Black Forest, Baden Baden, Germany

Choose life paths with no clear ending: what Germany, heartbreak, and solo travel taught me.

The past few months have been symbolic, both literally and figuratively, of running down paths without knowing where they will lead. I’m decidedly calling it ‘pleasure’ and creative research. I’d find myself running up and down trails in Germany where the road would split and it wasn’t clear to me where to go next.

One would think that running wouldn’t feel stressful or that it’s easy to run on trails because you simply follow the markers.

But sometimes the markers aren’t easy to read.

Sometimes you want to go into the woods and off the main path and it’s not clear how you enter the forest, how long this particular path is (if it’s a path at all) and if it is a path, are you prepared enough to run the full thing? Do you have enough water, time (is the sun setting), or the proper shoes?

Once I decided it didn’t much matter which way I went, and gave myself permission to turn around if need be, I began to feel more at ease with “making the wrong decision”.

There were dozens of times I felt called to investigate paths that turned out to be the opposite of what I had anticipated.

They were dead ends.

They led me to beautiful views or open spaces to practice qi qong in.

They led to me into the woods.

Sometimes, after 45 minutes into a run when the sun would begin to set, I would feel nervous. The markers weren’t as prominent and I felt lost.

And yet, every single time that happened, I was a mere 10 minutes away from the “end” of the path.

I’m learning that really, there are no wrong turns (tweet it).

#100dayproject, Instagram

As I have began to run everyday and incorporate qi qong and meditation into my daily routine, I’ve felt more relaxed and creative. Learning to consciously embark on paths with no ending in sight has opened something up in me that’s deeply enjoyable and grounding.

While traveling, I began doing #the100dayproject on Instagram to channel this creativity and use it as a source of active meditation. It’s one of the most enjoyable nuggets of wisdom from my travels thus far. If you’re not familiar with Elle Luna’s #the100dayproject, I highly suggest you check it out.

You are so lucky. I could never do that.

People have told me how lucky I am and how envious they are of my traveling. And you’re right; I’m super blessed.

But I had to seemingly lose *everything* to land to where I am today. I fought against what got me here, and in some ways am still resisting it, thinking I knew better than the universe. We all do it on some level, right?

“Losing” everything over the course of a year and having a whopper of an exit from San Francisco was what it took for me to realize just how truly blessed I am. And, how truly small of a life I was playing.

It took saying ciao to a job, a booming business, 2 boyfriends, my home in Brooklyn, 3 family members and a massive chunk of my identity.

When your sense of security is shaken and broken down to its core, something shifts. I was so concerned with things like my savings account, my Roth IRA and health insurance before I left San Francisco. I never felt like I was in the right place or doing the right thing. I was stressed about money and yet now, with no formal salary per say, I feel free as a bird.

And generous, I’m so much more generous with myself and others. Sometimes I think losing is easier than “gaining”, because we’re forced to our knees in humility. We fight less and accept more and it’s in those moments that life begins to flow.

MUCH OF WHAT WE CONSIDER OUR REALITY IS A SET OF DEEP-ROOTED ILLUSIONS WE MISTAKE FOR TRUTH (TWEET IT).

As you begin to peel away the untruths, layer by layer, something profound emerges. Unmistakable. Subtle even.

It’s worth seeing. It’s worth finding under the muck and disorder of our lives.

And she’s so often seen lingering on the other side of a path with no clear ending.


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Originally published at www.viralalita.com.