Sunday, August 26, 2018

Where in the world is Natasha?

Short answer: I have made it to the motherland, Lebanon, after months of traveling through Europe. 

Long answer: I’m still working on processing how far I have come through it all. For I have transformed and learned far more than I ever expected to. Constant movement, being led where I’m meant to go, following the signs as they have led me. No plans and working on limiting expectations.

Explorations of self, falling in love with the world and discovering who I am more as I let my soul and heart lead me. Adventure and learning through 4 countries. There has not been time to digest, and share everything with the world just yet because I’m still processing this journey of discovery.

All roads and paths allow me to learn more about love, and to find home within places, people & situations. Home may not be a place, but instead home is where you feel the most alive and happy.

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.” -Alain de Botton 
I have stayed true to myself and evolved along the way. At times I have felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Following the signs and my heart as it directed me where to next. Traveling alone can be exhausting and not as fabulous as the world perceives. By the end of it all I will have traveled for 80 days, having loved ones meet me along the way.

I will tell more about each adventure after I have had time to recharge in my home. I am fully present through what I am experiencing. No social media on my phone and lack of wifi has me feeling grounded exactly where I am.

Where in the world is Natasha? She is with her mind, body & soul soaking up the Middle Eastern sun. Eating dates, figs and all the watermelon her heart desires. Touring the entire country to see all the Lebanese that are related to her (it’s A LOT). 
Until my next post, I’ll just be floating on through this adventure (at times a top the Mediterranean Sea).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

happy birthday to me from Paris

This is the least amount of loved ones around me on my birthday ever. I have always been surrounded by love ever since I was born. Summer time and July have always been a season to celebrate. My birthday comes the day before the independence of America so it has always been a large festivity and I typically make it a week long palooza of sorts. I plan for it for months ahead of time and end up being more stressed by the time it rolls around. But that doesn’t feel like me anymore. 
I have no plans at all or expectations. 
We change. We evolve over time. Experiences, life, people, the journeys, they either change us or keep us stagnant. For me I continue to evolve into something different (like a Pokemon). Something more aligned to my truest self. I am finally letting myself be the person I’ve always secretly wanted to be. 
Connected, happy, & me. 
I have sought solitude. Being alone allows me to feel, recharge, and go off into the world ready. Being in a foreign country is an entirely different form of feeling alone. Instead I am observing, absorbing & seeing how others love and live in all their forms. Witnessing all the love around me. A city so in love with love. I am loving just being in the moment. I love love. I love seeing it, hearing about it, and feeling it. Even just being around it and this city is full of it! Public displays of affection are everywhere. Full on make out sessions by the canals. Ass grabs walking down the street together. I may not have loved ones are all around me physically but I can feel the love from them. As I read words sent from the states to me here. I can feel love afar consume my body. I don’t feel alone at all. 
Now I am on the other side of the world. Celebrating life, love & myself. I feel calm and at peace. As I celebrate my 28th trip around the sun, I am going to trust myself from now on. For I am love. Life, love, and inspiration all comes from within. Nothing is outside of me. 

Flowing through, feeling it all, and being exactly where i am meant to be. Savoring each moment slowly. Feeling the connection with myself, with the world around me & with love.

Monday, July 2, 2018

we learn | we evolve | we become |following my gut to happiness & realizing the love within

I follow my gut. It’s what I do. Or what I began to do a few years ago when I realized how unhappy and depressed I had become, I was so disconnected and far from my true self. 
Focusing on my wellness and my happiness became my priority. It has been 2.5 years of not drinking. 2 years of being single. Which has helped me realize my happiness and my truth, for it gave my the time I always needed to truly hear what I needed. My life that I am living is my own. I am doing what brings me joy. When I realize something is not aligned with my best self, I revaluate to realize what it is I need. I tune in to hear what what my gut is trying to tell me.

