Anniversary

“Like an ocean in between the waves . . .”

Exactly a year ago tomorrow, I was making my way to London, via Calgary, Edmonton, and Reykjavik.

From my journal: “Edmonton airport, glass of wine, here we go. Hardly seems real . . . Half an hour out of Iceland, 4:30 a.m., sun slivers, stars, clouds, distant pink. Wishing I could put this feeling in words.” I’m still not able to. Maybe this is why I’m an editor, not a novelist.

I had met two of my future roommates, for a few hours total, a year earlier. And I had freelance work lined up. Other than that, I had no idea what to expect. I leapt out of my mind’s stagnant water across an ocean to find . . . something.

The practice of yoga focuses on cultivating contentment in the present moment, wherever you happen to be. It’s an idea that guides my life, but yet, the need for a change of scenery has always been vital when I need to reset, get creative, feel inspired.

London quickly became home. We adapt quickly. This ability never ceases to fascinate me. I remind myself to be a tourist, to enjoy floating in the ocean while it’s still, before the waves rolls in. Because they will.

Windsor Castle Westminster

I think about my equal and constant desires: to build a home and “root” and to keep watching the sun rise somewhere new. Is it possible to have both? It’s thrilling to think so. A place to float, and a place to play, rushing forward, pulling back, in cycles.

Brighton

But the stagnant waters? They’ll always be there waiting, regardless of how far I travel. We must learn to access contentment, joy, inspiration within, wherever we physically find ourselves.

For now, London is still home. And the water is so inviting.

Namaste 🙂
Rachel

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Back to Basics

Okay, so do I even bother apologising for my lack of blogging this past year? I mean, I have no excuse. I’ve had loads of time to write, and no shortage of inspiration in this incredible city of London (gah, so many bookshops!). But as a dear friend so aptly put it, I’ve been in my “hermit cave” these last few months.  And that’s where I’ve needed to be.

Bookshop

So many books, so little time … bookworm Heaven!

Part of what drove me to live abroad was a need for silence. So logically, I moved away from the serenity of Canada’s mountains and lakes and threw myself into one of the busiest, most crowded cities in the world. Makes sense. Seriously though, what I needed, what I’m still coming to learn I need, was a much more profound silence. I needed to hear only my own voice because I’d forgotten what it sounded like.

When it comes to the support network in my life, I couldn’t be luckier. I have friends and family encouraging me daily, and offering an ear whenever this hermit cave of mine gets just a little too isolating. What I’m truly realising now though is that I need the time and space and quiet to trust my own decision-making processes, my own intuition, my own heart.

I’ve carved out the time for just ten minutes of meditation every morning, and it’s made more of a difference that I ever could have imagined, not just in my overall peace of mind but also in my ability to focus on whatever is happening in the moment, work included – productivity bonus!

When’s the last time you made some quiet space to really listen to yourself? Get back to basics – turn off your phone, go for a walk, breathe deeply in the moment. Life is short, but life is also very long, and we need to enjoy spending time with that one person who will be with us the entire trip …

Namaste 🙂

p.s. I really am going to start blogging again. I swear.