While there, it occurred to me that ten years ago I also started a Masters degree program with the dream of doing the work I’m doing today. Wow. I never would have imagined that it would take a decade to realize that dream. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to begin.
There will be times when we're in the ugly duckling stage of becoming the next version of ourselves, and we can’t clearly see what that next self will be. If we're lucky, we get a glimpse of it. It feels like, "Yes! That's the kind of woman I want to be!" That's the kind of experience I had this week.
When are you flowing with, versus pushing against, what's coming to you?
I should have cancelled my trip to Boise this week because the primary purpose for it was postponed. But I didn't. I had just enough other things scheduled that I thought it might be worth my while.
There was an intuitive whisper that nudged me forward. Toward what? I didn't know the answer. I've been practicing focusing my awareness on times when I'm able to flow with circumstances that don't go as planned, and on times when I get frustrated and push against what's happening. As a result of my not cancelling, several serendipitous, meaningful scenarios played out that I couldn't have orchestrated in advance. I'm so happy that I flowed rather than resisted the changes, and didn't cancel the trip.
The photo above seemed like the perfect metaphor for living in the flow. We can't see the big picture of our life, of how experiences and people influence us and vice versa. However, we know they flow together (when we allow them!) to shape the landscape of our lives.
How might you practice living in flow?
In the quest of knowing ourselves,
Helping curious individuals and teams who want to learn more about themselves so they can authentically lead, genuinely connect with others, and live satisfying personal and professional lives.
How do you celebrate
no matter how big or small?
A few days ago, my journal was sitting out on our coffee table and my husband happened to notice the words, “Hooray for me!” that I had written with a hot pink colored marker. He said them out loud and I instantly felt silly. Then a switch flipped. I launched into an exuberant description of what it was all about.
I’ve been practicing celebrating, when I’ve done something I said I was going to do. Simple. Right?
This particular, “Hooray for me!” was related to a time when I stopped myself from spiraling down into unhelpful thoughts. It was a seemingly small thing. It wasn’t the accomplishment of a gigantic, audacious goal.
I'm celebrating more often because research shows that celebrating not only feels great; it trains our brain to repeat the behavior. That's big!
Think of a goal that’s meaningful to you.
What’s one, seemingly small, behavior
that would move you closer to it?
Now do it, and then enjoy celebrating in your style, appreciating that you are moving toward what's important to you.
Power-up your celebratory moment by embodying it. Strike a pose, a gesture, or do a full-on happy dance!
To go along with my, “Hooray for me!” moment, from the comfort of my couch, I raised my arms just like I’m doing in this photo.
In the spirit of celebration!
Hi! Here's a link to the previous posts in this series:
Reconnecting with My Husband Keith
I saved the most intricate for last. What happens in a marriage when you go from traveling on motorcycles to living in one house and working? It’s a bit like riding on a pot-hole infested road, trying mightily to avoid hitting one!
A few months in, we exploded and faced what had been happening to us. You know the story of the frog in the boiling pot? That’s how it felt. Slowly, probably since our last month in South America, we had been sliding back into our old pre-travel habit of living parallel lives.
Internally, we were coping with our separate experiences of homecoming and there was a gigantic difference at the core. Keith longed to continue traveling while I was elated to be home. We had been inextricably tied to each other while we traveled. We had to agree on darn near everything we did — where we slept, where we ate, where we traveled. Once we hit US soil, that ever-present knot that connected us began to loosen. On one hand, it was awesome to have my freedom again! On the other hand, our relationship started eroding and we didn’t pay attention to it, until frustrations with coming home, and with each other, overtook us. We both exploded.
Let’s fast-forward past the explosion, to what we learned as a result of it. From my perspective, we realized that we weren’t having those deep, interesting conversations anymore. Almost all we talked about were the items on the eternal list of to do’s. We didn’t share our fears of restarting our income flow, figuring out where we were going to live, feeling like we didn’t belong anywhere, and not in any way, shape, or form wanting to be mooches as we stayed with friends and family for (what ended up being) four months.
