Detours

roadtripThis journey. It has become one of some major self reflection and pushing of boundaries that have, in some instances, brought me way out of my comfort zone. I have been challenged and have been kicked in the ass. But I have noticed something along the way. I’m not giving up. I’m incredibly focused on experiencing everything this new life, with its many challenges & obstacles, has to offer me.

But in my being so focused I have noticed one thing. That I’m sometimes pushing out or questioning things that might be perceived to me as being in the way. Ones that I have thought of that could pop up in my life and would cause me to question this would be a totally new career move, a new person/relationship, or a spontaneous travel opportunity. I start to get a little nervous that these things may affect my path, interrupt the journey and cause me to lose focus.

So I have taken some time to think about what that would all mean. What if I were to open myself up to a new person or new career….or a chance to travel to a different country for 3 or 4 weeks…or more? How would this change this path that I think I am on?

Well, it was in those quiet moments of reflecting that I realized something. Those all would be A PART of the journey. Have you ever been on a road trip where you are travelling along and you pass something that looks so breathtaking, fun, and/or maybe even crazy that you just have to check it out? And maybe you drive right on by, but you always remember it and wish you could go back and see what it was all about. OR maybe you turn the car around and stop at it and find out it has the most amazing views of the sunset or the best fries you’ve ever eaten. I’m on that road trip right now and I have continually said that if this is my YEAR OF YES, I want to experience everything life has to offer…but my old behaviour is to stay on the highway and just get there already which can lead me to miss out on those fantastic, memorable stops along the way.**

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Those stops ARE a part of the journey and the moment I have started to recognize this, I have suddenly had more peace. That maybe these aren’t so much ‘stops’ but detours. Or maybe they were a part of the journey all along. But one thing I know is that I have missed out on a lot in my life. Whether it’s because of my childhood, my choices, or my fear that I have let get in the way. And though I have these old behaviours of just wanting to be at my destination already, I have a stronger passion to not miss out on anything along the way. For that new career move may lead to travelling the world, that new person could become the friend you share your dreams with or a great relationship that teaches you more about yourself, and that travel opportunity could open the door to a whole world of adventure. So instead of fearing those moments and how they may interrupt my journey, I’m taking a closer look at them and if they align with my heart, with my goals, and my YEAR of YES, then I get to add another exciting new chapter into my journey.

**I totally cried while writing this part, which I’ve learned is my souls way of saying that I’ve hit a nerve and I need to explore this more. I don’t cry very often so I always listen to my mind when I do. It is usually trying to tell me something. And in this case, I think it was telling me that I have hit an area here that means a lot to me. That it hits the core of my being and is something so important to my soul. That though I have missed many great stops on my life journey, I have so many more to experience and don’t want to let myself or my fears to stand in the way of that!**

What Adventure Awaits You?

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I keep hearing the same thing from people ‘I am living vicariously through you right now!’ While I am flattered by this and the fact that you are following along in my journey and cheering me on, I would rather you be out there experiencing life too!

I’m all about adventure…even more so in this stage of my life. Adventure helps build your confidence by getting you out of your comfort zone! In my last post, I talked about how it has helped me face fear head on to the point fear is scared of me now 😉 But most importantly adventure opens up doors to experience so much of what our world has to offer. It can stretch you to a place you never imagined going. It can lead down a path that can completely change your life for the better.

Overall though, as many of you have seen and commented, adventures are a ton of fun!! Which is why it’s hard for me to hear so many say they enjoy watching me do it, but aren’t taking the step to embark on their own.

I understand it is not for everybody. That sitting on the sidelines watching is enough adventure for them. And I can respect that. But then there are those of you who I can see the envy and the longing in your faces. And what I say to you is: I WAS you once! I had fear get in my way. I over-thought a lot to the point I would just talk myself out of it. I would think negatively about myself, like how I’m not good enough or strong enough to do that. I would find excuses to say no.

Then I said YES to one thing…and then YES to another…and realized just how thrilling and life-changing adventures can be!

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My hope in sharing my journey would not only be that you follow along but that it would encourage and inspire you to try to step out of your own comfort zones and embrace an adventure that has been calling your name for awhile. That you take the time to learn about yourself and appreciate the world we live in. I guarantee you that you will return with a new appreciation on life and yourself!

So next time you see me posting about going dancing on a Friday night or that I’m planning my next travel destination, think about something that you’ve always wanted to do and find the courage and strength I know you have in you to step into an adventure that has been awaiting you!

