My sister Mary is a huge fan of black and white photos. When I saw this quote I thought of her and it made perfect sense. When there is a distraction of color you are drawn away from looking someone in the eyes. That, however, is the gateway to what lies within. It is for that reason from an age early on that I have always made eye contact first when meeting someone new. It is all I need to know. It is how I connect. If you cannot look yourself in the eye you most likely have work to do. I realized that while I was looking at everyone else so directly I was neglecting my own reflection. It turned out to be the majority of what this journey has been all about. I took the above selfie on my recent birthday. I am finally very happy and proud of what I see in my eyes and to me it is all that really matters.
I went back to read the My Story page of this blog. Bored with the monotony, excess and distractions it is time to shake things up. Hold myself accountable and create a challenge to wake me up. I want the ocean, simplicity and adventure. It feels like lifetimes ago. I love that she knew what she needed and made it happen. Finally, after nearly three years I can admit that I am brave. I was ruthless in my pursuit of happiness and if possible I am even more so now. Now that I own the fact that I defied the odds. It is still a bit uncomfortable to stand in my own power but I am now confident it is there. I have shed more layers of fear, doubt and pain than I believed humanly possible. I have found my true self and I will no longer pursue or engage in anything that does not reflect my authenticity. I have worked diligently on myself in this time and it is the best investment I have ever made. I knew I needed space and nature to be brutally honest with myself. I had allowed my life to become what it was. No one ever wants to admit they are at the core of their reality but it is a fact. Everything lies within. If you are not happy with your life then you have to be bold enough to look in the mirror and make changes.
My handsome hubby MC sent me this quote last week and it is the perfect way to describe my journey. I have replaced my conditioned thoughts of doubt, negativity and sarcasm. I literally moved mountains inside my head. I recall being proud of entering annual employee reviews and telling my superiors that I could point out all my shortcomings. That they could never be harder on me than I was on myself. What a crock of crap. I believed boasting was egotistical. I consistently gave credit away for my achievements and shuttered at any attention given to me. How did I not see that I am perfect as my own crazy fun self? I cared too much because that is who I am. I was passionate and emotional because I was not feeling heard. Now I know the only person that needed to hear me was myself. I was feeling incomplete and thus that is what I had become. By digging deep I have uncovered the insecurities. I have faced and released them one by one. I have begun to place boundaries for what is acceptable to be given away. I fill my own cup first now. I think in terms of gratitude. For my health and happiness. For my loving husband. For laughter, fun and the stunning nature that surrounds me. I am grateful for all that have supported me in my blind journey. I knew only those three sentences and had no answers but I was pulled and embraced by the unknown. It has been rewarding beyond my wildest dreams and it is all because I changed my thoughts.
What I felt back then was lack and exhaustion. I was not feeling fulfilled in any area of my life and I continued to attract more of it which only added to my emotional and physical exhaustion. I suppose it is obvious that in order to do something as drastic as moving to an unknown country halfway around the world I must have reached a breaking point. I see it now as more of a starting point. The point where I decided to take back control of my life. To realize that I owned the power to create my reality. I do not expect anyone to understand or believe this and that is okay because it my journey and mine alone. Walking away from my career was the scariest and most freeing thing I have ever done. It forced me to face what was most important and live only that. It required me to find true value in myself and not the numbers I produced or the budgets and teams I managed. Health and happiness were my only goals. Upon arrival I think I blamed most of my sleep on the time change but I know that the twelve hours a day I was getting for awhile was exactly what my body needed to finally feel healthy again. With my new found strength I found true happiness in my surroundings and well low and behold I attracted MC. The truth is I would not have been ready for him a day sooner than I met him. I needed to begin my healing before I could keep myself from sabotaging such a beautiful gift of love. We both see very vividly the divine timing that took place. I have had to diligently own what prevented my prior relationships from being successful and let go of what I believed to be right for the beauty of what is. No protected heart will ever truly experience love. So often we stand stubbornly in what we think we know instead of considering the bird’s eye view that changes the perspective completely. We must be open and vulnerable to accept unconditional love and if we do not first give it to ourselves we are incapable of extending it to others. I am so incredibly grateful for what I have learned from MC and from what my own reflection in him shows me daily. It allows me to continually evolve and become a better person. I have attracted this amazing love because it is exactly what I now feel.
Oh my imagination! MC perhaps wants to reign mine in from time to time but he willingly admits it is also exactly what got me here and for that he is grateful. Somewhere in my early teens I think mine slowed down to a mere faucet drip. So much pressure to grow up and be responsible, albeit mostly self induced. In so many ways I skipped my childhood. I am thankfully reliving it now. Full on power washer force. Gifting myself the education with my own personalized curriculum of culinary travel. Dreaming of dozens of different adventurous scenarios. It is not only just plain fun to dream but it absolutely becomes the reality you create for yourself. I say this from experience as the little Minnesota girl who used to daydream about living on Fantasy Island and now I stand on a veranda overlooking the airport and Indian Ocean chanting to myself Ze plane! Ze plane!
I have written 129 posts with over 170,000 words. If you have followed my journey from the beginning I have essentially gifted you two whole novels! I have grown exponentially as a person and as a writer. This blog began as a way to share my adventure with my large family and group of friends in one fell swoop. It grew in to a vision of sharing these beautiful islands, their culture and their amazing food with others who will most likely never get the opportunity I have created for myself. Next it expanded in to the fairy tale love story I least expected to find. I am incredibly proud to say I have accomplished far more than I ever set out to do. My stories have been read in more than a hundred countries. It blows my mind! The beauty of technology is it can keep us connected. The choice however is our own and I am now choosing to let it go. To make room for something new. The unknown of course! I faced a huge fear in being visible here and I am forever grateful for your support and kind words. Writing was therapeutic for me and absolutely assisted in my healing.
It feels like the perfect time for change. To take back our privacy and live in the moment. To eat a meal without having to take a photo first and to focus my eyes on the view and not a phone camera lens. I also challenge you to make a change. Find your own path for growth. Think, feel and imagine it and your dreams too will become your reality!
I don’t know Sis. I think there is also a strong defense for color photos. I will leave you with a personal favorite from our wedding on LaDigue and you can decide for yourselves. How can it get any better than this?
You are welcome to see any future food and travels I feel inspired to post @abroadinseychelles on Instagram. If you have any questions or comments I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do yourself proud. Look yourself in the eyes and live your best life. You deserve it!