The environment we build for ourselves—both externally and internally—influences how we show up and engage in our lives. Look around you. As you take in your surroundings, how do you feel? That feeling will follow you into whatever you’re doing next.
Are you following your trail or someone else's?
This week, I felt like I was beginning to follow the sought-after guidance of other people too often. I was hiking their trail instead of mine. Every shiny new bit of guidance was appearing on my to do list, on my web page, and in my goals.
Thinking about that, I remembered a trail I hiked in Honduras with fellow travelers that had all those qualities —surprising, bumpy, steep, muddy, wild, and peaceful. And, I realized, so does building my business.
It was time to recalibrate my internal GPS a bit to stay on my trail.
I'm reconnecting with my heart's voice, the thing that makes me, me. I'm consciously choosing — from all the ideas calling for my attention — what I will pursue and what I will let go of, for now.
I recognize that on the one hand I want to listen to the people whose wisdom I respect, but on the other I must honor my own wisdom. Balancing the two voices helps me have the guts to do it my way. When I notice a shift toward imbalance, I can make minor adjustments before I get lost charging down someone else's trail.
How will you recalibrate a bit to stay on your trail?
In the quest of knowing ourselves,
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,
Reconnecting with My Peeps...My Girlfriends!
Hi! Here's a link to the first post in this series: Returning Home and Family in which I talked about being with family for the first time in nearly 2 years after our epic adventure on motorcycles to the southern tip of South America. More on the trip here.
In this post, I want to give you a sense of what it was like getting together with my girlfriends for the first time in nearly 2 years.
Reconnecting with My Peeps...My Girlfriends!
Getting together with friends was different than family. Our families are conveniently gathered in one place, mine in Boise, and Keith’s in Tacoma. Our friends are spread all over so we saw them one or two at a time. I discovered, to my dismay, that it took a lot of energy to have intense reconnection-style conversations. That meant I couldn’t cram them together in my schedule as quickly as my heart wished for. However, slowly but surely, I got to have real, in-person conversations with the friends I love.
Talking in person is so different than online whether it’s via video, audio, or written. In person, there’s energy surging back and forth between two beings. There's more emotion, curiosity, meandering from topic to topic, and tangible heart connection.
I remember seeing my friend Katy for the first time. Before we left, Katy and I, along with close friends Mary Kay and Cindy, had hiked an 8-mile loop around Newport nearly every Sunday for a few years. We talked the entire time we hiked. We knew each other. After our travels, Katy and I met in a coffee shop in Hillsboro for a quick catch-up. I was stunned when I first saw her and felt her in-person energy. I sensed we had so much we had to say to each other. We talked non-stop for about an hour, sharing deeply as if we had just seen each other last week. That’s what I missed during our travels -- sharing deeply with a person whose stories I know and who knows mine. Our whole selves connected as our stories poured out of us.
A similar reconnection scene played out with all the friends I've been with so far. I am grateful beyond words to be with my friends again. When I was without them for nearly two years, there was a part of me that felt like a plant withering from lack of water. Being able to give them hugs in real life and have rambling real conversations feels like water for my soul.
I would have never guessed that missing my peeps was the most challenging aspect of the entire 23 months away from home!
There's no doubt in my mind. Genuine relationships with friends is extremely valuable to me. I need them. I need our meaningful, vulnerable, happy conversations. So often it takes having something removed from our lives before we appreciate how much it means to us.
I'm curious, "What do your friends bring into your lives?"
In the spirit of learning,
P.S. Friends and a professional coach are awesome to have supporting you! If you're curious about what coaching can do for you, learn more here.