a few years ago i travelled abroad to italy. i had a great deal of hesitation once i decided that i was taking on this adventure. i practiced diligent awareness of self-care, making sure to honor any fears, anxieties or excitement that arose during this adventure. i wanted to be as present as possible for this experience, as i was transitioning in this part of my life. while i was in italy i continued this practice and it forever changed my life. i cultivated such a strong sense of ‘being’ that it became engrained in who i was, how i showed up, and who i am today. this awareness, this mindfulness, what it really is, in turn, transformed my visceral experience while abroad and every moment since.
you know those moments when life is FULL? when you are in the midst of a great party, event, moment with yourself or with those dear to you in your life and something inside of you tells you to pause. something tells you to take in a deep breath, look around and memorize your surroundings. take in the smell, the noise, the energy of this very moment and everything that makes it up. when you look back upon a memory like this you can close your eyes and immediately you’re taken back to that moment. you can smell the day, you can feel your clothes on your body, sense the temperature, you sometimes can even sense your worries and laugh lines. those to me, are moments when i was truly present.
italy, for me, was exactly like that moment of breathing in deeply, taking it all in and feeling my own two feet on the solid cobblestone ground.
every night before i went to bed i had a specific meditation and routine that i practiced to keep me present, grounded and mindful.
i would journal every night before bed, which quickly turned into my 3rd manuscript. i practiced meditation anywhere of 20-minutes to an hour at the end of each day. i shared my fears, my triumphs and asked for what i needed. i found movement and play to stay open and expand. the self-care practice that i cultivated in this foreign city completely shifted my awareness and ability to take care of myself.
i share this with you because today as i sat down at my desk to write, i turned on my playlist and one of the songs i used for my meditation came cycling through my speakers. immediately i was transported back into my apartment in florence. i could feel the breeze coming in from my window. i could feel the temperature of the cool tiles under my feet; everything so familiar. the memory was palpable and so very detailed. the most pivotal gift from this memory that i felt hearing that song, was my own ease, then and now. my shoulders were soft, my breath was full and deep and there was such a beautiful presence of gratitude in every moment.
my entire experience in italy was a deep breath, taking in fully each moment, the feel of the air on my skin, the sounds, the space. italy was a mindfulness experiment that showed me in all of my layers of being….thru breath, emotion, physical, and energetically, that there is no other choice but to be present.
i look back upon these memories, these visceral experiences that i was present for and am moved even today of the beauty that i got to experience through the practice of mindfulness.
be thankful for this day, for this moment, for the gift of mindfulness and cultivate that strong practice every chance you get!
there is possibility such as this in every moment of your day!
enjoy THIS day