A Fresh Start

Starting to write is harder than I thought it would be.  I have enjoyed the cathartic process of writing this weekly blog for over 9 years.  But a three month break has been pretty awesome too!  It has offered a level of freedom that was unexpected.  I am so grateful that Victoria was at a point in her own journey, that she was ready to reveal and share more of herself AND do it in the form of this weekly share.

Thank You Victoria!

I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now.  3 months in San Miguel was awesome and amazing.  Studying Spanish and living with a Mexican family along with other students was just what I was hoping for in many ways.  But I also realize I went with some faulty expectations.  Expectations that I didn’t even realize I had.

About half way through, one of the instructors indicated it would take about 6 months of schooling, practice and experience to really feel comfortable or fluid in a second language.  I realized when I heard him say it, that I was expecting that to happen in just 3 months!

After returning home, it’s pretty obvious that outside of the structure and context of going to school.., understanding, hearing and speaking Spanish on a daily basis is much more challenging than in the comfort of a classroom.  The classroom offered a great foundation.., but there is still so much to learn!  Thankfully Fito is a patient partner… who happens to love Spanish and languages in general!  

Stepping out of your life for three months is an amazing opportunity.  Changing things up in a way that eliminates all of your current routines, patterns, habits, structures, and comforts (or discomforts!) is a real gift.  It shakes things up that you don’t even know need or want to be shaken.  Of course, there are all of the things we know we would like to shift or change too!

Take away everything you know.., and you will find yourself anew.  And trust me, I completely get that I orchestrated this disruption, versus so many of the people in our lives who have had their worlds turned upside down by circumstances or situations that they would never have knowingly chosen.

Even while I was away, many of my friends experienced major life changes that literally set them on a new path.  One that even a few months ago, they could not have foreseen.  A rebalancing of their world, with new priorities or focus.

My re-entry into day-to-day life here in Phoenix has followed its own rocky or awkward path.  It took me several days to realize that I was trying to re-establish my old routines, as quickly as possible, in order to feel like I still fit in my old life.

The problem is, I am not the same person I was when I left.  Many of those old routines no longer work for me.  I was trying my damnedest to use what ‘was’ to become comfortable with what ‘is’!  It doesn’t work that way.

Of course we do this to ourselves all the time.  We look to the past to help us navigate the present or even as a way to predict the future.  Yet the truth is that never really works in the long run.  We have already crossed that river… We have already learned from it.   We are no longer the same person.

And it doesn’t take months for us to grow and evolve.  Everyday is a new day and everyday we are a new version of ourselves.  Instead of relying on old routines or the way things use to be..,  instead lets make a fresh start.

 

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles

21 Comments

  1. Welcome back and to a refreshed new you. Everyday we change and we can never go back to where we were- even in trying to do so rings false. Coming back after 3 months is such a gift because the change is so obviously clear. Re-entry is such an opportunity of choosing what to hold close and other things not so much. The challenge and learning is to recognize everyday we change and others change around us sometimes not at the same speed but we react as if it is all the same. It is why life is such a dance. Enjoy the music and flow… it’s all good..

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    • Hey Diane! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights. On one level we all know this. It is obvious on some level. But boy, really living by and getting good at the dance can still take awhile to catch on! I am hoping this one sticks with me for awhile! Nice to be connected again!

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  2. Welcome back Charles! I enjoyed the opportunity to re-start my writing journey again. It’s been a “fresh start” for me. Thank you! Letting go of expectations can be so challenging, yes? Like you, having been away from writing for awhile this experience was so different. It changed because I had changed. Imagine that!! I find that accepting who I am “now” and allowing space for who I am “becoming” is different and a choice. Who I’ve “been” contributes and is done. I love “fresh starts”! More and more I’m open to the unexpected and being surprised even when all of the dots don’t seem to be immediately connected. LOL You are amazing and courageous for stepping into the unknown while holding some expectations. How fun to allow the unfoldment!!

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    • You’ve given me such a gift Victoria.., one I didn’t even know I would cherish this much. I love writing, and I needed the break. Thank you! And what a pleasure to read about your journey with this process too! Fresh starts everywhere! Love it and love you!

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  3. Welcome home sweetie. May the lessons from Mexico continue to transform you with love

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    • Thanks Mary!

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  4. Buenos dias Charles, Glad you are back. Victoria did you proud with her weekly newsletters.

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    • Buenos dias Sandy y muchas gracias por la bienvenida! And yes she did! Looking forward to seeing you and getting caught up!