Before I quit drinking I was wary. Many around me didn’t support me and a lot didn’t think it was capable. A few months in I realized all my inner demons that I had numbed over time were surfacing, I had to finally face them. To be able to truly feel them, so I could release the grip they had on me. My body started to feel lighter and happier as time passed. I was treating my body like a temple. Giving it exactly what it craved and needed to thrive.
After a few months I realized I still wasn’t as connected with myself as I needed. A toxic relationship had to end for me to be able to learn to love who I was. My gut told me months before this that the time had come but I was scared. Scared I would never be loved again. Terrified that if this was my only opportunity for a man, that I might end it and be forever alone. Being single was what I needed the most. The fear of being lonely was better than pretending I was happy. I didn't want to escape to a man to be my happiness. I needed to be my own happiness. 
I needed true introspection of myself to love every part of who I was. When I ended it, I committed to not dating anyone for at least a year. I didn’t want to prevent myself from focusing on anything other than the relationship with myself. I wanted to give myself time, something I had never done before to be able to love. To fall in love with myself. But also to learn to love my body, my mind, my interest, my life, my family and my friends. To love in such a way that I could appreciate every moment. My friendships grew stronger. True connections where I was able to put my all into them. Hearing, feeling, and appreciating them for all that they were. Learning about love from all of them. We love in different ways, giving love, receiving love, and showing love. I saw how people loved who they were, loved those around them and love different things in their lives. We all love, appreciate and are amazed by so much. I wanted to learn and see through all their eyes. For all these friendships I had were supportive and kind. True friends who love, and love with all their heart. Each friendship its own. Each love its own.
I dedicated so much of my time to loving myself. Learning all forms of self love. Any and all forms of self care that I needed to feel my best. Cultivating a stronger yoga practice by doing it every day and through teaching classes. When I taught, I was able to share the movement that brought my body happiness. I could see and feel an entire room of people able to give themselves an hour to listen to what their bodies need. Breathing in inspiration and exhaling what no longer serves them. Yoga helps to release the grip that anxiety, fear, sadness and pain have on us. It forms in our bodies and when we breath, move and sweat it out, we are able to release its hold on us. We can recognize that it is not who we are or part of us. When we become aware of it, it can show us so that we can learn and evolve from it. But it does not have to continue grasping onto our hearts and minds.

I started to release my anxiety. Whenever I felt it coming on, I would face it. I stopped pushing away the pain so that I could figure out the true cause of it all.

All that past pain. All the fears. All the feelings of inadequacy. There was no way to numb, no relationship to escape to, there was me. I stopped over two years ago shoving those emotions down to avoid them. It resulted in me within a room of all my emotions and each day one will come up for me to learn from. By learning where it comes from I am able to work to release it. I listen to what it tells me. 
I went into what I thought was my dream job at a company I worked for a few times. From the first day I knew that I had made the wrong decision but I kept telling myself to give it time. I gave it a year. As the months came closer to the year mark my mental health and my happiness were diminishing. On Monday I would go to work ready to defend myself and shield myself from the toxicity of the environment. I did yoga, worked out, self-cared my ass every single day for me to be able to make it through the week without falling deep into sadness. Not appreciated for my talents or even valued as a person, it became draining each week. Breaking down by the end of the week and riddled with anxiety, I spent the weekends decompressing from the negative feelings to prepare myself for the poisonous combat I’d face every Monday. A company of women who bullied, harassed, and belittled, instead of being a force of empowerment. This was not my dream. This was not what I wanted to waste my vital energy and life doing. My happiness mattered more to me. I quit with no prospect of a job, because I finally listened to the screaming voice from inside that had been telling me for the entire year to leave. I realized my worth. As much as my environment tried to make me feel less than, I knew who I was. 
I left the job at the company that I kept returning to for good. I ended the chapter knowing I would never return again. This time with certainty I was doing what I am meant to.

Situations, experiences and life toughen you and allow you to feel emotions you don't want to feel. The low points, the uncertainty of yourself, and the anxious times can all lead to a place of you being true to you. Stop making excuses for yourself. For your unhappiness. Change what you need to. What you know you have to but avoid. Stop the awful habit that you feel destroying you. End shitty relationships that bring you more sadness than happiness. You don’t deserve to be crying more than smiling. Leave the job to pursue something that brings you more joy. Listen to what your gut tells you. As the anxious thoughts come up, as fear tries to creep in, I face them full on to see them for what they are. To be able to learn from them and release them with time.
For life is all a lesson. These opportunities, people, distractions, are all meant to teach me. They are bringing me closer to myself, and living my life for me.

My body is a temple. My life is my own. I will live it to the fullest, following my gut and listening to my heart. 
I don't move through life aimlessly with the past pain weighing me down or trying to escape emotions or feelings. I am able to live my life for me. 
Lessons are learnt. 
We learn. We evolve. We become.