A New Beginning

April 7, 2020shemindfully

Hi, welcome to my blog!

Blogging is something I’ve been considering for a while now but always felt unsure about. Who wants to hear what I, a 23-year-old grad student, have to say about life? But then it dawned on me that I’ve been following people for years who began as 23-ish-year-old somethings that put themselves out there for the world to take in.

I am currently two years into my graduate program, and lemme tell you, it has be a ride. Nobody expects graduate school to be an easy feat, but I feel like something is missing for me. I enjoy the courses and the clinical experience, of course, but I feel like there is more to this period of my life that I’m just not getting.

Frequently my friends and I will talk about what it’s like to be in a program so focused on people and how that impacts how we see ourselves. I’ve learned more about myself in the past 20 months that I’ve been in this program than I had in all of my years before that. Granted, I am only in my early twenties, but still. This has been an eye opening experience that has led me to discover there is more to this life that I am searching for.

I’ve always been drawn to the “earthy crunchy” style of living. You know, the vegan, nature-is-everything, tree hugger type stuff. I definitely did not grow up in an environment that was very conducive to this type of living. I grew up in Orlando, Florida. Aka Disney World. While it was beautiful living in the sunshine state, it’s not always a very nature-loving area. We had beaches, but they were about an hour away and usually packed with families visiting from out of state. We had nature trails, but it was always so hot and uncomfortable to be outside for more than 30 minutes at a time.

When I moved to the Northeast I had a month and a half to myself before I had to start school. I spent a lot of this time exploring the area around me. It’s important to note that I was constantly looking for free things to do because, hello, incoming grad student. Every few days I’d take my dog and we’d go explore a new park, a new hiking trail, a new area. I knew no one when I first moved here so it really was a period of freedom and isolation. I used Yelp to find everything that I did, and lucky for me all of the free things were nature related (shocker).

Pup and I on one of our first adventures

Something I have noticed about myself over time is that I often return to meditation, yoga, and connection with nature when I am going through a tough time. Upon reflection it appears most of these times were states of transition (after break ups, during my gap between college and grad school, after moving to a new state). When I think about these times it really stands out to me how in-tune I was with myself and my surroundings. It makes me wonder why I haven’t stayed consistent with these practices when I’m not in transition. I can use the busy excuse all I want, but realistically these things don’t have to take up all of my time.

I remember a particular period of time during my gap of time between college and grad school where I felt really unsettled. I knew I would be moving soon, but didn’t know what I wanted to make of my last 6 months in my home state. Every day I would go to work and come home, spend time with my roommates, do the things I knew I enjoyed. But for some reason, I still didn’t feel full. I cleared a corner of my room to designate as my “meditation corner” and I used it every night. I put my bedside table there with candles and incense. I would turn off all the lights, do some light stretching, listen to a guided meditation, then drift off into my own silent meditation afterwards. I would feel so grounded and whole after these sessions. When I look back on that time I miss the serenity I felt inside.

I think it’s quite common for people to make time for these things when their life is quite calm. When life picks back up again it’s easy to lose sight of the habits that you used to fill the extra time. I always find myself slowly slipping out of my routine and then forgetting it altogether… until the next big transition.

So this leads me here. Why am I doing this? Why now? Well I’ll tell you. I have come to realize I am in a period of transition, constantly. My program has taught me I am ever evolving and it is up to me which direction I evolve in. I want to pursue things I am passionate about and I want to try new experiences and new things that will bring me closer to the type of life I want: more natural, more sustainable, brighter, happier, fuller.

You may be wondering what the point is of this blog. I wanted a way to document all of these experiences that I will be pursuing, mindfully. I want to try new things locally and internationally. Physically, mentally and emotionally eye-opening experiences. There is no right or wrong way to practice coming into the mindful lifestyle. Whether it be bringing and noticing more color into my daily routine, trying techniques to connect with the environment, sticking to a consistent yoga/meditation routine, anything goes here on this journey. I plan to share with you all of the things that work (and don’t work) for me in my quest to feeling whole and connected. I’ll be sharing reviews, some facts and such from my clinical training, my own personal take on the world, and much more in the time to come. All of the things I’m hoping to try will be leading towards the same destination: a sustainable life with connection and gratitude.

Stay tuned for my first stop on this journey!

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