Monday, May 2, 2016

Thriving in Movement

My last week in Nepal and I feel the heaviness of the pre-monsoon heat begin to weigh on me--the heat and smog trapped in the atmosphere create a haze that hangs over everything. You can't quite see anything clearly through the thickness of it, and it makes for a terrible environment for doing anything productive. Landlocked and hazy-headed--no one can thrive in this environment. I think I might have read that in a guide book.

Moving through the world at this slow pace, I've been able to get a better idea of what environments I thrive in best--where I find that perfect equilibrium of productivity and relaxation, where I'm never too restless or bored. In the past 4 months, I have moved across India and Nepal living in six very different towns and situations, and I have found ways to thrive in each of them. I could have lingered in some places to see how long my momentum would last, and in others, I knew it was time to move on. But was it the place that I was thriving in or the movement from place to place?

"The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar to heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements free as they are insignificant. What shall we choose? Weight or lightness?" Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

It's been ten years since I first read The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and this quote still catches up to me. I took note years ago that the longer I stay in one spot the heavier my life becomes, and over time, I stop thriving. The burden of those things that begin to weigh a person to one place becomes overwhelming, and it can really start to take a toll on the psyche.

Of course, this isn't everyone's reality. Some folks can find their niche and thrive through the heaviness. I have not been able to do this--time and experience have taught me that this way of life is not for me. I need movement to thrive. I can stay for a long while in some places, but ultimately, I will need to move on to continue to grow. I will need to shed the burden and take flight again.

Sometime we don't thrive in the place we were born, or we move somewhere and thrive for awhile, but once we reach a point, we stop and need to move on. Or we simply stop resonating with a particular place because we've grown and changed. For me, it's perfectly natural to move around in the world, to find those places I resonate with and can thrive in.

What makes you thrive? Does it have to do with place--have you found your niche where you can thrive long term in one spot or do you need movement?

Signing off from the ancient land of Nepal which, by the way, has the most incredible landscape of any place I've seen in my entire life. Tomorrow night I finally leave for tropical Southeast Asia where I'll spend the rest of the year. First stop: Bali! 


Sarah Mackota said...

Wow. Really loved reading this, Sarah. Thank you for sharing. I've always been a traveler myself and have struggled with staying in one place. I love movement, yet realized recently that I thrive most when I feel supported and creative. Environment IS HUGE. So is community. Happy you're gathering wisdom and insight from
This epic journey. Much love!

Tanya Edwards said...

My thriving depends upon creation and self care. Regardless of my location if I dedicate the time to taking proper care of myself through diet, exercise and meditation as well as taking moments to create art I can thrive. I can navigate my life with feelings of joy if all these elements are present. That being said, traveling, camping, exploring this planet refreshes my passion to keep these things going. It reminds me that the world is so much bigger then the bubble I choose to surround myself with. Sometimes I really need this reminder. Thanks for sharing what makes you thrive! I'm glad you uprooted from Santa Cruz and chosen thrive.

srihari said...

I've been gratefully and happily reading your posts Sarah, I just had to comment on this much resonance for me. I LOVE the Kundera quote...perfect words to capture the unburdened joy of movement. I seem to be finding an internal movement that is keeping me going as I re-engage with my home in Blue Lake CA...a home that I have always had one foot out the door of, it seems, even though I've lived here mostly on and sometimes off for the past 15 years. Now that I am starting my work in the community as a psychotherapist, work that I trained hard for and am particularly well suited for, I approach all the old familiar burdensome realities with a new spirit and fresh eyes, a steam in my stride, that seems to be the 'inner travel' that I truly need, even though it's very likely that my external traveling on any big scale is to be grounded for a good long while. So many ways to move, is what I'm trying to get at here :)

Sarah Seymour said...

Thank you! I agree--the people that make up the community in the environment is just as important as the environment :) It took me awhile to catch on to that one!

I also love the fact you're a dancer--a traveling dancer! Now, that's ultimate movement :) Much love to you too!

Sarah Seymour said...

Thank you for sharing! Yes, I agree--those things are super important :) Even when traveling, if I don't take care of myself, I can't thrive. That's a good reminder too :)

Sarah Seymour said...

Hi! I was wondering what happened to you! How long were you in Goa? Did you stay in Anjuna the whole time? I ended up not leaving Arambol at all! I loved it there so much!

I agree. It is good to be grounded somewhere for a bit to practice those ways of inner travel between the external movement of traveling. I was in Santa Cruz for 12 years before I set off on this journey so it was long overdue. I am truly getting so much out of it!

Thank you for sharing! Keep in touch!

Letitia Vaughan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Seymour said...

Hi Letitia! Thank you for reading :)

And yes, I would most definitely read your journal posts if I knew they existed! I had no idea you had a blog! I've never seen anything about it on facebook or received any link to it :(

I'm also doing a swap series! I'm going to be sharing blogs and websites with folks who will share mine if you're interested in doing something like that :) Let me know where I can find your posts!