wednesday well-being: freedom

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 image courtesy of seek extreme
This piece was penned today for today’s memoir writing class and the assignment was to find a photograph that’s at least 10 years old. Study the photograph, slipping back in time, remembering the exact moment it was taken. Write an account of what you were doing, thinking or feeling at the time, and what you think or feel now. Although the photo I reference is on a now-kaput computer, I recall the image vividly.

It was the summer of 2003 and I was on a two-week adventure to Mallorca and Ibiza, Spain in celebration of my 30th birthday. Solo. After months of delay, I had just moved my 4-year-old yoga studio into a two-level space days before and there were many kinks to be ironed out. However, I knew 30 only came once and I was determined to make it special.

When asking around for insights on a memorable spot for this celebration sans families, I was consistently told Ibiza. Upon research, it felt like a pulsating spot for a single and curious 30-year-old to let loose.

Although my style of letting loose was kicked back topless (gasp!) on the beach reading an Ayn Rand biography or sitting solo for dinner on the beach reading Good Business by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I wondered why the party promoters passed me by when circulating their fliers for the evening’s must-attend DJ event.

One evening during a brief romance with a South African nearly 10 years my junior, I signed up for a sunset parasailing experience. The photo captures me up in the air with an orange parasail attached to my body and a pink-hued sunset on the horizon. It was snapped by a couple from Switzerland enjoying a romantic adventure on the island with an old school digital camera pre-Smartphones.

The image shows me grinning from ear to ear, decked out in a Tranquil Space tee and capri leggings. I had thrown caution to the wind by escaping great responsibility to ensure a memorable transition from my 20s into a brand new decade. Yet, there is also a sense of loneliness beneath the exterior. Back home was a questionable relationship that left me filled with emptiness and confusion, and a new business where I’d taken on great risk to expand, nurture, and grow. The great risk was not only financial, but highly mental, physical, and emotional as well.

When I look at this image now, I am grateful for forgoing the responsible thing to stay in Washington, D.C. and oversee the forth and fifth week of operation in our new home, teach classes, and build systems. Of course I remember this trip to Spain with much greater vividness than being home and working 15-hour days. There would be many more opportunities for those long days. I knew it. And lived it.

Purchasing that solo ticket to the islands in the spring of 2003 was a very proud moment. It was me feeling a sense of control despite so many things feeling out of control at that time in my life—opening delays due to bureaucracy, an on-again off-again relationship, and the struggles of building a business solo without many support systems.

When I clicked purchase one late night after yet another harrowing day of teaching, giving, and feeling depleted, I knew I was doing the right thing. I felt it in my blood. I was eager for the sense of freedom that was to come. And on this particular night, it came in the form of parasailing by sunset.

Author’s note: How can you throw caution to the wind, experience a sense of freedom, and refill your well with a much-deserved adventure? The daily grind will be waiting for you when you return. Promise. Bisous. x