There are few places that grant you access to real quiet.
The truly muted silence that only exists in nature. This was never a calling to me until recently. I used to yearn for places with anything but peace. The more there was to constantly stimulate and entertain me, the better. I couldn’t even be in the car without having the radio on or fidgeting with my phone. I tried to fill each crevice in my life with anything to keep me from experiencing myself.
Around a year ago is when I began to crave quiet. My consciousness was so clouded that I felt a constant anxiety without knowing why. I would try and sit on my balcony, but all I felt was mental jitter. At the time, I wasn’t doing what fulfilled me. However, my job was a great one with a wonderful company. My living situation was a bit uncomfortable, sure, but I did live in a lovely apartment overlooking the stunning Miami ocean. This indecision as to why I felt such a hole in my heart led me to clean house. Little by little, I began to make a shift. I’d get in the car and opt for silence leaving my phone in a purse and the radio off. I’d make an effort to welcome my innermost thoughts. It was uncomfortable at first. My inner voice, who was pretty much a bag of douche, would fire off negativity and worry.
Eventually, this space that I opened up led me to make small decisions towards being who I wanted to be. Those gradually snowballed into bigger choices, which led me to live a life completely on purpose. This is what I’m thinking of as I sit in our cabin porch staring out at trees, the small pond, wandering deer and horses. The view is breathtaking, but the silence can be deafening. It is in fact so quiet, I can hear my mind. And my mind is really loud right about now.
I wasn’t expecting this when we drove up to the cabin in Okeechobee, FL. I was proud of myself for craving the rest. Earlier this year, my inclination had been to fight the nothingness and relaxation while traveling. Gradually as I made certain shifts in my life, my yearnings followed suit and I welcomed the chill. However, as I sip coffee and watch the turkeys tiptoeing through the field, I am reminded that I need to constantly check in with myself. We all do.
Living a life pursuing your purpose doesn’t mean you’ve arrived and are done doing the work. There is no destination you get to in life, you are in constant flux.
This cabin with its comfortable, cozy furniture and warm wooden earth tones is exactly what I needed to jolt me back to this realization. Even living a life on purpose, stress finds its way in.
Regardless of what you do, you need moments of pause and reflection. The past few months have been the happiest professionally and personally for me. I moved in with an incredible man who constantly loves and supports me, and I began a company with another incredible human being who I get to speak with every day while we create our dream. . . and these blessings made me feel guilty for ever stopping.
In my previous roles, the second the clock struck 6 PM I firmly drew that line. I may have gone home and continued to work more, but at that moment a disconnect was necessary in order to keep producing quality work. However, when I began to do what I love, there seemed to be no distinction between taking a break and working. When 6 PM rolls around, I feel I need to keep drumming away. Somewhere inside I felt guilt for following my dreams. Time cannot be wasted. I realize as I look down at my steaming cup of coffee that I’ve been up at 6 AM and going to bed between 12 and 1 AM working for the past few months.
The mental chatter in my head being amplified by nature’s silence isn’t necessarily negative. But it is loud. It isn’t at peace. I obviously have not allowed myself to disconnect and in a city where there is no real quiet, my thoughts blended into the background noise and I hadn't noticed.
Disconnect is necessary always. No matter what you’re doing. I know that at times it can be extremely uncomfortable to listen to your thoughts. But trust me, this does go away and eventually you will get so much out of it.
This cabin getaway granted me that realization and the opportunity to seriously take a step back guilt free. If you are currently working towards your passion, don’t forget to do this. Even if you are not yet earning an income, release that pressure and take breaks. If you are working and still figuring out how to live more aligned with your purpose, taking pauses to reconnect with yourself is essential as well.
Time spent with yourself in nature gives you access to those concrete next steps. The answers you seek come when the mind is still. Somewhere inside you is that knowledge you need to either take your career to the next level, break out of it altogether and start your own business or whatever those appropriate moves are to get you to your calling. Sometimes it begins with an inexplicable uncomfortableness, other times it’s more defined but you may feel helpless about what to do with that information. There are definitely concrete things you can do to change any situation, but the first one is always the same. Check in with you. Become aligned with your inner chatter. Sometimes, you can do this at home. Other times it works better to physically get away and choose a destination like this charming cabin in the middle of the Okeechobee woods.
Have you taken a similar cottage-styled getaway? Do you struggle with monkey brain and how to clear that mind space? Slip us some comments below! We’d really love to hear about it.