Written by Kate Pauley
Part II of my travel blog series.
Several years ago, I came across this concept of “allowing yourself to get bored.” I don’t remember where I read it, but the idea was, if you can allow yourself some time to be bored, what you really want will become clear. I thought this sounded great, and sometimes shared the idea with my clients, but I hadn’t actually put this into practice. Until now.
When I structured my solo travel, I didn’t plan to move around too much, I really wanted to get to know a place, one place, rather than see everything there was to see. This is different from how I normally travel as I typically, spend 2-3 nights in a city or town, see the big tourist attractions and then move on. I am constantly moving and doing.
The design for my solo travel was to spend more time being and less time doing. Could I allow myself to just be in a place: get to know it, learn it, meet local people, live in the moment, live like a local, just be.
I chose to spend the first 30 days of my travel in Bali, more specifically in Ubud, which is right in the middle of Bali. It is known to be a spiritual mecca with lots of different holistic wellness offerings, yoga classes, teachers and guides. If you read part 1 of my travel learnings series, you know that my intention for my trip was to learn. Ubud was the perfect place to do this.
I found a wellness center called the Yoga Barn (which I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Bali) as they offered about 10 different classes a day, almost all of which sounded intriguing to me, yet, I didn’t want to have my day too scheduled. So, I would make a mental note of which classes I wanted to try, and I create a rough idea of how to spend my day. Then, the listening came in. When class time would roll around, I would check in with myself to see if taking that course/doing that thing felt right. I was constantly checking in with myself to see if I was living in alignment with my core desires.
Sometimes this was easy. Just a quick question to myself: “do you want to go to a Tibetan Sound Healing right now?” And an answer would be clear to me – “hell yes I want to do that!” or it might sound like, “no, actually right now I’m wanting to explore the city (do something else).”
And sometimes, I couldn’t hear anything in response. How did I not know what I wanted? I was creating the time to check in with myself, yet I didn’t have a clear answer… I didn’t actually know what I wanted.
At first this was frustrating to me, but then I remembered the wisdom of that mindfulness practice – let yourself get bored. Give your mind a rest from the constant mental stimulation. Sit and be quiet, until something becomes clear. So, I would do just that. Find a comfortable place to sit, and wait. Wait for something to come into my mind that I actually wanted to spend my time doing. And I learned that I actually enjoyed the moments of quiet as well. Like I mentioned, I am typically a go-go-go person. I sometimes don’t feel good about myself unless I am being productive. So this was out of my comfort zone. I was in a different country! How could I possibly waste time just sitting around when I only had a limited amount of time there!
But you know what I found? That I actually enjoyed my time so much more. Because it meant that every moment of every day I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing in that moment. I ate when I was hungry, I moved my body when it was feeling stiff, I socialized with people when I was craving connection.
I also never felt like I was rushing around. Which was such a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life. In those moments of stillness, I could rest. I could rejuvenate. Sitting quietly throughout the day actually made my days feel longer because I had time to process and reflect – I didn’t feel as though I was racing through my days.
And, I really learned how to listen to my inner voice. My intuition. I developed such a beautiful connection with her on my travels which I talk about in part III of this blog series.
Now, rather than just passing along this wisdom to clients, I can wholeheartedly say, let yourself get bored. Let yourself sit and get clear on what it is you want. When you know, you’ll know. Trust in that and give yourself space to breathe.
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