Jen YihComment

Learning to Stay

Jen YihComment
Learning to Stay

This past 2018, I had one of the best summer’s ever. It was over before I realized it had even started. As the fall and winter came back around and I found myself heartbroken, on a bus in a foreign country. I asked myself, “What just happened?”

I looked back at the past two years of my life and realized I had been traveling like a mad-woman. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that! I had to write it down this past New Year’s when I was reflecting on my life trying to set new affirmations & resolutions. A repeating piece of advice kept coming to mind, “slow down…”

Portugal, United Kingdom, Iceland, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, Hawaii, back to Iceland to circumnavigate the entire country, a road trip that took me to 26 U.S. states and over 3,600 miles, hospitalized myself somewhere in there, went back to Indonesia then to Japan to Hawaii, again, then a month long trip to Nicaragua. Later to New Mexico, Finland, and galavanting up and down the West Coast causing all sorts of mischief. I had extended myself to so many friends, rushing to spend time with my family, and on top of it all, maintaining multiple clients as a freelancer. How I juggled so many different roles makes me feel like I should pick up & move to Hollywood to pursue acting… But no, what I realized just this winter, is the newfound skill of learning to stay. After a few altering events that really cut me open over the winter and some unexpected failures things started to feel out of control, like I’d taken on too much… and I was right. Things bottlenecked & burst. When many things started to slip away in front of me, I felt a sort of calm and ease. I was confused, that so many terrible things felt like they were happening to me but inside, I knew I was okay and that everything would be okay. I had some feelings of fleeing, pick up and go because that would help me get away from some realities I had to deal with. But as I get older and wiser, I realize “elsewhere” isn’t going to help change my current reality. I decided to stay. I decided to invest in the people around me. I decided not to fill my days with noise and doing. I found myself doing lots of what I would consider “mindless” tasks, but what I realized in these simple “mindless” movements I had been doing such as a beach walk or painting to my favorite songs playing in the distance - that my mind and the dust around it began to settle. A newfound feeling of calm came over me and actually doing “nothing” was one of the most incredible “somethings”.

My next steps were simple, but instead of forcing or manipulating the next direction - I learned to take my time, to trust the process, and allow all that I’ve done for myself to now just come to life for what feels like the first time.

We all love to do, to create, to collaborate, to produce - but after spending however much time doing all those things, moving & shaking, hustling & bustling - I encourage you to take moments of “staying” wherever you are - even if its for :20 minutes, 1 day, 1 weekend. Allow yourself to relax, feel safe, loved, creative, and create time to listen to your intuition - something you may have lost touch with while you were out navigating the static… and watch your life unfold in an entirely new and honest way.

If you know me, especially if you know me well or have been following this blog - you know that “staying” is not something I have done or do well. You can see that from the sheer list of “Travel Guides” I’ve produced over the last 10 years and 75% of them aren’t even listed on there. I still & forever encourage travel, beyond all else, and I will never ever stop traveling - but if you’re someone that doesn’t or can’t afford it - don’t take for granted your stillness. It is a gift.

“Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”

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