There you are!
It seems like I've unintentionally focused on a theme in the last few posts - travel and escape. These are also themes in my life. I love getting away. I love moving. I've moved 17 times in my adult life. The longest I have lived in one home is 10 years. I love change. I used to wish I was the kind of person who stayed in one place her entire life. My mother-in-law lived over 60 years in her home. I couldn't do it. I am writing this post during a week long writing blitz. I have really wanted to get away and write. And when I heard a friend was going away travelling, I boldly asked her if I could stay in her house and write for a week. It's a gift and an extension of trust to share your home. So I am grateful that she said yes. I wanted to be somewhere where I would be free of the distractions of life and be able to focus on only writing and creating. And it has been good. I left with about 10,000 words written on my book and a lot of insight about what I need to be creative and productive. Here is the biggest lesson I've learned from this week: Wherever you go, there you are. I first heard read that expression years ago on a calendar. I've since read the well-known book with that title by Jon Kabat-Zinn. And it is true. Writing has not been any easier away from home. It still takes energy and focus. It still requires that I sit and look at the screen and not get sucked into the black hole of the internet. Although I am not distracted by all the things I need to do at home, I can still get distracted (#shinyobjectsyndrome). A 5K walk is a 5K walk no matter what neighbourhood you are in. It takes the same amount of time and effort. It still requires getting up early before the heat of the day and getting outside. And the benefits are the same as well. Most of the things we do don't change much because we are in a different location. And we are the same person no matter what pillow we sleep on. That doesn't mean it hasn't been worthwhile. What has been most helpful is having a blank slate to work with this week. I get to choose how I shape my day. I get to take full responsiblity for how I spend my time, how I nourish my body and how much rest I am getting. It's all on me. It's always all on me but somehow being here has made me more conscious of it. And it is both liberating and sobering. There are no excuses. There is no one else to blame if I don't achieve what I said I wanted to achieve. The truth is, there rarely is anyone else to blame. It may be more challenging in some circumstances but you are the sovereign in your own life. We have so much autonomy in our lives. We have incredible freedom to make choices. Being on a week long writing retreat has made me think about my own choices at home. I want my lifestyle to be sustainable wherever I am. I have been thinking about writers like Glennon Melton Doyle who got up at 4 am each morning and hid in the closet of her bedroom so she could write before her kids woke up. She made time. She wrote her book and it became a best seller. Living a soul-centered life means taking responsibility for yourself. It means not making excuses. If you really want something, figure out how to make it happen in your life. For most of us, the limitations are the ones we put in place. Getting away from everything is great. It can help you kickstart a project. It can give you clarity about things. And it can help you discover how you can live the way you want wherever you are. You will still be you. You'll still have the same demons to battle. You'll still need to do the work. But at least you'll be able to see more clearly.