How My Life Changed When I Started Walking Instead of Running

Walk, Don’t Run.

The three words that drove me berserk as a child.  I didn’t want to walk into the pool, I wanted a full sprint in order to propel my cannonball jump even further.  And I couldn’t believe the audacity of the grey-haired teacher with mix-matched clothes that effectively halted my hallway hurry to recess, at least until I could slip around the corner out of sight.

I kept the same full-tilt pace into adulthood.  But this time I wrongly misjudged it.  I couldn’t see where I was jumping and the hallways seemed to go on forever.  I always felt like I was running, finishing one thing and immediately on to the next.  A head-down sprint, with one foot blurring in front of the other - but I never looked up to see where it was that I was actually going. 

Coming Home

Was my bed always this comfortable?  I sink back into the feathery plush and stretch my extremities as far as they can extend as if I’m desperately trying to reach something on the top shelf at the market.  My cool feet burrow into the heavy duvet.  The Columbus streets below are quiet and dark and I graciously welcome sleep.

But there is much that I already miss. 

Take Me Away(from wi-fi)

It was time to reset.  With no real agenda to hold us accountable.

The strangest of weather unfolded as we made our way for the west coast.  The morning, holding to true Irish flair, began with rain.  But I later awoke to crystalized tree tops and the hills tucked in with a light blanket of snow – something that struck me as unusual for Ireland.  Upon reaching Dingle, the only town on the Dingle Peninsula, the sun began to break apart the stubborn clouds.  But stubbornness usually has its way of prevailing, and the clouds unleashed a cold, hailing rain.  To avoid the icy harassment, and keeping with Irish style, we dipped into the nearest pub. 

How I Became Unstuck

I was sitting in my tiny apartment, the one with the perfect natural lighting and warm-colored walls.  The one that I took probably six months to decorate to my liking.  But it was nothing but a distraction.   Moving things around, bringing in new cups and pots and pans I was unlikely to even use.  It was a lot like rocking in a rocking chair.  It was giving me something to do but I wasn’t going anywhere.

I'm Failing at Mindfulness

I sit cross-legged in a slouched posture that would make any yogi cringe.  Eyes closed, I tell myself to focus on my breath and to empty my mind of everything else.  Inhale.  Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.  The sounds from the Irish streets below slowly begin to creep in.  Ambulance sirens wail. School children laugh.  Birds flapping their wings high above the River Lee.       No - I tell myself - focus on the breath.  Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.  I wonder if it will rain later? Exhale. Inhale.  This is Ireland.  So yeah, probably.  Exhale. Hmm, coffee sounds really good.  Inhale.  Is that a dog? Exhale.  Great, my foot is now asleep.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Hey self, remember that time in 1995 when that boy was mean to me on the bus? This is the perfect time to think about that.

How I Deal With A Bad Day

Last week I posted about hygge – a key element in Danish living.  And while it is Danish in origin, its essence is universal.   Its unique to the person and looks different depending on who you ask. And it should be.  Everyone finds happiness in their own ways, sometimes it is just a matter of being aware of the good surrounding you -  and other times it is consciously creating it for yourself and for others.

8 Signs That You Are Stuck

This is the core reason I started this blog.   To share my experiences with loss, grief, and ultimately -  the feeling of being stuck.  It began two years ago, when my mother died, and it took me a long time to first realize that I was stuck and then how to free myself from it. 

I Chase Waterfalls for My Health

The car slows as its tires slowly crunch over the gravel.  After hours of driving the winding black ribbons of roads in the Westfjords of Iceland, we come across a tall precipice overlooking toy cars below, signaling that we must be close.

Doors slamming closed and its strength already radiates within your bones.  Thunderous by name, Dynjandi is the most powerful waterfall in the fjords. A series of seven waterfalls in all, stretching to a height of 100 meters.

The Art of Slow Travel

It takes approximately six hours to fly from New York to Ireland.

But seven days sounded more appealing.

Few societies move as quickly as Americans do.  We have allowed ourselves to be bogged down by technology.  Faster always somehow translates to better.  Yet we are physically tired. Emotionally tired.  Sleepy eyes staring at screens.

But there’s an interesting shift that has begun and continues to manifest within our communities. Many are seeking more alternative routes - turning towards yoga, meditation, and mindfulness in order to decompress and reduce the risk of burnout.

Why Breaking Tradition is So Important

Cleared of every day life, the visceral need took hold once again.  

Provisions packed, cables unplugged, atlas mapped, hats on, doors slamming.  I was ready to take on the icy cold of the east.  Guided by the horizon and hugged by the mountains.  The quietness of early Christmas morning enveloped the roads and us.  It was my first Christmas apart from the familiar warmth of family and whatever remainder of tradition we could bare to muster.

How Did I Get Here?

I could not fully wake myself up that morning. 

There was a mesmerizing monotony of the boat swaying with each cut through the dark black waves.  I was told beforehand that there is essentially zero visibility when it comes to Loch Ness.  Why I initially questioned the factuality of this remark, I do not know – for it was immediately clear that the old man was right.  It seemed strange that fresh water could present itself so ominously. The water spilled like ink away from the power of the boat with a gold tinge to the broken waves.  The normal white crest of a wave has no place in Loch Ness.