I just got back from a trip to Copenhagen and France, from April 14 to April 30. I had the two best travel buddies, my mama and older brother Brayden. We saw so much, walked for hours everyday, ate amazing food, met and mingled with inspiring and worldly people, reconnected with friends living in Copenhagen, hung out at my mom's home in Saignon (South France), explored over a dozen different cities, laughed, cried, made bold requests of each other, learned a lot about ourselves, and drank a lot of espresso and wine.
I am sure you have heard the saying,
"Wherever you go, there you are."
I actually first heard that quote when watching The Brady Bunch Movie years and years ago. The father of the family says that to his kids as a life lesson of sorts, and I remember laughing and thinking "that doesn't make any sense!"
Now that quote rings true to me in many ways and I see the beauty and self-awareness that can arise when you embrace what it is saying. To travel is one of the best ways to really dig in and pay attention to your habits, your triggers, your attitude, your beliefs, and your goals in life. You can take away your routine, your home-base, your comforts, and your safety (to a degree), but you still show up as YOU - at the rawest, purest, most vulnerable form.
I spent a lot of time on this trip asking myself questions about my goals, my direction, what I am excited about, and who I am for others. I also spent a lot of time reflecting and digging in regarding my triggers and my reactions when interacting with my family. I am sure these traits would come up in different ways had I been travelling alone, but travelling with the same two people and doing pretty much everything together is taxing in a different way. I want to be supportive, patient, curious, and a ball full of energy ready for anything, but that is not how I show up consistently. I find myself becoming quiet, more annoyed than excited, and needing me-time daily to reconnect with my breath and let go of tension building in my body. It's such a bizarre thing to witness. I am fully aware of my desire to be one way, yet I often consciously react and behave a different way. Sound familiar??
Each morning I spent 10-30 minutes free-writing with positive self-talk as the backbone to any theme or idea I wanted to explore. I focused most mornings on how I wanted to show up that day, consciously deciding what I needed to do to ensure I had some space to explore on my own, while also setting the intention of what qualities I wanted to bring into my interactions with the people and the world around me. Because I have spent my whole life allowing these triggers to sway me, especially in my interactions with family, I acknowledge that it will take conscious daily effort to understand and change these habits.
So, as it goes, some days were easier than others. My brother and I got into a couple little fights as my unnecessary annoyance reached a boiling point (as did his) and I reacted in ways that created anger and frustration. This effected me more than anyone else around me. While stewing in my own anger, my body felt toxic and heavy. I did my best in those moments to step back and witness the results of my choice to allow a discussion or comment effect me so deeply. It was not pleasant and it was hard to coach myself out of that place once I was there.
It's ironic that the people I love the most, my family, are also the people that frustrate, challenge, and push me the most. When I can truly be a witness to my feelings and triggers when it comes to the interactions and relationships with my family, I know this will trickle to all other areas of my life, as I will have more awareness and control over my Self in absolutely anything that comes my way. As you know, we cannot always control what happens to us or around us, but we do have choice in how we react, what we learn, and what direction we go in.
I am back in Calgary now and feel so grateful for this experience and for what I learned and witnessed in myself while away. I am a firm believer in our ability to reprogram our minds and body to be happy, powerful, resilient, excited, relate-able, interconnected, and self-aware beings. Just as exercise and diet reshapes the body, daily mind-gym and self-development are key to reshaping habits, thought patterns, attitudes towards life and people, and beliefs about everything that is the foundation to living the best life possible.
Here are some pics from the trip ;)