Learn to dance in the rain : How to live through a transition

Learn to dance in the rain

Lately I’ve been talking to a lot of friends who are passing a moment of transition. Relationships ended or started, new jobs, new houses….

When you’re passing a moment like that, it feels like the earth is shaking under your feet, literally.

 

You feel like you’re walking on egg shells……

 

Because  each step is toward the unknown and this affect everything that goes through your mind and your heart.

I’ve also been in a big transition in the last year as you probably noticed , with a big change in the direction of my future career and it was like I opened Pandora’s vase.

All the old emotions that were buried inside of me for years suddenly came up to the surface, causing a lot of self-doubt , getting sick,  alternated by a whole lot of growth and little by little more clarity about who I am and what I want.

So if you’re feeling anything like that, this post is to tell you that it’s ok, it’s perfectly normal to experience all the roller coster of emotions you’re riding now. And you’re not alone.

We often look around and think that the world around us have it all figured out, but that’s not true. And we intrinsically know that but we don’t believe it sometimes.

The truth is that no one really knows. No one has all the answers you’re looking for .

So how can you live in this BIG MESS?

Good question!

I remember how few years ago I was stressing so much about interviews when I was looking for internships or when I was applying to my university degree and asking myself:

“Omg, what if I don’t like it? What if people are not nice with me? What if the job is too stressfull and I cannot handle it? What if I fail? Or what if I get bored?

And you know what, all of these predictions came true, I experienced all of them!

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How to really enjoy your summer holidays : Tips from my long-weekend in Portugal

enjoy your summer holidays

( Tree pose in the Rose garden at the Serralves museum )

On the line of my last post about travelling with intention, I’ve decided to put into practice my own tips and see how I could really enjoy my first holiday of the summer, a long-weekend in Porto, Portugal .

I was in Porto from a Friday to Monday afternoon, which was the perfect amount of time to really enjoy this little gem of city. For me it was a perfect choice to concentrate on visiting just one city, instead of doing a whole itinerary because it really gives you the time of savoring the place and melting with the local culture and people.

From this it comes my first tip to make your holidays more intention :

TIP #1 : DON’T OVER SCHEDULE YOUR TIME

I often hear people leaving for holidays with the plan of seeing as much as possible in a very short period of time, and I don’t share this point of view. I think that nowadays our lives are so busy and filled daily that filling up also your holiday time is a recipe to come back home more tired than when you left !

I can relate to the “fear of missing out” on things to see and do, but the truth us that this pressure is only in our heads, you don’t need to visit it all and very often when I pushed myself on the run to see as many monuments and places as possible, the result was that I could hardly remember them at the end, and all was left was pain in my feet and a vague memory of sweating under the hot sun queuing for who knows which tower/museum/insert your top place to see here!

HOW TO APPLY THIS TIP?

I’m not saying that you should not schedule anything in, in fact scheduling some fun activities or tours in your trip can be a great idea to try something new or visit something special like a wine tasting or as we did a surf class, but leave enough space for spontaneity so that you can get lost in the city. And don’t be afraid to just stop looking at the map and just wandering around ! I love the idea of just walking around and having enough time to get lost, and ending up by chance in a local fair or a super cool street discovered by turning the wrong way.

Not all those who wander are lost .J. R. R. Tolkien

It was by applying this tip that I turned the wrong way and ended up in the hipster street of Porto ( photo below ) , Rua Miguel Bombarda , full or art galleries and this awesome street art!

enjoy your holidays

( street art in the arty district at Rua Miguel Bombarda)

TIP #2 : DON’T EXPECT YOUR HOLIDAYS TO MAKE YOU HAPPY 

This is quite related to the previous point. Especially if you work hard all-year-long there is a high chance that you’re placing quite a lot of expectations on your time on holiday. You count the days missing, check the wheater forecasts a million times, and hope this holiday will give you ALL that was missing during your year. You basically create an utopia of how the place will look like and all the fun you’ll have. That’s quite a lot of pressure to place on a single holiday!