Set Your Soul On Fire

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I have had this unsettled feeling deep in my core for a few years now. Like there is something missing in my life. I have felt like I have been lightly searching for it for the last few years…sitting in the feeling and seeing if it would just tell me already what it was I needed so I could go and get it already! This is my impatient self talking. I’m usually a ‘if I want it, I want it NOW’ type of person. But what I have realized is that I tend to miss a lot of greatness along the way.

And that feeling only intensified the last few months. As if it’s telling me GO, GO NOW AND SEARCH FOR IT! So I answered the call by doing a polar plunge on January 1st. Something I clearly remember saying I would never do, though deep down inside I secretly wished I was brave enough. I’m definitely more of an adventurous, free-spirited girl who enjoys spontaneity. But a lot of the time I have let fear get in my way. But having taken some pretty scary steps the last year to really search out happiness, that fear has taken a bit of a backseat with confidence and a JUST GO FOR IT attitude in the driver’s seat! And this is where the plunge comes in. Knowing full well this may come across cheesy…it was seriously a life-changing, pivotal moment for me. As soon as the water hit my legs, I felt this amazing feeling of freedom. Like the fear had been released and replaced with a renewed sense of adventure. This is when my Year of Yes truly began. I realized then I didn’t want to pass up or miss out on amazing opportunities that could be incredibly rewarding and would most likely teach me something about myself.

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Since the plunge in January, I have ventured into the dating world, taken spontaneous road trips, tried interesting foods and have said yes to some crazy stuff (nothing that would get me into too much trouble 😉 ). And it has been the most amazing feeling. I have felt more free and more like myself than ever before. I think because I’m finally allowing myself to truly live. I’m no longer getting in the way of my own happiness.

That said, the unsettled feeling still creeps in. But I’ve found out that it has a purpose. I don’t think it’s a feeling that will ever go away. I think it’s actually my soul kicking me to tell me ‘Ok, we’ve been sitting dormant long enough, time for your next adventure!’ So when the unsettled feeling comes over me, I start looking at ways to answer the call…where can I travel to next? What sort of fun, totally out there activity could I try out now? Maybe I should get a tattoo?

I’m really loving this new, adventurous me and all the great memories and experiences that are coming along with it! I’m learning to set my free-spirited self free and seeing where she will take me. It’s about really loving life and making time for the moments that really set my soul on fire. And by going in that direction, recognizing the unsettled feeling as my soul in search of adventure, I have let myself become open to one incredible life journey.

I Choose Happiness

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Happiness. It’s a tricky thing…and what I’ve learned is that it’s actually ourselves that can stand in the way of it. It’s so easy to blame others or situations on the fact that we are not happy. But I don’t believe that to be true. I have been there…where I find myself wallowing in the unhappiness, blaming everything and everyone for it. And guess what…blaming didn’t make me any happier. What did, though, was looking in the mirror and realizing that I’m unhappy because I’ve let myself feel that way. Once we own it and find out that WE are in charge of our OWN happiness…we easily find moments that truly make us happy.

I often get asked how I can be so happy and light hearted when I have gone through a lot of negative in my life. For awhile I really didn’t know how to respond. But I’ve given myself time to sit in that thought and really reflect on why and I found it’s because I made a choice. I have a great friend who says it best: We Can Either Be a Victim or We Can Do Something About It. I chose to do something about it. I chose to be a survivor. I chose to find the happy moments. I chose to take my experiences and say ‘Yes that happened to me, but now I’m going to take them and work to ensure they don’t happen to others.’ I chose to learn from my mistakes and share them so that not only I don’t do them again but others learn along the way too!

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This past Fall was a pretty heavy time for me and a crazy emotional roller coaster that I was all too ready to get off of. I decided, though, that I needed to actively seek out happy moments so that I didn’t get swallowed up in the pity party. One that I’ve shared about quite a bit is finding a moment in the morning to dance. I don’t do this every morning now, but in that season I was waking up, turning on a tune and dancing it out in my bedroom. I needed to do this for me so that I could kick start my day on a happy note. Because my day was quite possibly going to be filled with emotions, tough decisions, and some pain. But it could also be filled with happiness if I let it.

Don’t get me wrong…you do not need to be all happy, bubbly and full of life 24/7…it’s valuable to have those other emotions in our lives because they help shape us and teach us about ourselves. And seriously…we need to have times where we are sitting on the couch eating ice cream while watching some sappy love story hoping it makes us feel better…you haven’t lived if you haven’t!

So if happiness to you is eating dessert for dinner, dancing solo in your bedroom, watching TV in your underwear, going dancing with your girlfriends **almost** every Friday night….then do it. For me, it’s those happy moments that have made the biggest impact on my life, have pulled me out of the darkness, and are the ones I never forget!