goodbye city, hello island

Just two days after returning from London, I moved to a smaller city on an island a few hours away from my hometown. A day after that, I started work at a local university – the same university I attended fifteen years ago. The past couple of weeks have been a surreal trip back in time. I’m remembering places and streets I’d forgotten, and discovering new ones.

August was a complete whirlwind: wrapping up one job and starting another, packing up my old apartment, temporarily staying with friends in my new city, and of course the transformative journey in London. I’ve now found a place of my own to live in October…so I’m going to relax and enjoy the rest of September in a beautiful beachside property owned by a family friend, assimilating all that’s occurred.

morning sunrise

morning sunrise

This move happened very quickly. One day I had the thought of changing cities, and a week later I had a job offer and various places to stay. I had no time to ‘think things over’; all I knew was a screaming yes! from within.

I can’t say for certain why I’m here. Merely weeks before my UK trip, I’d moved into a new apartment in my hometown. For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I’d found somewhere I could breathe, relax, put down some roots – or at least hang some art on the walls! I’d finally found the sanctuary I’d long yearned for.

And yet, something wasn’t quite right.

I was done with the city. I was tired of the noise, stimulation, sirens, the daily grind. I told myself the outer noise was reflecting my inner noise. But I couldn’t get ahead of it to quiet it down.

I believe that wherever you go, there you are – no matter how far we travel, we can’t escape ourselves – but sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what’s needed for a reset. To cultivate new habits. To shake up the system and connect more easily with one’s inner truth.

Here, on the Island that’s my home for an unbeknownst period of time, things aren’t quite so convenient as in the big city. I haven’t had immediate access to all I ‘need’. (What?? You don’t have wifi here?!) It’s been an adjustment, and annoying at times, but I have to laugh. It’s exactly what I asked for.

my new commute

my new commute

I enjoy being in motion. Whether I’m on a long walk or a ferry, plane, or train, I love travelling to new places. It’s often where I feel most connected to Source – where I receive my insights and downloads. Being in new neighbourhoods, discovering new terrain, excites me.

Nevertheless, as I lay in bed last week, I doubted this very fast turn of events. Was I running away? Did I give up a good gig in my old city? Did I make the wrong decision? I woke up to a voice asking me: What would make this decision worth it? And I realized that wherever I am is the perfect place to be. Because, ultimately, I’m not looking for the ‘right’ job or city or house – even if I think I am.

I’m looking to strengthen my relationship with spirit, with myself – to go within, to find the love within and without, to meditate, to practice yoga, to be more in nature and discover the peace that is my true nature. Those things aren’t necessarily contingent upon external circumstances. But I’m grateful for the Island air reverberating in my cells. And its gorgeous trees, water, and slower pace of life. The elements are supporting new habits and ways of being.

I’ve heard, and I sense, that September is a very potent month. What we do with all the delicious, available energy is up to us. I’m choosing to not squander it on fear.

june blossoming

I have always loved this Anais quote. It seems to be my personal mantra these past couple years. This feeling (knowing) that it’s time to let go of stories, wounds, and fears, and walk in peace, joy, freedom, and authenticity.

But I’m also learning to be patient with the process. Much as I love teachings that focus on joy, expansion, and positivity, the darker sides of being human – those intense and painful shadow states – are all part of it, and resisting them means we’re not fully living.

I visualize it as my inner pendulum swinging, and over time it moves more towards joy.

Lately I’ve been allowing every emotional state that I experience, with no apologies. If I’m feeling judgy, angry, bitchy…I allow it. For so long – my whole life! – I’ve been hard on myself for feeling things that are ‘not spiritual’, afraid of some form of punishment or karmic retribution. But in resisting those emotions, I’ve locked them inside. And they want out!

There is something so incredibly freeing about allowing yourself to feel whatever you want to feel. And I think allowance of everything we feel comes from a place of recognizing our inherent Goodness. That is, I’m not so terrified of my negative feelings, because I’m not as identified with them. I don’t see them as really ‘me’.

Only in that process of really allowing those feelings, can they neutralize.

I’m also learning that most people have these dark feelings to some degree. And this has enabled me to experience more compassion and connection with others, rather than automatically seeing them as ‘better off/worse off’ than me.

Blossoming into our greatness is not some singular joyous event. There are lots of growing pains. For me, ‘joy’ does not mean, smiling, happy, and perky all the time. It means a gradual deepening into peace and contentment.

And peace is not boring, which I also used to fear. Peace and contentment mean tapping into the subtle awe, mystery, magic, and intrigue of life in ways we couldn’t perceive before.

Here’s to a joyful June, everyone!