We separately did our best to cope with it all. I relied on girlfriends, wine, yoga, walking. He relied on going for motorcycle rides and getting out among people. I started my new business. He went back to work, in a different job, for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. I wanted our home to be beautiful and clean. He wanted his garage in order.
Here’s where we came together. We agreed that we wanted to do better. We wanted to reconnect with each other more in the way we did on the road. We had had a taste of it. We knew what it felt like to have a truly intimate connection. We’re starting with making time for real conversations, opening ourselves to new ideas of what we enjoy doing together, with touching each other more, with real kisses. It's the beginning of accepting more change in our lives.
Before we returned home, we knew our travels had changed us. What we didn't know is that we couldn't possibly understand how travel had changed us until we started living at home rather than on the road. It stands to reason that since we changed individually, our marriage would change. We're learning, we're committed, and after eight months back in the U.S., we're still exploring ourselves with love.
Conclusion for All My Relationship Reconnecting Posts
Inner Change = Outer Change
When we change, all of our relationships change. It’s inevitable if we’re being true to ourselves. Coming back from an epic adventure makes the changes more apparent than in a normal time of life.
I wonder, what would it look like to once in a while press pause and look through a different lens at the important relationships in our lives? We could ask ourselves, how have our relationships changed over time in the “frog in a boiling pot” kind of way? How are we showing up as our true selves in our relationships?
In the spirit of learning,
“How does it feel to return home?” After traveling in Latin America on our motorcycles for nearly two years, my husband and I hear some version of that question often. Appreciating that we’re still in the homecoming process, I’m going to take a crack at describing what it looks like and how it feels in this blog series exploring my relationships, house, and work.
This is the first post in a blog series about returning home and relationships.
Missing my family and friends was the #1 challenge during the trip. I was anxious to reconnect with everyone as quickly as possible! I yearned for those genuine conversations with another human being who knew me, rather than the strangers we met along the way (even though they were amazing people!). Knowing a bit of a person’s history, brings a sense of connection that’s missing from the passing curiosity of meeting a new person. When we know each other, we can appreciate the meaning behind the stories we share, like reading an ongoing book rather than starting over at chapter one. I liked meeting new people, don’t get me wrong but I was out of whack. My life was 100% meeting new people and 0% being with people I know, like, or love. I felt a sense of frantic, desperateness for real connection with my peeps.
The trickiest factor in coordinating get-togethers was that we didn’t have a home base or a set schedule. After arriving in LA with our motorcycles on February 23rd, we bounced around until moving into a home of our own just before the 4th of July. (I’ll talk more about that in the “house” part of this series.)
Reconnecting with Family
Visiting both our families was awesome and strange. We kind of didn’t know what to do with each other. My mom and I saw each other for the first time when she picked me up at the Boise airport. Our eyes met, I noticed an odd look in her eye. There was a bit of an awkward pause then she said something like, “It’s so strange to see you in person!” We went through some version of that experience in nearly every reconnection scenario.
We gathered for family dinners and did out best to catch-up on the seemingly little things that went unsaid in the months of online conversations. It felt like our epic adventure was an elephant in the room. Keith and I didn’t know how to talk about our trip, hadn’t condensed the photos enough to share. Our families didn’t know where to begin with questions. They had mostly seen our Facebook posts and read our blogs so they didn’t know what they didn’t know. That’s not the scenario I expected.
In my coming home fantasy, I dreamed of juicy, long conversations snuggled in a warm, comfortable, living room with the familiar smells of my families’ homes. We’d have a cup of morning coffee or a glass of evening red wine and seriously catch up on everything that we didn’t feel compelled to say online. The reality was that most of them didn’t have time for this kind of connection. They had lives to live, jobs to do, routines to tend to, kids to run around. Our love for each other is absolutely not in question. Scheduling was the tricky part.
