The Women’s March: A Reflection
I have a rule that when an idea for a trip is offered up to me, I do everything I can to make it happen. I love to travel! Traveling gives me a new perspective on the world. But it also gives me perspective on my life. Some of the greatest lessons I have learn have come from my travels.
My visit to D.C. provided me with so many lessons. I wanted to share some with you here.
Lesson #1: Pushing your comfort zone opens up opportunities. But knowing your limits will strengthen your relationship with yourself.
Many times during my trip I was pushed out of my comfort zone, starting with being fearful for my safety. I was in Boston at the time of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and I will never forget that day. The realization that this could happen to me opened up my eyes to the many other atrocities in the world. Like many people, I had the feeling that something like this would never happen to me. However, now I have a whole different perspective about safety and that anything could happen to anyone, especially in this day and age. I knew that moving past this fear was important for my growth and learning that I have to live my life.
Once I landed in Dulles Airport, I had to find a way to get to my brother’s apartment. I originally thought I would take an Uber, but once I landed I was feeling adventurous. I took public transportation from the airport to D.C. proper. The experience allowed me to assert my independence and I was able to learn the Metro my first day. At times I was ready to throw in the towel, but I kept my mindset positive and thought of the whole experience as an adventure. That mental shift made the experience fun rather than frustrating or scary. I went up to complete strangers and asked for help, which has always been hard for me. Lucky for me, D.C. is a very friendly town and I was able to get where I needed to go.
By nature, I am an introvert. And I absolutely hate crowds. I will do anything in my power to stay far away from a crowded place. The energy of a crowd is exhausting to me and I get quickly overstimulated. By going to the march, I was going straight into a place where a crowd was expected, even wanted. Let’s just say I had to do a lot of mindset work that weekend.
Once we got into the city on the day of the march, I started to feel exhausted and lightheaded. Since my diet has drastically changed (See Blog Post), I have extremely low energy most of the time. The exhaustion was to be expected. I would normally push through and pretend that everything was fine, but instead I spoke up for my needs. This was a big deal for me because I hate disappointing others. I will go to the ends of the earth to not do that, even sacrificing my own health and well-being.
But I kept in mind my New Year’s Resolution of mothering myself (LINK-blog post) and I told the people I was with I had to go rest. So I actually didn’t march. I took a nap at my brother’s apartment instead.
Since going on the prescribed GAPS Intro diet (LINK-last blog post) my limits have been much clearer to me. I have much less energy than I normally would and I get tired very easily, which makes it difficult to push my limits.
Through this experience, I was able to see a clear distinction between my comfort zone and my limits. Respecting my limits but knowing when to push myself was very empowering for me.
Lesson #2: Committing to yourself strengthens your relationship with yourself
On the GAPS Intro Diet, my meals mostly consist of bone broth, soups made from bone broth, broiled meat, and cooked vegetables. These things do not travel well on an airplane. So I had to cook all of my own food once I arrived in D.C. Luckily, my brother was generous enough to hand over his kitchen for what seemed like the entire weekend so I could cook my food. For most of the weekend I was on the move, which meant I could not partake in wine or any of the delicious meals out. I instead got to indulge in small packs of coconut oil, hard boiled eggs, meatballs, and boiled broccoli.
As you can imagine there was many a time that I could have said, “Screw it, I deserve a break.” But I didn’t. I resolved to keep my promise to care for myself the best way I could, and for that my determination and discipline is stronger than ever.
Being able to keep your commitment (link to blog post) to yourself even when it would be very easy to break, is so important for the integrity of your relationship. After all, the relationship you have with yourself is the longest and most important relationship you will ever have.
Lesson #3: Perspective is everything
After the election, I was extremely depressed. I felt like someone had passed away, and I was mourning the loss of the country I thought I knew. I felt this way for a long time. But once I got on the train the day of the march, I was amazed to see that there were so many other people who felt the way I did. Knowing that I was not alone, made me feel like I was in exactly the right place.
But however strong I was feeling, I could not wait until I got back home to my family and my KITCHEN. That was the thing that hit me the hardest. After sustaining myself on boiled broccoli and meatballs for the weekend, the other food that I previously thought was so boring no longer looked so dull. I happily gulped down MY bone broth and ate my beautiful butternut squash soup that I could not have cared less for a week ago. This feeling still holds true even a week after the fact.
Bonus: As you get older some of the things that used to work, don’t work for you anymore.
Hindsight is everything, friends. This trip gave me the realization that my life is completely different from what it was a few years ago and the rules I once had just don’t work any longer.
For me, jumping at the opportunity to travel no matter what does not spark the same type of joy it once did. Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling still, but being away from my husband and my puppies for an extended period of time pulls at my heartstrings.
The other thing is that I am learning the power in saying no. This is a really powerful tool that I have yet to truly utilize. I overextend myself constantly. I am sure you have done that a time or two. But knowing my limits and being able to say no has started to become a game changer.
By sharing some of the lessons I learned from my travels, my hope is that you might get a bit of insight into your own life. As we grow older, we must evolve with our changing needs. You will be able to listen and trust your intuition so much better. Through this trust your relationship with yourself will become stronger. I know mine certainly has.