It often looks like getting on a plane all excited and then getting off and feeling suddenly disappointed because the landscape it’s not what you expected ( hint : what you saw on a disney movie/fabulous retouched photo someone online) and all your dream holiday hopes are gone already.

I have to admit that since I was a little girl I never placed much expectations on the places I visited. I was just showing up, big eyes open and enjoyed what was in front of me. But I saw a lot of family members or friends fall into the “expectation” trap and it was pretty sad to see how the place they visited didn’t correspond to the dream in their head.

HOW TO APPLY THIS TIP?

Simply don’t over research about the place you’re visiting and don’t look at too many photos. It’s ok to have a general idea of how the place will look like, but don’t binge watch photos and videos of other people visiting it before you!

Let your own experience be yours and unique, and let the city surprise you in unexpected way. Like when I ended up in one of the main squares of Porto and discover this amazing architecture !

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. M. Proust

Enjoy your holidays

( traditional architecture from Porto )

TIP #3 : PRACTICE BEING PRESENT 

The two previous tips really help this one. When you’re traveling at a slower pace and without expectations, being present is much easier.

It’s the presence that allows you to really soak in a beautiful view, savor a delicious meal or drink, and remember this experience in the future.

HOW TO APPLY THIS TIP?

The ways in which I intentionally practiced presence during my trip were :

  • Disconnect from technology ( and it wasn’t so hard since I didn’t have a constant internet connection and the battery of my phone died often) and use your phone only to take photos if you don’t have a separate camera.
  • Seat around . It basically mean don’t rush walking everywhere like you usually do on a Monday morning. Take a pause and just seat on a bench. Enjoy the view, eat an ice cream and just do NOTHING. This moment will probably be unforgettable.
  • Use all 5 senses : smell the flowers or the sea air, touch the trees and the details of a pretty door, ….
  • Take pretty photos : I’ve found the fact of stopping and taking a photo very mindful. Especially if you take the time of styling the photo a little bit !
  • Chat with the locals : apart form creating a beautiful cultural exchange, chatting with the local people allows you to just stop and observe,and learn from their lifestyles.
  • Keep a travel journal : writing a journal is a great way to remember what you have seen during the day and be grateful for your travels
Let others see their own greatness when looking in your eyes. M. Marti

Enjoy your holidays

( having a sangria in a cute café in front of the port)

TIP #4: BRING YOUR OWN ROUTINE 

I’ve learned the importance of this tip during the holiday, because after a couple of days I was feeling a bit off and tired.

When you travel your daily routine changes from the one at home. You sleep in a different bed, eat different food, at different times….

So it’s super important to bring with you a little morning routine similar to the one you do at home.

I have quickly found that my body was stiff and tight from walking around and the different climate and habitudes, so I re-introduced a shorter version of the yoga routine I do at home, even just 5 minutes of stretching with sun salutations do the trick and can put you back on track!

Another useful part of my routine at home is having breakfast quite soon after I get up. I cannot wait too long before eating. And this means that when you travel sometimes you cannot eat in your hotel room straight away, so it’s a good habitude to take some snacks and maybe tea bags with you on the journey so you always have something to grab in the morning and you’ll not find yourself walking around the city desperately looking for food!

HOW TO APPLY THIS TIP?

Before leaving for your holiday take a note of the things that help you feeling better in the morning at home. It may be exercise, journalling, eating a healthy breakfast…. So then you can get organized and take with you the essentials to make you stay more pleasant from the beginning of the day!

Enjoy your holidays

( warrior two in front of the gardens of the Palacio de Crystal )

Voilà! Hope you enjoyed the post and got some insights on how to travel with intention for your next trip, and don’t worry if you cannot apply all of them, just pick one and try it out! And let me know how it goes and what are the effects on your mood when you come back 🙂

With love and light,

Alessia

 

 

Travel with intention

travel with intention

The notion of living with intention is becoming more and more popular, so how can we bring more of it when we travel?

Travelling has always be a BIG part of my life.

