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what to do with a blank slate: a look back at the start of 2016

31 Mar 2016

march is ending; and so we are also coming to the end of the first quarter of 2016. one third of the year is now complete. that’s a crazy thought, isn’t it?

now, this isn’t anything that i usually think of, or even note, but as i have spent some of my little adults spring break staycation reflecting on what comes next, it was just something that i realized happened to coincide with my life. it all just lines up beautifully, actually. the ending of the first fourth of the year and the ending of this crazy phase of changes in my life.

so, it’s time for me to pause + ponder + process.

what i haven’t had time for during these past three months is blogging, photography, and life coaching. these things, these core things that have been a part of my everyday life for years, were no longer daily activities for me. suddenly, those things that i thought defined me in some way, my way of inspiring, were not things i was really actively engaged in.

and, you wanna know a secret? i’m a bit confused about how life is without them. what does it mean that i missed them, but didn’t prioritize them? did i really miss them? have i been focusing on the wrong things? should i be doing something else? aren’t these the core things that make me me?

i did miss writing and blogging and taking photos. and i missed working on my life coaching – i missed getting started on it. and i even missed an entire week of classes/training because we were moving.

 but, i’m not sure if i miss then because i am just used to them. like they have become a habit. these things that i thought i was “supposed” to do because that was who i was.

i did, however, realize that i was definitely stressed out from not getting a chance to blog, write, photograph, or get my coaching off the ground as much as i have. so, was i missing them or not? i don’t really know. and perhaps it doesn’t even really matter. i marked that these things were not a part of my everyday life. and, that in itself is a big deal.

however, instead of doing those things, i was living. like, really living. in the present. active in my life. and what i did hold on to tightly was my morning meditation. oh, how that daily ritual renews and grounds me.

i did empty without my creative outlets, like a part of my soul was missing. and, it eventually became clear to me, that these creative outlets of mine are, indeed, part of who i am and who i want to be. they are not just something i do. but, they make my soul sing. they make me slow down + feel alive. they are my own form of spirituality. but, they do not define me. they do not make me, me.

all that said, i know that i’ve needed this time away from these things i love. it was time for an unexpected, unplanned, unwelcome break from them. i needed to step away so that perhaps new life could be breathed into my writing, photography, and life coaching. i needed to separate who i am from what i do.

and that all feels well and good. but, now, i don’t know where to go with it all. it feels like my time away from these creative outlets, these things that i do to try to inspire myself + others, has left me wondering how to begin again. everything feels different. i feel different.

 the thing is, i have no idea what comes next.

i absolutely feel like this very intense transition time of new beginnings and major life changes is coming to an end. i am certain from deep within my soul that i am embracing a new path in my journey, that a new time, even a new era, is beginning in my life. all of these activities that i love will most definitely be a part of the upcoming journey, but i have no idea how.

i see nothing out in front of me. i feel no nudges or whispers. i have no plans or ideas or expectations about anything. and i am totally ok with that.

all of my tomorrows are a blank slate. a wide, open road, laid out before me. there is no destination, only the journey. and that feels 100% right.

road-west-usa

i expect that, as time passes, it will all begin to unfold. that i will begin to understand what comes next. but, for now, i am clueless. and it’s fine with me to just live from day to day. completely enraptured and enchanted by my present moments.

right now, the blank slate in front of me just is. i’m not overly emotional about it in any way. i’m definitely not scared or apprehensive. but, i’m also not overly excited or energetic. instead, i am in a place of acceptance, calm, peace, and balance. it’s not without emotion, but it is a place of neutrality, strength, equanimity.

perhaps these are the things that i learned during the 1st quarter of 2016: balance in january, as i began a new job + a new way of living. acceptance + surrender in february, as i had no control over any situation connected to our  insane process of moving, and calm, quiet solitude for the first month in our new home in march, as we had no  real connection to the outside world (except work).

yes, these lessons have served me well. it has not been an easy process to learn them, but now that i am through it, i can see how worthy this journey has been, how much i have been transformed by this bumpy, uncomfortable, crazy ride.

i cannot even imagine what the rest of 2016 has in store for me. i’m curious, of course. but, more than that, i just simply am. present. alive. grateful. and grounded. and focused on here and now.

