Saturday, May 25, 2013

London: Surrender to Adventure

For me I feel closest to God when I travel. This is what I wrote in my journal on the tube the other day and I think it gets at why this is the case for me.

"On the tube- as I get older travelling has become easier and harder. Easier because I know the system better, I can navigate and get myself to the necessities- food, shelter, transportation. Harder, because there is more for me to succumb to- to surrender to. My to-do list from home is hard to tear away from- my identity is too soaked in all I am trying to accomplish. Time to escape from my self-obsessed narrative and let in the world. I felt a bit pitiful arriving at the airport- I was not at ease until I was virtually reconnected. Breakfast - and then wi-fi. The blessing and the curse of being a part of my generation I guess. I am at the point in my life where I am less sure than ever what life has in store for me. Change is electric in the air, like the build up of a pending lightning strike. I feel like a whirling dervish forgetting why he is spinning.
       The london tube map makes much more sense to me than the trajectory of my life. London- Grey Sky, Green Trees and little red brick town homes with Mary-Poppin chimneys. How in the world did I end up here. I should be pleased I have a full day in London to be spontanious - I have nowhere to be until 5PM and it is 9:00am. Instead I find the unknown slightly frustrating/irritating. I am more concerned with my broken suitcase wheel. How petty of me.
       The signs I am in Europe are becoming more apparent- the iron fencing, the smaller cars with yellow liscense plates, the rain jackets and the fonts on the street signs. Am I glaringly American? Perhaps. I think the frustration I feel is the part of my identity I had wrapped up in my day to day places. In London, I still exist as a body, but suddenly as a foreigner- a grappling, slightly awkward stranger whose lack of direction is much more apparent than it is at home. Not a part of a community.
       There are lilacs blooming here too. Reminds me of John's and my recent walk in the rain- my tears blending with the moist air- induced by my obsession with my own stress and inadequacies - and John picking me a small lilac flower to make me feel better. He is genuinely sweet and eager to please. I wonder sometimes if I am too hard on him- I think I am hard on him because I am hard on myself. I asked him what he wanted to take away from my trip to London and he said "I need you to find contentment." He can profound at the most surprising times- so easily humbles me. I think I am still scared of him dying suddenly or leaving.
          Where am I going to work next? Where am I going to live? Where am I going to go to school and when? These are the worries I let the tube swish away as it travels to the heart of london. My worries blur and fade away into the blending of the tree leaves out the window. I feel like a wound up rag just being untwisted. Still damp to the bone- it is raining hard here. There- as I focus more on my surroundings rather than my inner musings- he starts to appear. First in the glints in the water on bicycle tires or in the sound of the tube clinking over the tracks. In peoples eyes and the the rust on the sign post. God is here as he is everywhere. I just haven't been willing to open up to him. Thank goodness for a new context where I am jostled up a bit. As I become increasingly aware and connected, contentment starts its osmosis into my being. In recognizing the divine around me, I start to feel more at home in London than I have in Minnesota for months. The beauty is apparent, the drumming in my head has slowed, and I- on two hours of sleep have finally started to wake up."

In a couple words, it is surrendering to wonder, and the beauty in the world- and then that as a reflection of God. In the course I was in today this was the quote that vibrated true with me:

"When we do what God wants we discover him inside of doing it. He wants all of us to discover his plan for unity for all people in him." -Jewish Participant

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Do you ever have that feeling that the things you rely on in life are crumbling down around you? That you have failed miserably at prioritizing what is truly important? That is my experience currently. And! My life is going really great! But my lifestyle is not sustainable.

I have had wild successes in my life recently. I have thrown myself into my current job, getting to work on some really cool projects and initiatives. I also got to go to TEDMED, which was a wild and crazy adventure I will never forget. With the help of many loved ones and friends I have raised $3000 dollars to go to Israel, with a huge fundraiser this summer upcoming to raise more. I am coaching my High School frisbee team and am succeeding at that- or at least investing lots of energy in it (which I love). I am flying to London in a week and a half which is beyond exciting. My relationship with John is going very well and we are on the same page and having a lot of fun together.

On the other hand! I feel I have let down my start-up and am not putting enough time into it, I am barely doing enough to support and love my immediate family, along with barely doing enough to satisfy my roomates around the house. I have definitely not been keeping up on this blog (for the first time this whole year! I have fallen behind this last month after doing it so religiously for 9 months!). And I am terrified because I still do not have a job to step into starting in July. I have not been in communication with or really taken the time to hang out with my close friends much. I have a seemingly insurmountable to-do list that I worry constantly misses some of the things I am responsible for. And I am not prioritizing my health lately either! And then- of course- what about God?

I met with a female business leader I admire greatly who shared this thought with me: "Do not strive for a balanced life. Strive for an integrated life." I loved that message, because I don't see balance as something even remotely possible. But integrated, maybe. How do I integrate prioritizing what is important- daily responsibilities, love for others, love for God- while striving for all of my big plans? Ambitions? How do I transition my feelings of being overwhelmed into dancing through life with a sense of ease, accomplishment and unity with the divine?

And I have nothing to complain about- really. Life is going really well for all outward appearances. I am just not following through on all I have committed to. I am not managing my time or money effectively. And I am realizing that when I do not feel on top of the multitude of things I am looking to prioritize I experience being disenchanted.

So that is where I am right now- and my experience. My eyes are open and watching to Miracles, and I am curious about what God has in store for me and is looking to teach me right now in my life.