When I was a little girl I used to daydream of going to exotic places all the time, and I spent  hours reading the travel guides in my grandfather office and I had the chance to travel quite a lot with my parents since I was very little, so I’ve gotten used to taking planes, feeling comfortable in airports and loved tasting all the different kind of foods!

During the last couple of years however, I realized that I had transformed travel as an escape from reality and my truth. It was the easiest thing to do, and I thought it was the solution to all my problems …

When I started to question myself and my choices one of the things that jumped quickly to my eyes was my habitute of moving arounf a LOT. Of changing home,city and sometimes country very easily.

SO I STARTED TO FEEL DISCONNECTED FROM TRAVELLING

After travelling to Asia for an exchange with my shcool two summers ago , I’ve started to notice how travelling for me didn’t have the same value as when I was that little girl.

I had lost my sense of wonder and incredible curiosity that I had before.

I clearly remember visiting with my parents and amazing garden in Asia and feeling….Nothing at all. It was clearly stunning and breath-taking, but it had no effect on me in that moment. I was spent and tired and all I wanted was to go home and be quiet. 

Another thing I noticed was that I started to be scared of flying, which was a feeling completely foreign to me, because I’ve always loved airports and planes. I literally felt like my feet wanted to stay on the ground and not up in the air, it was such a metaphor of my life in that moment!

What was the point of travelling without appreciating all the wonders around me?

None for me!

So I made a promise to myself to stop travelling as much as possible during the following year, or years if necessary until I had found back my energy and my desire again.

I felt a huge urge of being more stable and STILL , because I knew it was my way to face myself, face my limits and really discover what I wanted in life.

It was the start of a self-discovery journey and building a greater sense of HOME here in Paris, with my friends and community and most importantly inside of myself.  And really investing my energies in creating new projects ( like this blog and all the new passions I’m cultivating now) instead of wasting it in packing my stuff and moving houses around the country.

MY NEW DESIRE OF TRAVELLING WITH INTENTION

BUT ….. in the last few months something has changed . I’m feeling again the travelling vibe blossoming inside of me ! After being quite still for the last couple of years, with no desire to move unless it was a learning or “business” trip , I’m feeling that desire of discovering places and people again!

The colors, textures, the smells of a new country.

And I’m so happy it’s coming back, because I’ve always been a gipsy soul at heart!

My way of travelling now is adapted to the person I am today, so it’s a lot about travelling with intention.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN ?
  • Travelling slow and not rushing from one place to another trying to see EVERYTHING !
  •  Packing with care all i need to feel great , from little snacks to bring on the plane, to nice clothes to feel good in, a book, to all other essentials instead of packing one hour before and forgetting stuff ( I forgot my pijama 90% of the times before …)
  • Researching the destination and finding places to visit aligned with me, including healthy cafes, unique little corners of a city and avoiding the touristic spots as much as possible
  • Blend with the locals and go where THEY go, and create real human connections
  • BE PRESENT : Soaking up the experience and pausing enough to remember about it
  • Finally I think that travelling with intention means adding value to the places you visit as much as to your own world

I’m loving this idea of intentional travelling, and intentional living in general, so I’m gonna write more about it for sure in the future !

For now I pack for my amazing long-weekend trip to Portugal , holidays here I come 😃

Want to know more about travelling with intention ? Check out the blog of my friend Katie http://www.thetravellinglight.com which I interviewed here few months ago, it was one of my first inspirations for travelling in a different way !

Now it’s your turn, How do you like to travel? What’s your style? What do you get out of travelling? Share it in the comments below, I’d love to know !

With love and light,

Alessia

How to deal with Overwhelm

Overwhelm

Yesterday morning I woke up with a heavy weight on my chest and my throat closed down…..for apparently no reason. It’s been a few days that every morning I wake up in a completely wired state. I feel like I’m plugged to a PC with too many data and they all hit me as soon as I open my eyes.

Things to do, worries for the future, projects, shoulds and musts, all come at the same time leaving me feeling utterly OVERWHELMED .

It’s a feeling I know well because it’s been there many moments of my life.