so, if you find yourself standing in the present moment with no idea of what comes next. don’t try to figure it out. just let it be.  breathe in deep. look back over all that you have been through and see how it has gotten you to this place. and then, just breathe it all in. all will be fine. all will be well. and you will continue to grow into who you are created to be.

love to you lovelies. xoxo. liz

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6 Comments

  • Reply Laura4NYC 1 Apr 2016 at 02:26

    Well, technically we have passed the first quarter of the year (not the third, that’s in a month from now), but it might as well feel like a third of a year since so much has been going on already, hasn’t it?
    I think times are definitely changing and nudging you in a slightly different direction than before. Room needs to be created for new things and for a new challenge to come your way. We can be defined by so many things and our skills, passions, and interest take a good deal of this definition.

    I too had to step back and re-evaluate what is it that I really like to do (this year and perhaps next) and if I’ve found a different career than before. But that type of change can be pretty refreshing and overthrow our set path – at the right moment.

    • Reply Liz 4 Apr 2016 at 08:45

      It’s all new. Everything, it feels like. And it feels like the beginning of a year in many ways, that new start feeling. I am so excited to follow your journey as well! You really have been on an internal journey it feels like – I’d love to sit down with you for a whole evening and just chat away!

      • Reply Laura4NYC 5 Apr 2016 at 04:59

        Oh man, sitting down with a whole evening with Liz… Which world is that going to happen in? #letsbeonthesamecontinentplease

  • Reply Meghan 1 Apr 2016 at 11:58

    Wow, Liz. Thank you so much for sharing your journey through uncertainty, for showing us how you’re overcoming uncertainty. As usual you have given me a great deal to ponder but while I do, I just wanted to say that I have no doubt you receive great inspiration from the connections and reflectiveness of blogging, the creativity and actual creation of photography, and the satisfaction and soul-fillingness of coaching. But yeah, they’re not You. It sounds as though the Universe really did intend for you to step back from your routine actions and focus on some practical life stuff; I’m tempted to think of it as the need to establish your fixed place which can provide security and comfort and that will serve to springboard you into your next adventure, but that feels like I’m being presumptuous. In any case, I see all those things as not only actions you do, but things you essentially put out in the world for others (even photography in itself depends on the viewer) and as an *expression* of you. Things like that I think make our souls sing because they are fulfilling to who we are as a person and they allow act as our highest selves; they are so intricately tied up with us being us that all those questions about what those practices mean to you were inevitable when you suddenly couldn’t participate in them. Meaning, I totally understand the confusion and the questioning from when you step away from an activity that has somehow defined you in past or present, particularly when it’s something newish and you felt/feel so strongly that its a part of your future. But as you know, sometimes we need (or the Universe thinks we need) to step back and get ourselves in order either in the way of figuring stuff out or taking care of life stuff, as you are now. I think it’s totally amazing that through all the upheaval and the change that you not only stay grounded but calm, open, and accepting of what you don’t know. Like, you’re trying to figure it out so that you don’t miss an opportunity to learn or gain meaning from it, but that you’re so freaking okay with it. It made you question but it didn’t shake you. I think acceptance of what is is an amazing place to get to in life but your ability to remain so balanced is so incredible and inspiring. I also think there’s a difference between knowing acceptance and truly living it, incorporating it in your essence – and that you’re totally there.

  • Reply Tracy Smith 3 Apr 2016 at 15:34

    I really appreciate how accepting you are of the changes in your life. In writing this, it felt like you are almost taking an observer’s perspective of your life even though I know you’re fully active in it. The perspective just stood out to me in a nice way. I resist and struggle through changes unlike how I used to be. I wish I could figure out how to change that and be more like you. I’m excited to read more about your journey as it comes along. Maybe I can learn a thing or two from you in the process.

    • Reply Liz 4 Apr 2016 at 08:43

      What a fantastic comment, Tracy! How cool, to think that I was observing my own life. I very well may have been doing that in some ways. Just keep journeying on, my friend. One step at a time, and more importantly, one breath at a time. You will settle into your soul. Lots of love and light to you. xo

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