FInally home after almost three weeks away on a gorgeous holiday with family and friends. How grateful I feel to be able to travel to see those I love and to spend time with them, making new memories and seeing the world through their eyes.
One of the most vital aspects of traveling for me is having to find comfort inside foreign circumstances and environments. As I chose to visit and stay in the homes of friends and family, I had to acclimatize myself to doing things their way, eating more aligned with their habits and letting go of my preferences.
I use this is as a practice to remind myself that “my” way is only “one’ way and there are countless other ways of living, eating and being in the world. I recognize that it isn’t within everyone’s ability or desire to live ecologically, close to nature as I do. When I travel, I find it important, even if challenging, to surrender my specific beliefs and needs for the opportunity to honour and learn about others.
One of the joys of being out east was re-experiencing some of the pleasures of life in the city. Good food, great stores,chic cafes, humid walks along stimulating boardwalks. I soaked up the energy of old places and spaces that nourished me when I was younger.
However there were aspects to being there that proved quite difficult. In my family, there isn’t always the space to be fully authentic as I am judged for certain aspects of my behaviour, which then often leads me down the path of self-judgement. To counter this habit I wrote in my journal most days and meditated. Still, it wore on me, the perpetual reactivity and resistance. Of course this is where many of my unhealthy habits originate from, those that I have worked hard to change in my life out West.
Still, I wouldn’t give up the chance to be there with them, to celebrate their milestones and honour who they are. Sure it’s not perfect, but nothing is. So I cherish my relationships with my family, as disconcerting as they can be at times.
Of course, it now feels so wonderful to be back, surrounded by the beauty of the farm, the unconditional love of my partner and calmed by the presence of all the other beings here, from the horses hanging out in the pasture to the swallows (and their nest of new babies) beneath our loft in the barn. I appreciate being able to eat, work and live as I do, how I take care of myself in ways that feel harmonious to my life and to others.
How do you handle the challenges of being with family? Do you feel safe within old houses and places? What do you do to take care of yourself when you are visiting friends and/or family who have different values and needs than you?