It happens when too much it’s going on and I feel I cannot handle. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that I practically have more to do than usual, but it’s the importance of the decisions to make and not their number that affects me. It’s the emotional charge attach to it that creates that feeling.

Right now I have to decide what’s next in my life. Lots of chapters have ended and a new completely new chapter is opening up for me. Which is incredibly exciting and it involves lots of possibilities, and here it’s the key of overwhelm for me, it’s connected to the fact of having many opportunities and not being able to choose one direction for fear of missing out from the other ones. 

OVERWHELM definition on Thesaurus : to cause someone to feel sudden strong emotion

If you’re experiencing this feeling into your life right now, don’t worry, this too shall pass. I found this process very useful for me, maybe it will help you as well  :

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7 Life Lessons from Yoga Teacher Training

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In the last 9 months of my life something magical happened behind the scenes of this blog. No, it’s not what you’re thinking Well it kind of is in a certain way, because me and other 21 women went through a Yoga Teacher Training that taught us so many life lessons and today I decided to share some of them with you.

I had introduced my training at the beginning of October on the blog here , but then I haven’t talked much more about it after.

The reason is that I was fully living it, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share in writing, and also many times I’ve felt like I wasn’t “expert enough” to talk about such an ancient and sacred discipline. Who was I to talk about it?

But I was wrong, because that’s what yoga is all about, it’s a practice of union and connection, on and off the mat that will look different for every person and it’s so much wider than the sanscrit words, the asanas and the long history. It’s a living practice and each of us , including me, has the right to live it and interpret it in our own unique ways.

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So here are the 7 things I’ve learned in my yoga training this year :

It’s all about the breath

Since I’ve started this training I’ve had many people asking me what makes yoga different from stretching or other kinds of activities. And even if there is a lot more to it, since it’s not a sport but more of a lifestyle which encompass much more than just your body, I’ve found that most people could connect with the idea of the breath.

Yoga is really about combining each movement with an inhale and exhale. You breathe constantly and this allows you to really experience the practice and its effects on your body, to let the energy flow in each part of you and when you concentrate on the breath, you let go some of the mind chatter which you brought on the mat at the beginning, and create space, which is where the magic happens!

 

Your mat will always be there, no matter what

This is one of the top lessons that yoga gave me. That your yoga mat will be there, no matter what else happens in your life. That it’s a refuge, a safe space where you can go back regardless of your external circumstances.

I’ve spent quite a few periods of my life feeling like a flag, moving with the wind of the circumstances of my life. Where I lived, with whom I was spending my time, where I was studying and working, how my home looked like……and I really thought that I was dependent on these external things. That they had to give me what I needed to feel safe and well, and that if I was finding myself in a situation that was not ideal, I couldn’t be happy because something on the outside was going wrong.

But the yoga practice is a beautiful reminder that the only balance you can reach is the internal one. It’s a safe boat that is floating in the middle of a storm and you can get back on at any time.

And this makes you so much stronger because you are not attached anymore to the external events, as you know you can feel good in any case, you can unroll your mat and find your happy place again.

 

Yoga is a MIRROR 

When you take a yoga class, even if it is the first time you step on the mat, you quickly realize that yoga is a mirror of your own life.

What does it mean?

That when you’re practicing you’ll be face-to-face with all parts of yourself. And while in everyday life you can escape, finding distractions and bringing your attention elsewhere, you cannot do it on the mat!

So if for example you’re having a stressful day and you feel out of balance, there is a good chance that you’ll fall from a pose, that if you feel you’re over giving your energies to the people in your life, you’ll be too flexible or overstretching in some poses, or if you feel rigid and closed , you’ll probably pretty stiff that day.

That’s not an exact science, but they are just some example about how the practice will show you your strengths but also your weaknesses, and open doors that you were trying to hide from yourself, both mentally and physically.

 

It will look differently every day

This is very much related to the previous point.

Since your yoga practice evolves with how you feel that day, the way you will show up on the mat will affect your practice.

In my case this was so frustrating at first, because some days I was feeling in great shape, and maybe I was succeeding in a pose that was difficult for me, and the day after I was back to square one!

