originally posted on everything i did
Dear gardener sir,
The sound of your leaf-blower makes me cringe. I feel the snarl on my lip and I shudder with annoyance. My skin feels like it’s crawling. It’s Tuesday. In the middle of the day. I just want some peace. I came home to breathe. I’m grateful to be home for a much-needed break to pet my dog, recharge with some nourishing food, catch some midday sun-rays, and sit in silence. And now the über-fart-like machine sound of your leaf-blower is the bane of my existence.
My mind immediately clouds, my heart races, my dog barks, and my body goes into frustration overdrive. And there’s no one to blame but you. You! You who wields the blasted machine. This machine whose existence I cannot (for the life of me!) find justification for: what’s wrong with leaves anyway? when did sweeping go out of style? why waste gasoline to power that thing? are YOU hearing this?
Then I stop. I take a breath. And another.
Of course you’re hearing this. You’re probably wearing earplugs to drown out the hideous sound you hear in five or ten gardens a day. (It’ll be over for me in twenty minutes) You probably hate to be a bother to the lucky lass who gets to come home for lunch and take a break in her yard. (Did you even get a break today?) You probably (definitely) have other interests, and hobbies, and yearnings other than polluting my yard/air/day/life by doing your job that you’re almost certainly not paid enough to do.
Fine, to you I surrender. Blow the darn leaves. I rescind my negative thoughts. I replace my snarl with a smile. I swap it all for compassion. All of it. And may you be happy. May you be healthy. May you feel safe. May you feel free. May you live with ease.
Yours sincerely in the practice of loving-kindness, Lena
(originally posted on everything i did)
I love being by myself. I mean, I do truly love hanging out with friends, but I treasure my alone time to think and reset. I’ve traversed the states by myself, solo hiked through Southern California deserts, and as I’ve gotten older (and braver!) I’ve broadened my on-my-own adventures across the sea.
As I reflect on the past few days I recently spent in a Costa Rican beach town, here are my tried and true travel tips for the solo traveler. Happy travels!
Dream up an adventure. Make a plan. Pack your bags. Go. Toss the plan. There are some definite perks to being on your own and you won’t have to check to see if anyone else is interested before stopping in at that silly roadside shop. Or stopping to pee. Again. Traipsing the globe (or your own state or your own town) is a wonderful way to get to know yourself, practice trusting your intuition, and see what the world’s all about.
Go on the exciting once-in-a-lifetime-excursion. Sit with a new friend at mealtime. Taste the local faire. Trust others. Saying “yes!” or “sure, I’ll give that a try” while you’re away opens up the doors for possibility, understanding, discovery, intrigue, inspiration, and something/someone/everything you’ve never even heard/dreamt/thought of.
On second thought, don’t eat those fried-in-who-knows-what-and-why-does-it-have-seven-legs delicacies. And don’t take that shot of tequila just because the smooth talking fellow-traveler bought it for you. And don’t go to that too-advanced yoga class just because it’s on the beach at sunset and the hottie from breakfast invited you. Set some boundaries. Find your limits. Trust yourself.
Whether you’re feeling the lag of the jet or just think those hammocks look inviting, give yourself permission to stop, drop, and do nothing. Release that FOMO (fear of missing out) attitude and just BE. Allow the expectations of your daily life drip off your shoulders.
After you’re done doing nothing, get up and get going for at least part of your day. See the sights. Walk in wonder. Experience the world. This is what you came for.
create a little routine
Before you take off, take a few moments to set some intentions for your trip. Why are you going? What’s the purpose for the getaway? As always, it’s a good idea to set intentions based on how you’d like to feel, rather than on what you hope to achieve (this is where intentions and goals differ). Do you hope to feel adventurous? Relaxed? Inspired? These driving desires will help you choose activities that will incite these feelings. They can also help you create a little routine for your time away, which can be especially helpful if you’re in a new place with different customs and flavors and smells. For me, this looks like journaling in the morning, yoga each day, walks in nature, down time for reading, and seeking out nourishing food.
remember why you're there
Set some intentions for your return. If there are some specific reasons you set out on your own, how do you want things to change when you go back to where you began? But don’t think too hard! Let “being away” work its magic.
bring a good book
An actual book. I mean, this is just good advice for life. Airport. Airplane. In line at the ATM. On the train. A book is always there for you. And it’s tradable with other travelers!
call your mom
Or dad. Or trusted friend. Let someone know you’re okay. Whether you’re running away or just getting away, there is surely someone wondering if you made it safely and if you’re feeling free and happy. This is also a decades old fix for when you’re feeling a bit too alone or a tad out of place.