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  5. I’m so grateful for this post as a reminder that the new “me” will not fit in the “old” routine. Just having revisited Annie’s words from the New Paradigm workshop, I would love to share them here…
    “You will find yourself in a paradox, holding two realities at the same time, letting them both be true, then moving toward the “truer” resonance”, said Annie. “Ask yourself if you are more invested in who you were, or who you are becoming…spend time going into the dark chaos. Really sink into it and feel what arises.”
    “Allow yourself to stretch beyond what you currently know. Stretch into what you cannot learn or be taught.”
    You are practicing this brilliantly…thank you

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    • Hi Vikki! Thanks for sharing and reminding me of the New Paradigm work! It gives a shines a different perspective on everything that is going on right now. Not just for me, but for many of us! I thought of you many times while in San Miguel because it is such an Art-rich community! Thanks for keeping me company!

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  6. Welcome home my dear friend. You were missed. And now you can take your time re-entering at your own pace.

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    • Hey Michelle! Thanks for the reminder that there is no hurry! I trust all is well with you and look forward to hearing what is new for and with you!

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  7. Glad you’re back, Charles — healthy, happy, and more of who you really are than you were before. And glad for the new ways of looking at things from both you and Victoria, before you left and now that you’re back!

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    • Thanks Dana!

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  8. I was inspired by the read, as I too went through a 3 month adventure out of AZ, and stepped out of my “normal” box, and what an eye-opener. I/it feels strange being back home here in Phoenix. What I experienced on an island in ME, was water and beautiful green landscapes every day, defiantly something you don’t get here in the valley of the sun. I didn’t realize how much my body and soul thirst, and was dehydrated from a lack of green, but moreover Water. I’m not (or maybe I should say, I wasn’t) a “water” type girl, but being in and around it is so powerful and the energies and the cleansing of the waters is just Exactly what I Needed, and I didn’t even mention the Peace and serinity that comes with it. It is absolutely calming, healing and blissful. I really struggled (and still am feeling it) with coming back. I’ve been back only 3 days so far. I know I’ve changed inside and out, (a lot of SELF/ME time) and now I’m trying to figure out what my next move is so to continue to nourish my mind, body and soul.
    It’s emotional for me, as every time I mention to someone or think about it myself about being back, that’s just what I do..I get emotional and tear-up. I feel that’s my msg for change, not necessarily to not be here, (in the valley) or not, but it’s about finishing this cycle/transition. Thank you for this, as it feels good to share with others who’ve just experienced “the 3 month break” and now working on “What’s Next!” 🙂

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    • Thanks Cyndee for sharing your story and reintegration process. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but I grew up in Maine. Not on the water per say, but I certainly understand the different rhythms and pace of New England. San Miguel is a paradise of its own with amazing climate and gorgeous gardens and hillsides. Very different then where we live. I love the desert and in particular.., Phoenix. So my heart is at home here. But I have known places where it wasn’t. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy living there… (San Francisco comes to mind)… but I felt out of sync. Not always, and not in a loud or obnoxious way. But when I left…, I never looked back. Enjoy this period of unknown, and don’t rush to decision or to re-establish. Instead, allow whatever is new to simply wash over you and carry you along with the flow!

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      • Thank you Charles for sharing back with me, and some words-of-wisdom

        Thank you again for everything, and no I didn’t know you grew up in ME, very nice.

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  9. Welcome home, Charles. I enjoyed your photos of San Miguel. It looks like such a beautiful place.

    You reminded me of a similar old life/ new life experience I’d had years ago. After my husband passed away, I decided to paint my home, inside & out. Each room a bold new color, where there had only been white walls before. It was an opportunity to begin creating a different life alone.

    I then traveled out of the country for a month. When I arrived back home my mind had completely forgotten the new colors! I walked in my front door expecting the white walls and my old-old life. I had to take a deep breath and tell myself to figure out this new-old life.

    It has been challenging to go it alone, but I also realized that, for me, the breaks where I travel and leave home are vital. The chance to see new places, experience new horizons and meet new people shake things up in the best of all ways.

    I look forward to catching up with you soon.

    Cheers,
    Teresa

    Reply
    • Hi Teresa! I look forward to getting caught up with you soon! Thanks for sharing your story of intentionally creating a fresh start, both in your home and while traveling. It is a perfect example of the one of the life events or experiences we would never choose, but must adapt to and integrate anyway! It is also a reminder that it is an ongoing process… I think part of me thought because I was aware of the new beginning, that meant I was “already there”. The truth is, it is still unfolding, and I don’t need to rush to reveal it all! The Universe has its own timing at play! See you soon!

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  10. This is a reminder each morning to let go of what “should” arise from yesterday’s experiences and expectations and delightfully dance (from a mindful place) with what shows up. I’m glad you are home, renewed, and in love with life. I am sooo excited to see you,

    Reply
    • Thanks Mary!

      Reply

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