That’s why yoga is a PRACTICE and there is no goal to reach, no perfection to achieve.

 

Yoga is a lifelong journey

Many times in the last few months I was asked ” If you teach yoga it means that you master all the postures now?”

And the answer is of course NO! The training is just the beginning of a life-long journey, so the learning doesn’t end with the training, it’s quite the opposite actually.

My teaching today will look differently from my teaching in 1, 5 or 10 years and that’s the beauty of it. It will evolve with my own practice and experience on and off the mat, and that’s what makes it interesting.

It’s a bit like going to university and graduating thinking that you know everything about a subject, and then you go out into the real world and you discover that there is so much more to it than you could imagine!

 

Lot of self-acceptance and compassion
“Instead of a self-improvement project, rather learn to become a compassionate mess” – Dr. Paul D’Alton

This quote says it all! During the last 9 months I’ve been facing A LOT my inner critic on the mat. It was continuously beating up on me because my asana practice wasn’t good enough, and I thought that becoming a teacher meant having it all pulled together.

In other parts of my life I’ve never experienced much comparison and envy, so this was quite a novelty for me! And I’m not even talking about comparing myself with some Instagram celebrities , but it was present in my studio practice looking at teachers and students around me, and it wasn’t fun!

I’m very passionate about self-improvement ( as you can guess from the topics of this blog! ) but I’ve learned that the biggest step you can take to improve yourself is accepting you EXACTLY as you are right now!

So for me it’s been a constant exercise of going back to myself and be much more compassionate about my yoga and why I was there in the first place.

It was a lesson in humility and showing lots of kindness to myself because I’m perfect also when I fall out of my pose or I take my time to learn a new one!

 

Know your body, know your rhythm

Thanks to the yoga practice I’ve learned to listen to my body much more carefully and know when it wants to move and when it wants to rest.

In the past, when I was studying for example, I remember often feeling so nervous, I had this energy stagnating inside of me and I had no idea of how to move it around, I pretty much didn’t know that I COULD move it and change my mood very quickly. Now I feel much more aware of my body energy and I know that when I feel like that, I can stand up and move my body and this will change everything for the day!

Sometimes I’m sitting on my chair facing the laptop, and I feel my energy getting stagnant, nervous and I know that it’s time to move my body because this will move around my energy and in 10 minutes I will feel like a completely different person.

Probably that’s something that regular sporty people knows and that’s why they practice! But I’ve never felt so aware of it until now.

Vinyasa yoga is a very dynamic physical practice, but in the last year I’ve loved balancing vinyasa with other styles of yoga that focus on stillness and restoring the body in a different way, like yin and restorative yoga and I really loved them.

Especially as a woman, my body works in cycles and it’s so important to respect them and not pushing my body too far when it’s asking me to slow down.

I remember some weeks in which I was practicing a lot and I was becoming more anxious and annoyed, my body was clearly asking me to stop because I was loosing sight of the reason I was practicing , which was to feel more calm and clarity at the end of the class!

So this is a message for everybody and especially for women. The reason we have cycles is not there by chance! It’s a compass that our body is giving us to know when it’s the right time to be open and outgoing and when it’s time to slow down and nurture ourselves in a sweeter way.


So there are actually so many other lessons I’ve learned from this experience. I’ve started it as a big personal challenge and it was that and so much more, so for the sake of length I’m stopping here with this post 🙂

Now it’s your turn, Have you ever practiced yoga and experienced any of these life lessons? What did you learn from your yoga practice so far? What’s your motivation to go on your mat?

With love and light,

Alessia 

3 fashion tips to express your beautiful self this summer

Fashion tips

Giving fashion tips is not something I do a lot in this blog, and you may ask “What does my style has to do with my personal development?” , well as I discovered lately, A LOT more than you think !

Why this topic is so close to my heart at the moment ?

