Years ago, after returning from a solo journey to San Cristóbal de las Casas, the Chiapan highland town where we lived during our first two years in Mexico, I came home with this epiphany:
Solo adventuring is essential to my ever-expanding sense of self, to the depth and breadth of my perspectives, to my inner peace, and to my connection to the world of possibility.
In fact, if there’s one gift I would give to my younger (overwhelmed, exhausted, dripping with children) self, it would be regular time away ALONE. Alone to my thoughts and musings. Alone to sip coffee as slowly as I want. Alone to breathe in the smoky wonder of my single mescal and chili-coated orange slice. Alone to my asanas in a sunny courtyard. Alone to my tears of grief and joy and wonder. Alone to walk and to write and to wander the streets and my psyche, alike. Alone to stoke my soul fire with LOGS of inspiration, not mere kindling.
I had many excuses for not taking time away (almost EVER) when my girls were young, but the truth is that beneath those excuses were a few stories keeping me trapped and soul-starved:
1. My babies need me and my nurturing more than *I* need me and my nurturing.
2. If I leave my children, even for a night, everyone might realize that they actually CAN live without me, and given that I have no sense of self outside of motherhood, where would this leave me?
3. I am imperfect, and therefore not worthy of the soul nourishment (i.e. inspiration and breaks) that I crave.
Now, I actually see it as my responsibility to get away so that I can be my best self for my family and everyone else I impact. In fact, knowing myself well and HONORING my needs feels like one of the most responsible things I could possibly focus my time and attention on.
I intend to spend the rest of my days, however they are numbered, growing through inspiration, travel, courageous connecting, and comfort zone pushing, NOT through hardship endurance, which I once depended on as my primary means of growth.
It really is possible to completely rewrite your soul contract. I’m living, breathing, thriving proof.
Passing the pen to you,