It was one of those times when life stares you right in the face– one of those decisions that would drastically change your story. A small, simple choice would inevitably shift the direction of it all. Travel always seems to put things into perspective, and as I returned from Southeast Asia with a heavy pack and full heart, I started to weigh my options.
After 18 hours of travel, and a surprisingly easy airport change in Tokyo, I arrived back in Colorado, where my car was waiting. With the backseat and the trunk packed with snow tires and all my belongings, I hopped in and realized just how free I was. How freeing it is to have more than you need packed in a car with no true commitments. With a bank account teetering on zero, money quickly became a focus. Returning to my parents’ home in Wisconsin seemed like the most logical way to save, but something was telling me I would simply be surviving there instead of thriving.
Holding the belief that we create our reality, I knew I could make the most of my environment, regardless of where I was physically. However, I also saw the importance of being in an environment that nurtures cultivating the truest self.
After a few days in a serious funk of unknown, I went back and forth and compared how each option would affect me and my story. As I weighed the options without falling into the fear of not making money, it was clear where my heart was. I found stillness and listened. It was obvious that my heart would remain in the sunny mountains of Colorado, even if my body moved back to Wisconsin. I trusted that the money would follow and flow more easily in a place that I was excited about being a part of, and I committed to the mountains.
This uncomfortable pull brought about an awareness of just how important it is to pick environments that nurture our truest selves, where we are rewarded for being us– places that allow us to thrive. It is in these places where we can benefit, not only on a personal level, but also as part of a community, which will, in turn, benefit as a whole.
When we are excited about our surroundings, it allows us to grow in directions of truth and joy, instead of simply surviving.
We can focus our energy on things that allow us to learn on a deeper level, as opposed to using our energy just to get through grey, rainy days or just to survive winter. We embrace each day regardless of the weather or chaos some days bring, because we have picked the location with intention. We accept the tough days and handle them with ease, because we have chosen to be there. The tough days come easier when the heart is there, too.
With an open road and a packed car, I felt so free, yet I didn’t have the desire to move. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t want to bounce. I didn’t want to leave. It felt good to be still, and the mountains felt like the place to do it. Being still allows us to plant roots, to meet people, to get involved, to become a part of the environment, and to allow the environment to become a part of us. In many ways, locations are simply a reflection of who we are and how we show up in each place.
Perhaps it takes having no roots to realize where we want to grow them. Just like anything in life, we have a choice. It is our choice to pick which soil drives us to our truest selves. I challenge you to find your place in the world, and commit to the environment most suited for your growth. Be still and keep things simple. The world is yours whenever and wherever you decide to show up.