Because in the last few months when I envisioned the best version of myself during my meditations, a picture came up often in my mind where I was always wearing beautiful colorful dresses and accessories and this idea brought me so much joy!  The image wasn’t clear, it wasn’t connected to the fact of being stylish or trendy or fashionable but it simply felt like an important part of my self-expression.

And this whole idea shifted my own perception of style and beauty in general. 

What was my perception so far?

Honestly when I think about myself in last few years, at high school or university I’ve never felt someone super passionate about fashion and even less make-up and all the things correlated to beauty. I thought it was a superficial matter and I was all for what’s inside and not outside.

I remember in my early teeneage years I felt so strongly about wearing little or no make-up because I wanted people to love me for who I really was and not a mask I was putting on my face in the morning. And this was emphasized even more by the fact that I grew up in a country and environement where being stylish and perfectly pulled together is one of the most important things for a woman, and honestly I didn’t share this view so much!

It felt like a limitation in my freedom to put so much effort in the way I dressed and looked. For me it was coming from a place of fear, fear of being judged, fear of being considered less cool, less wealthy, less good looking than others.

That’s actually one of the reasons I enjoyed so much travelling to other countries where fashion rules didn’t seem so strict and each person was dressing up as they wanted, it simply felt so amazing and free, an expression of your personality and mood .

But recently my perspective on fashion has shifted completely and I discovered that there is another way to look at style and beauty…..

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Out of the comfort zone : Featuring Emily Chen

Emily Chen on the right

Out the comfort zone : Emily Chen on the right side

Out of the comfort zone The Interview series with Emily Chen

I decided to dive deeper in the topic of getting out of the comfort zone by interviewing some of the most inspiring people I met personally or got inspired online because of their courage of living a life they love and that challenges their comfort zone daily. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did chatting with them!


After a very long break ( which included graduating from my Masters and becoming a yoga teacher among other adventures!!) , I’m finally back on this little corner of the internet and I couldn’t be happier to be here.

As you may remember some months ago I’ve started a interview series to some inspiring ladies I met in the last couple of years, If you missed them out you can read more here and here for the previous two interviews.

Today’s guest is a very lovely lady, Emily Chen, which I had the pleasure of meeting here in Paris few months ago when I was participating in this project called “The World we Want” , which I talked more about in this post  last year. She was part of the organization of the project in the US and she was starting a journey around the world passing also by Paris!

So let’s dive in ……


First of all, tell us something about yourself, who is Emily Chen ?

Haha, that’s a BIG question! I can’t say that I know everything about myself, but I do know where I am right now and what motivates me right now.

I was born in Shanghai and grew up in the US mostly in the midwest. Because of the challenges we faced moving to the US, I became very passionate about global health, social justice and women’s empowerment issues.

I also was a very quiet and artsy kid. But I was raised in a very traditional immigrant household… so naturally I majored in Biology in university with the intention of being a doctor.

After two years of working in the healthcare system, I very quickly realized it wasn’t for me and I craved a change. I switched into start-ups because I was curious about it. I learned a lot about start-ups and entrepreneurship in the past two years.

But I’ve always been an artsy and creative kid. I’ve always loved my paintbrushes and Photoshop and design and art. I’ve always loved bringing people together over food. I’ll always be passionate about global health and women’s empowerment.

So that’s where I am now, trying to mix all three of those together and see what I get!—I’m currently doing freelance design, illustration and branding work as I’m currently traveling. And I’d love to do creative work (design, strategy) for a food or lifestyle brand that has very clear vision, mission, and process towards social impact.

 

What is your definition of getting out of your comfort zone?

Doing anything that makes me feel both nervous and excited — which can be a physical activity.

But I’ve realized the actions that take me mostly to that uncomfortable edge are more the things that I’m revealing/confronting from the past or the things I’m creating that are meaningful and close to my heart.

Putting that out there can be risky and scary — what if it’s not the right thing/time. What if they don’t like it… gahh, will they not like me?! Irrational, I know. But we all have these thoughts 🙂

 

Is there something you did in the past that looked very brave from the outside, but it was actually “comfortable” for you?

