Travel can be challenging at any moment. And at each moment, there is an opportunity to be mindfully present—to witness what's happening within, to cradle any suffering, and to breathe. This process helps me experience more calm awareness, and ultimately sustainably thrive, even when we’re faced with travel challenges on the go. Here are a few favorite resources that support this mindful adventure we are on…
Throughout the day, I try to remember to just breathe. This allows me to experience an inner calm.
If I feel an uncomfortable feeling, I again try to remember to just breathe … while recognizing the uncomfortable feeling … until it passes. This allows me to maintain an inner calm.
TIP: The first time I practiced this while feeling an uncomfortable feeling, it felt like an eternity (I’m pretty sure I thought it was “torture”) before the uncomfortable feeling passed. It was difficult to just breathe, instead of taking another action to soothe myself (like talking). However, that eternity? It was actually only about three minutes. And it quickly became easier. (Avoiding caffeine and sugar also assist me in this process.)
As travelers, there can be unlimited new and uncomfortable feelings that arise from the choice we are making to transport ourselves to new places. There is constant change flowing within and around us, each step of the way, which can make me think about…
how we will get to where we want to go
how we will remain safe during transport
how we will respectfully dress
how we will respectfully communicate
how we will find our lodging
how we will remain safe while at our new location
how we will get to the next place we want to go
So if I feel an uncomfortable feeling about any of this, I try to remember to just breathe … while recognizing the uncomfortable feeling … until it passes. This helps bring me back to an inner calm.
And when I forget? It’s my reminder to practice breathing again.
Additional Notes, Regarding Victims of Abuse:
For those of us who have ever been surrounded by abuse, we know that an abuser will often not let go of the control they desire over us and will escalate their behavior if they are held accountable. And if they do lose control over us, they will then attempt to endlessly control us by making it their mission to control what others think of us.
Since accountability is something I’ve cared deeply about throughout my life, I’ve had to learn to just breathe, instead (while keeping myself safe). If an abuser returns to circle the wagons, the authorities can handle them.
If I forget to practice this mindfulness (and instead consider responding by attempting a rational conversation with someone incapable of rational functioning), I try to envision the importance of not rummaging through a dumpster. It’s big. It’s dirty. It only gets dirtier.
Then I try to just breathe and witness what’s happening inside of me (while keeping myself safe).
There are still surprises. I am still shocked. Which is why I remind myself to practice just breathing again.
The more I’ve practiced these mindful skills in these moments, the easier it’s all become, and the more healing and peace I experience.
To help demystify abuse…
…and to learn to protect ourselves, the resources below have been invaluable. While many abuse resources are written with the assumption that an abuser is always male, we now know that is a myth. An abuser is a person who has a pattern of attempting to hold power and control over another. An abuser can be female or male, young or old, rich or poor:
Why Does He Do That? (Again, this could be called “Why Do Abusers Do That?”)
The Gift of Fear (there is one sentence in this book that I find wrong, the rest I find so helpful; the beginning can feel a little slow, but it’s definitely worth waiting through that)
Abuse and Mental Illness: Is There a Connection? (hint: there is never an excuse for abuse)
The amazing Dr. Gabor Maté…| Trauma-informed… | Harvard on… | Adverse childhood… | Childhood trauma leads to… | What abuse of an adult child looks like… | Why there’s estrangement… | Overview of estrangement… | Family estrangement… | Myths of estrangement…
Free Crisis Support:
Therapy Anytime, Anywhere:
Keeping a mindful routine on the road provides comfort, consistency, and predictability (when everything else is changing). Physical movement can also help heal trauma.
So I searched a long time to find a very special way to enjoy unlimited classes (yoga, meditation), at any time. And I’m so grateful for the professionalism, kindness, and reasonable price at My Yoga Works (only $49 for an entire year).
Artie Wu of Preside Meditation made such an impact on my life, exactly when I needed it. I participated in two of his meditation programs.
The initial meditations I participated in were so calming that I signed up for his Monkey Mind meditations program.
The Monkey Mind meditations literally played within as I slept.
Months later, I could see the ongoing improvement that Artie’s work was still making within me. And I love that I can go back to his meditations anytime I want a tune-up.
Mindful is the magazine leading the mindfulness movement. They have excellent articles and resources. I love reading Mindful right before bed, which is inspirational and very soothing while on the road.
My Mindful Challenge:
One of my challenges is remembering to pause when talking with others. So I try to focus on watching their expression, tone, plus embrace the pause that follows their words (while I simply breathe). This allows their pause to come far later than I could have ever imagined, taking their story to a place I would have otherwise never known.