmed, or like I was at a cross roads, I would pull out my priority list, and all of the sudden the decision seemed pretty clear. It's not exactly the choice I wanted to make at the time, but it was the choice that was more in line with what I wanted in the long run.
I will admit, it's hard when you stop being pulled in a thousand different directions, because it means some of the things that used to be a part of your life are drifting away. But in the grander scheme of things, the people, places, and events that are best for me will always show back up. If they don't, then sometimes that's just how it goes.
I don't want to have it all, I want to have what's best for me. Simple as that.
2. I don't always have to know what I am doing.
I have said it before on this platform, and I will say it again: I am being pulled in a direction I never saw myself going. I have no idea what the future holds. I am moving to an island with a man and 2 puppies and NO JOB. (Yep, you read that right. Good ol' ADP didn't approve my home shore request, so I had to make a choice. And that choice was to go on this adventure and find another way to fund it.) I could be a terrible yoga teacher. I could not sell one juice. I could run out of money in the first 3 months. I could find out Chris is cheating on me. (I don't think he ever would, but everything needs to be considered...) There are so many ways this could go wrong.
Oh, but there are so many ways it could go right. Not only could they go right, but I am being pulled in this direction, and I just can't ignore that, even if the sane part of my brain thinks I'm making an impulsive error in judgement.
I am moving through pure faith. Faith that the man I love loves me the same way I love him. Faith that what I am passionate about can put food on the table. Faith that all the lessons that have rung true to me all summer are actually the path I should be on, and not some brainwashing propaganda delivered only to make a buck. I have faith in a path laid out for me. No, scratch that. That doesn't seem quite right. It's not so much a "path laid out for me" as much as a path revealed to me. I have the choice to follow the path even though I have no idea where it leads, or I have the choice to stick with what's been familiar to me. I'm an optimistic person, so I think I could get by just fine with either option. But one of these options lights me up. So that's the one I am going with.
...annnnd the #1 thing I have learned all summer: non attachment.
I need to have goals. I need to have priorities. I need to have direction. But the harder I try to grasp at the result, the more that desired outcome will evade me. It's like a relationship: the more I smother the other party to be how I want them to be, the more they resent me and run away. On the flip side, the less fucks I give, the more I attract the good shit.
I can be a basket case trying to over plan every minute detail (and I have been said basket case - you should see how many flow charts I have in my current journal) OR I can do my best in the moment and then hand over the result to the higher good. One leaves me feeling strung out, the other makes me feel curious and hopeful.
I was first introduced to this practice via yoga. *Shocker! I know.
Basically, our yoga teacher told us to try the intention of non attachment: give the pose your best shot based on how you feel in that moment, but let go of any expectations of how it will turn out. This continuous reevaluation of my body, how it was feeling, and how far it could go - without an attachment to how it would look or end up - left me in grateful, happy tears on the mat that night. I have since carried this practice with me as much as possible into every class. A lot of times nothing happened. I didn't have a breakthrough, and I didn't stretch farther than I thought I could. But I wasn't disappointed, because I didn't have an attachment to a result to begin with. I enjoyed the process. After a while, however, after many (many) seemingly non eventful yoga sessions, I began to loosen up. All of the sudden, my knees are lifting up in bow pose, my hips are staying level in dancers pose, my back is staying straight in seated forward fold. I am getting beautiful results without expectations attached. And let me tell you, those are so much more rewarding than results I expect!
Try it out in relationships too. I am a firm believer that expectations KILL beautiful relationships. Oh, you thought your boyfriend was going to bring you roses because it's your 5 month anniversary? Expectation bomb. You thought your friends were for sure planning a party for your birthday? Expectation bomb. You thought you could drop a hint and whoever you're dealing with would pick up on what you need and make you feel better? Double points: expectation bomb lit with a lack of communication fuse. BOOM.
Chris and I do not have a perfect relationship by any means. But we communicate to each other on a regular basis that we hold no expectations for each other. This sounds unromantic and like we are selling ourselves short, but I think it is this freedom from expectations that allows us to choose how we want to treat each other every day. Since there is no attachment tied to what I expect him to do, I am able to give and take freely without resentment. He in turn, is able to be whoever he wants to be in every moment, and I have the freedom evaluate on the spot whether it's something that makes me feel good or not. I'll tell you this: If I don't have a measure for him to live up to, it's very often that he handles the situation in a way that far exceeds the mark I would have deemed "sufficient."
This does not mean I say "fuck it, what's going to happen will happen." It means I say "I am going to do everything I can, in this moment to achieve my goal, and I am curious to see where it leads me." Curiosity - not control. Because I don't know about you, but I don't always know what's best for me, so I put out there what I want, and joyfully work towards it - but if it doesn't turn out the way I had written in my planner, it's probably better that way.
For me, it's a law: grasp onto something and it will evade you. Give something room to unfold in it's own right, and the result can be absolutely breath taking. More breath taking than we could have planned and bullet pointed to death.
So that's it. Those are my 5 lessons. Now the planning phases are over and we do the things.
With that said, I would love for everyone to follow along! I will no longer be advertising blog posts on Facebook, but I will send update emails to my subscribers as they are those who have shown a clear interest in seeing how this adventure unfolds. So please drop your email address down below. I promise I won't blow up your inbox with anything outside of this endeavor.
I'll have my first giveaway soon, and I will also let you in on how I plan to carry ACE Movement forward via in person pop up yoga around the island/country, short YouTube flows from various locations, and Patreon memberships for full 60 minute weekly flows along with access to live streaming beach yoga sessions. In terms of Ace Nutrition, there is an e-cleanse on the far horizon, along with recipes, and of course the actual juices we make will be available if you are in our area. The overall blog posts of what we are up to and who we are meeting will continue as well.
Long story short, I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve and I can't wait to share them with anyone who is interested. They won't all happen at once, but I am going to enjoy the shit out of the process of rolling them out one by one.
But for now, it's "more to come" after we step off this plane and settle in to Cozumel. In the meantime, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below - the whole point of this blog is to connect and start conversations, so please say hi and let me know what you think! Good or bad, agree or disagree - I love feedback and I love a good conversation!
Cheers to making shit happen and learning along the way...
PS: Don't forget to sign up for emails below...I'll be easing up on the Facebook posts, so it's the best way to know when there is new content and giveaways!