Moving. For me it’s easy to move… I’ve moved so much throughout my life. Sometimes I find it harder to stay in one place 🙂

 

When is the last time you did something out of your comfort zone? What was it?

Taking this leap and going into freelance design and illustration work. I’ve gotten some great reception and honestly wish I hadn’t let my fears of Not Enough let me start sooner. I am happy to be starting now. Each leap of saying ‘Yes’ to new work and a new client has been scary… but I’m learning that you don’t need to be 100% perfect to start.

Honestly where would we all be if we waited until we were perfect to start?!

 

Do you have some rituals / routines helping you build up courage in these moments ?

Yes, and this trip has made me pick up more grounding rituals. Traveling long term is great but also can get exhausting. It’s nice to be able to have a set place called home and not live out of a suitcase all the time. So since the exterior is moving and never the same, I’ve started creating more of a meditation practice and yoga practice so that I feel more settled within myself wherever I am or whatever new project I’m taking on.

Also, I would recommend a daily gratitude practice.

 

What are you secretly scared about? Something that may seem small in your daily life, but you know it would make a big difference in your life?

Raising my hand, asking for help, talking about myself. I feel like this comes a lot from how I grew up culturally. And also as working women we feel like we should always “ Have it all together” all the time (which is nuts! but that’s another conversation entirely!). But raising my hand, asking for help and talking about my work is so paramount to working as a creative, to working and freelancing. That’s why I’m so grateful for organizations like StartingBloc and Dreamers & Doers.

When the path is unclear, surround yourself with lovely people who have been there and can help you.

 

Last year you left you job in New York to go after your dream of traveling around the world, in this journey you did a lot of things out of your comfort zone. What is the step you’re most proud of so far? And what was the motivation to finally take the leap?

Becoming more comfortable with myself and knowing I have a story to tell. It sounds odd but I feel like that’s what I’ve been the most proud of so far. The exterior has continually changed but I’ve become more confident and at ease with myself which has allowed me to let go of certain things and move into the direction I want to next. This is definitely still a work in progress… but now I’m realizing how much I need to prioritize it 🙂

The motivation to leave NYC has been there for a few years. The energy of NYC can be hectic and I realize now that it just wasn’t working how I was working. That compounded with me feeling stuck in my creative progression and also stuck and exhausted in confronting certain family issues that had been surfacing that year made me realize it was long overdue to take a break and take better care of myself.

My hard deadline was a one-way ticket I had booked so that I couldn’t keep rationalizing why I needed to stay is such a frenetic place—don’t get me wrong, I love NYC, I loved (and dearly miss) the people I met and the creative energy of the city. But now I only will go back in small doses 🙂


Wow!! Emily’s story is incredibly inspiring and brave and I could resonate with so many of the things she talked about.

Like me she funnily found moving around so easily , even more than staying in one place, and I can see as well the power of understanding that balance is an inner work and it’s independent from the external environment. And this is hard to build but so freeing at the same time because it takes you out of thinking ” What if it’s better someone else? What if I’ll be happier and find my answers in the next destination?”

Now it’s your turn : What were the highlight of this interview for you? Will you apply any of these tips in the near future? Keep me updated in the comments below or social media so we can continue this conversation. 

With love and light,

Alessia 

Something more about our guest ….

Emily Chen’s current location is Melbourne in Australia !

Connect with her on her beautiful blog : http://emcwanders.com/

Visual inspiration on her Instagram account : http://instagram.com/emcwanders/

Why you need meditation and a support network to get out of your comfort zone

Meditation and support networkIN THIS BLOG SERIES I WILL GO THROUGH SOME OF THE EXPERIMENTS AND EXPERIENCES I WENT THROUGH ( AND STILL GOING THROUGH DAILY ) ON HOW TO BREAK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND WHAT MY LIFE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS TAUGHT ME ABOUT IT.

I HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU ON YOUR OWN PATH !


Hey there! How did the creative process go?

In the last article I left you browsing through options and get creative with the possibilities around you that will allow you to get out of your comfort zone in small and big ways.

