practicing mindfulness in Big Sur
*First published via email on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Click here to subscribe.
Thank you guys so much for your support yesterday!
I shared that I was taking a little solo day trip out to Big Sur and then to sit at a restaurant to eat dinner by myself. I got so many emails of encouragement and stories sharing about your own solo traveling and solo dining experiences.
When I left yesterday, I was nervous and excited.
The drive was stunning - if you ever get a chance to drive down the 101 to Highway 1 from the Bay Area, do it! It's gorgeous!! Rolling green hills, beautiful coast line, and in March, the wildflowers are blooming too!
I didn't realize how ease-ful I felt until I got there and went on a hike by myself.
Even in LA, where hiking was pretty easily accessible, I still felt nervous to go by myself.
Yesterday's experience was truly a breath of fresh air. I stopped by the road whenever I wanted. I got out to take pictures whenever I wanted. I stopped by the Visitor Station and asked questions about what the best hike would be for me to take on such a short trip like I wanted. I sat out on a lookout and ate my little AB&J (almond butter & jam, lol) sandwich and enjoyed the view like I wanted. I sat in the car to write a bit in my journal after like I wanted. I wrote about how everything, all the colors, were so stinkin' vibrant, it took my breath away.
The ocean's colors ranged from the deepest, darkest blues to the most stunning jade greens, while the waves that crashed against the rocks sprinkled along the coastline were the most beautiful splashes of pure white that hung in the air for a few moments before returning to the deep blue of the ocean. I got real philosophical in my writing, too - I thought about how each of us is like an individual crash of white while the blue of the ocean is the Universe from whence we came. And in this human existence, we are the white pieces hanging suspended in the air, or moving slow motion through the air, feeling the discomfort of being separated from the rest of the Universe for that moment, before returning to it again.
And instead of freaking out about being a white crashing wave hanging in the air, separate from everything and everyone else, we can "wake up" and see the big beautiful ocean that lies before us, the sky that blends into the ocean in the misty distance, and the huge cliffs of the coastline...and just enjoy ourselves before returning again. Life doesn't have to feel like an uncomfortable longing for belonging, because in reality, we already do belong.
Lol, told ya I got philosophical.
Also, there were friggin' rolling pastures of the greenest green grass I have ever seen on both sides of Highway 1. And on these pastures were the most beautiful cows with the most gorgeous, vibrantly tan hides (it's called a hide, right?) I have ever seen, just friggin' munching away at that gorgeous grass. Looking up every now and then to check out the ugly ass view. And those that were not busy munching were sittin' around, ALL FACING THAT DAMN OCEAN VIEW. WHAT. Can I please be one of those cows in my next life? Please and THANK YOU.
Seriously, everything was gorgeous! The pictures really don't do it justice!
I'm also celebrating that there was almost no self consciousness that happened yesterday.
For dinner, I went to an Italian restaurant in Carmel and ate the cheesiest gnocchi I've ever had (it was delicious, and I felt like I'd drop dead of a heart attack after I finished, lol). "Table for one, please" rang out of me in a clear voice and I celebrated that. A mother dining with her two small children smiled at me, and she looked almost wistful, like she missed the luxury of eating alone. The older ladies next to me peered at me curiously, but I didn't mind.
Before yesterday, I never ate alone because I worried about not knowing where to look and avoiding awkward eye contact and not knowing what to do with my body or worrying about looking weird, but it's crazy how much all of that melts away when you're eating delicious food. I took out my phone to return the emails and text messages that came flooding in after I had cell reception again, but once the food came, I didn't touch my phone again. I even dropped my fork with a loud clang on the plate and a few people turned to look, but I didn't mind. I just said, "Oops, sorry!' and laughed at myself and went right back to savoring each and every cheesy bite.
It was a whole day's worth of mindfulness. And paying attention to what I want to do, think, and feel and honoring all of it.
Without any should's. :)
And I'm proud of myself.
What would you do in a day if you could do anything you wanted?
With all my love,
PS: I keep forgetting to let you guys know about this - I re-recorded the Future Self Guided Meditation - it's a guided meditation to help you get to know your Future Self (aka Inner Self) and how to ask him/her questions so that you always know if you are headed in a direction that is aligned with your true self or not.
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