The other expectation I brought to these family gatherings was my new belief in Latin American style family values. I’ll give you of sense of what I mean. We stayed in an Airbnb in Quito, Ecuador with Felipe & Mila for a month. At first, we were complete strangers, but they quickly introduced us to their friends at a local restaurant, and invited us up for meals. We soon met both of their parents over dinner and drinks. One Saturday we were welcomed into the larger family. They invited us to go along to a family gathering at property owned Mila’s family, out in the country. I learned that they do this regularly, at least once a month. Plus, Felipe has lunch with his parents a couple times a week, and they live next door to Mila’s parents. I was surprised to hear they spent so much time with family. I admired them. They had real relationships with their families. I could feel their comfort with each other. They didn’t wait for holidays to get together, being with family was an everyday part of their lives.
I dreamed of having that kind of relationship with our families when we returned home. I count Keith and I fortunate to have such kind, loving, supportive families and, I want more of them. Yes, I appreciate that they didn’t have my Latin American family values transformation but I still want more of them!
In the spirit of learning,
P.S. I'm happy to share that the coaching aspect of my business is growing. If you, or someone you know, would like support in crossing the gap from where you are now in life to where you want to be, I'd love to help. Let's schedule a complimentary session and talk about it.
My husband and I are back from our nearly 2-year motorcycle adventure through South America! We're appreciating and adjusting to the comforts of home in Newport, on the stunning Central Oregon Coast. I’m writing to tell you about my next adventure from traveler to solopreneur.
While traveling, I pondered how I wanted to make a living when we returned home. I analyzed (in a myriad of forms!) how to infuse my business experience and education, with the topic that lights me up, that lives on my book shelves.
I'm a geek when it comes to learning about how we develop as human beings! How do we create lives we love? Why do we settle for a mediocre life rather than taking the risk to live our individual versions of an extraordinary life? Why don’t we do what we really, really want to do?! I love learning, teaching, and having juicy conversations about personal development.
Voila! I had my answer to, "What do you do?"
I help people in a state of flux, who yearn to figure out what’s next and are struggling to decide what they want to do and how to do it.
How, you may ask, am I going to do that? I’ll teach workshops, facilitate and speak to groups, and work with people one-on-one.
So far I’ve taught a workshop called Reshape Your Life in Boise, am scheduled to teach Conversing with Your Creative Self at the Sitka Center (class full), given an hour-long presentation called How Riding Teaches Us About Truly Living (great for non-motorcycle riders, too!), and coached lots of people (take a look at the kind words some have shared).
Now that we’re home, it’s time rev up the momentum! I'm talking with places about offering workshops and starting the second phase of a a rigorous coach certification program. As part of my professional development, I'll be working with practice clients. Perhaps you or someone you know would like to work with me.
Here's the big picture of what you can expect from working together one-on-one:
- Fulfill your goals
- Develop new skills and perspectives
- Change your self-defeating habits
- Overcome your obstacles
Contact me to receive one complimentary session.
Here's a link to the video.
Traveling on my motorcycle for nearly 2-years taught me so many lessons. Above all, the experience taught me to be fully me, to appreciate and be kind to myself, and to do what brings me tingles of excitement. Perhaps I'll give myself the title of CTO, Chief Tingles Officer!
To see more of what I’m up to, head to jalenecase.com + subscribe to my blog Knowing Ourselves to hear about future workshops, groups, presentations, and whatever else I dream up to offer on this exciting new adventure.
In the spirit of learning,
This month, two years ago, Keith and I were in the final countdown to our epic adventure. We were close to leaving our jobs, prepping our house to rent, and making little checks next to items on pages of lists spread all over the kitchen counter.
Fast forward from 2015 to 2017. Traveling changed us. We're not the same inside even if we look the same on the outside. We're committed to consciously reshaping our lives in a way that allows us to have more adventures. We're exploring this new world, doing our darnedest to align our work and home with our future vision.
Reshaping our lives can feel like blasting off to another world.
Sometimes I feel like a kick-as pioneer, boldly going where I've never been before and other times, I'm lost in a black hole of doubt.
Here's a video update...
If you're in Boise, and ready to change the shape of your own life, I'm offering a workshop on Reshaping Your Life.
In the spirit of learning!