Today I will help you move further with a beautiful way to select the best option to choose among the many possibilities you found in the process.

So take pen and paper and just make a list of all the options you have considered so far for that particular issue. Some of them will be more appealing than others. Your mind will be running fast looking for the options that are less scary for you because it wants you to play small and stay in your comfort zone.

But I invite you to a different approach, meditate on them!

MEDITATE TO SELECT THE BEST OPTION

You have probably heard me talking about meditation before here and there in other posts, and it’s because this practice is very simple and accessible and life changing! ( I’ll write a whole post about my experience with starting a meditation practice very soon!).

Why meditation is effective in this case? It’s because even if the most immediate benefit of meditation is to feel relaxed and clear your mind from the clutter of the day, it is also a beautiful tools to get some answers from your intuition about some decisions you have to take, both big and small.

How do I know? Because it happened to me many times that during a meditation ( and usually my meditations are pretty short, like 5 or 10 minutes ), by clearing my mind and freeing some space I was receiving some information coming to my mind, for example :

  • Suddenly remembering where to find an object that I had been looking for ages 😉
  • Or thinking of a specific person that I haven’t seen for long and having a desire to catch up for a coffee
  • Remembering appointments that I was forgetting about or things do to
  • And even more exciting, having great creative ideas flowing to me
  • AND if I had a decision to take that was stressing me out for a few hours or days ( or more..) , I have usually had the right answer coming to me during a meditation. And it often wasn’t the most comfortable answer, the one that my mind wanted to hear in that moment, but it was the one that FELT good in my heart.

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Get creative to get out of your comfort zone

Get creative

Get creative to get out of your comfort zone

IN THIS BLOG SERIES I WILL GO THROUGH SOME OF THE EXPERIMENTS AND EXPERIENCES I WENT THROUGH ( AND STILL GOING THROUGH DAILY ) ON HOW TO BREAK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND WHAT MY LIFE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS TAUGHT ME ABOUT IT.
I HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU ON YOUR OWN PATH !

In the last post I shared with you the power of keeping a journal and use it to explore that aspect of our life that we want to overcome to get out of our comfort zone. Journalling allows you to get clarity about what it’s holding you back, what are the reasons tha make this step so hard to take , but also why making that step is so important to you and all the benefits that you’ll get by taking that small or big leap of faith!

So what’s next ?

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEAR

The next step is to acknowledge that the fear and anxiety you’re feeling is perfectly normal. You’re human and as human beings we like to be in our comfort zone, it feels safe and we naturally spend a lot of time in there. But you know very well that it’s not the place that will make you grow and bring your life on the next level.

By aknowledging that being scared is absolutely ok, you can get awareness around the fear and look at it straight in the face as something that it’s only a small part of you, not something that defines your identity and manage your life’s decisions. 

The advantage of this step?

By journalling and aknowledging yourself you’re automatically taking time to slow down and feel in control of the situation.

You’re now able to break it down into smaller and less scary pieces.

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The art of journalling to get out of your comfort zone

journalling

Journalling to get out of your comfort zone

IN THIS BLOG SERIES I WILL GO THROUGH SOME OF THE EXPERIMENTS AND EXPERIENCES I WENT THROUGH ( AND STILL GOING THROUGH DAILY ) ON HOW TO BREAK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND WHAT MY LIFE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS TAUGHT ME ABOUT IT.
I HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU ON YOUR OWN PATH !

How to take the plunge and do something that scares you ?

In the last post of the series I left you with the first step to get out of your comfort zone, which is awareness, because it all starts from there!

So how did it go? Did you find a situation that feels comfortable but it’s blocking you from growth and expansion, or something that you’re carefully avoiding because it makes you vulnerable and you haven’t been ready to face it yet?

Great! Today I want to guide you to the following step to actually take the plunge and do something that really scares you :

JOURNAL ABOUT IT

This steps may seem trivial, but it’s actually very powerful. I’ve always been the little girl always carrying a journal with me. Writing it’s so healing for me and it has always been my favorite mean for self-expression and for figuring things out!

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