Tag Archives: heart

On courage and travel

I received the following Note from the Universe to my email a few days ago, and I’ve been pondering the word courage since.

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The word courage derives itself from the Latin root ‘cor,’ which means heart. And while the word is strongly associated with acts of bravery or heroism, it’s literal definition is “an act from the heart.”

What my Note from the Universe so aptly recognizes, is that I often act from my heart, though common sense would advise me otherwise. And while common sense is typically a value that we prioritize in our lives, I have found that acts of courage– acts of the heart–are the ones that have served me the most.

In relation to my love of travel, courage has been a common thread throughout. Moving to San Francisco was an act of courage for me. Financially and logistically, it was beyond common sense. But I felt this feeling so deeply in my heart that it was right, and so I went for it. To follow suit, Burkina Faso, France and Morocco were of the same genre.

Walking El Camino de Santiago was also in protest of common sense. What human being would think that walking 500 (painful) miles across Spain was a good idea, unless they knew that it was for the benefit of their heart.

I’ve heard quite a few times on this most recent trip to Poland that I am so brave to travel alone. But I would say no, I’m not brave at all, I’m courageous. This solo trip across Poland has been a matter of the heart. I have friends who live all over Europe that I could have easily gone to visit on this vacation. That would have been common sense. But something in my heart was telling me to see this country while I had the opportunity, and I’m glad that I listened carefully, because it has been an incredible journey.

I have seen many things, but as usual, the internal journey is always the most meaningful. I have learned from traveling solo, what it means to spend some quality time with myself. The amount of time that I’ve had to ponder my relationships, my passions and my purpose has been invaluable. It is crucial for me to spend time asking myself questions, listening to my responses and then pulling them apart and separating them into categories–head and heart.

There is no better place to do this kind of digging than in another country. Why? Because you are outside of your comfort zone anyway. Once you’ve broken down that barrier of comfort, you can hear your heart more clearly. Couple this with the fact that your senses are on hyperdrive from experiencing the novelties of being in a foreign country, and you have a recipe for heart that is incredibly potent.

Today I am setting off into the mountains in Tatra National Park in Poland. For me, there is nothing quite like the mountains to get my heart pumping with excitement. I am looking forward to hearing all that it has to tell me today.

With love,

L

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Circumnavigating the Heart; A Father’s Day Tribute

The circle is a symbol we can all identify with, an infinitely wise geometric shape.

The heart, a blood-pumping-organ that circulates oxygen and blood through our veins.

The sun, which chases the moon through the night sky, dashing across the universe

And pulling the tides of the sea inhale, exhale.

A ship, sailing the seas, circumnavigating the globe.

Through turbulent waters and calm ones he sailed.

My father, the seafarer.

Some of my earliest memories of my father were imaginations, ruminations.

I sat spinning my globe ’round and round tracing an outline with my delicate pointer finger

Across mountains and seas, desserts and rain forests,

Metropolitan cities and rivers and valleys.

“Where’s Daddy?” Mommy would ask.

“Bangladesh,” or  “Cape Town,” or  “Diego Garcia,” I would reply, pinpointing his location with my finger.

I imagined him on his ship, the master of the seas.

“Daddy always comes home” Mommy would tell me.

And he always did.

—–

It was hard for all of us to function as a family unit sans the captain of our household.

But his first mate and crew managed.

Our hearts were full of joy when Dad came and grief when he left.

And even as we grew older and more accustomed, it never became easier.

Birthdays were missed, Christmases too.

But as Dad sailed he circumnavigated our hearts.

Because it was love for his family that sent him back to the open seas each time.

—-

Don’t be fooled, Dad. This love is not unrequited nor unappreciated.

And it’s this very love, which has had a profound effect on my life.

Sometimes the effects were as indirect as the passage around the Cape of Good Hope,

But they remain a part of me nonetheless.

I too became a traveler, and as the wanderlust surged and swelled within me like a storm raging in the Atlantic, I set off, like my father, to chart my own course.

I wanted to see the world  just like my Dad.

I wanted my passport to be as full and diverse as his.

And most of all I wanted to explore borders and push boundaries.

I wanted to open myself up the world and let my heart soar to heights as high as Kilimanjaro and plunge as low as the ocean’s floor.

From home, my parents worried. But they were steadfast in their love and support.

And what I’ve learned is that no matter how many times we complete a circle, we are infinitely traveling towards home.

Towards the center of our hearts,

And into the arms of those who love us most.

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Dad,

My passport is now filled with stamps, but the most important stamp of all is the influence you’ve had on my life over the past 24 years. Thank you for your love that knows no borders.

And remember, I, too, always come home.

Happy Father’s Day!

Love,

Lizzie

 

 

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 28: The head and the heart

heartcrosssection-labeled1Today I watched a movie called The Three Idiots. It’s a bollywood film about societal pressure to succeed. The definition of success– a large house, a lot of money, a beautiful bride and a fast car– was portrayed in stark contrast to the happiness we achieve when we follow our passionate heart.

The movie, a full three hours of pure Indian tongue and cheek, made a strong case for rebellion against societal pressure to amass wealth at the expense of happiness, and, in fact, argued that when we are living out our life’s purpose, we actually are so much more apt to attract in both monetary and emotional wealth.

Thus, today, I am grateful for my heart, as it so rarely lets my head win an argument. I am grateful for the strength of my amazing cardio-vascular organ and it’s ability to lead me forward. Every important decision I’ve ever made in my life has been at the whim of my heart, and I appreciate such reminders like this film, to continue heeding to the call of my pounding kick-drum heart.

 

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Attitude of Gratitude — Day 10 : Arriving Home

The last few days have been incredibly social for me. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my staff and my colleague from Boston, and finding the time to write a real post has been challenging. It just goes to show the ebb and flow of life, and inevitably things will slow down significantly come April when I have a full fledged schedule and things are a bit more routine.

The fact that my usual routines such as going to the gym, meditating and doing yoga have fallen by the wayside this past week are not of concern. It is crucial that I take the time to nest and invest. I need to know the area, I need to know my colleagues, I need to buy throw pillows for my couch–all essential in the nesting process.

This evening, I invited my team over for dinner and cooked a hearty vegetarian meal. It was nice to sit around a table and entertain. It made my apartment fill with energy, and it felt natural to cook and chat and share. As I make this place feel more like my own, I realize how important is to me to have a home and to share it with the people around me.

The more I invest in this place, the more successful I will be in this job. Thus, I want to put my heart and soul into making this apartment feel like home as well as making Long Island feel like home. The impending future of my career may actually be tied to the throw pillows on my couch, and the spices in my spice rack and the pictures hanging on my walls. The more I have invested, the more I will give. If I can give as much positive energy as possible, I will manifest a very positive experience for everyone involved.

They say that home is where the heart is, and let’s be real, I’ve left my heart in many homes. My heart lives in Vermont, San Francisco, Burkina Faso, France, Morocco, and Spain. I never could have imagined that my heart would invest itself in this new opportunity here on Long Island, but that’s the beauty of life. We never know, and we can only imagine.

So here in this moment, I am imagining my heart (and my home) being full of positive growing experiences, and I’m truly grateful for this lovely space to call my home.

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