Cultivating Insignificance; Greetings from Ubud
*Originally published on March 7, 2017*
“Find something that inspires you every day.”
A quote usually paired with a sunset photo on my Pinterest feed more times than I can count. Recently however, I’ve taken this cliche as a call to action. Regardless of our environment, whether it’s Bali, New York, or Atlanta, I’ve realized there are so many small, yet significant aspects of our day that are overlooked instead of cultivated. That because they’re part of our routine, we choose to walk past them without a second thought.
Waking up with a conscious decision to keep half an eye out for it, but more importantly acknowledging it, has the power to not only change your day, but also the attitude of those around you. It, can truly be anything: a smile from a stranger, the way the sun hits your windowsill succulents when you’re having morning coffee, (@Izzy Z), or even the pure hilariousness of whatever people have managed to carry with them on the subway (…a lamp? @Kate W). Yesterday, I found myself smiling on my way home from work when I saw a family of four on a motorbike with a sleeping infant tucked in the middle. Today, I regained a little faith in the goodness of people when an Italian fellow I previously met only in passing decided to sit next to me when eating at the same restaurant. Things that have all become a part of my normal routine here in Bali, but for some reason, stood out.
Whatever it is, when you begin to feel that warmth of an inner smile, cultivate it. Write it down. Stop what you’re doing and ask yourself: Why did this come into my life today? Why am I choosing to notice this? Being conscious of what inspires me, what stimulates even a half grin, has been a huge step in developing self-awareness during such a transient time. Looking out for the little things has made the bigger things; the “what comes next”, a lot less scary. Most importantly, I’ve found that creating significance in the insignificant sparks gratitude when I tuck myself into bed. Maybe this is all coming from spending a bit too much time alone, but maybe, taking an extra step to reveal the beauty of what lies front of me is the reason I haven’t felt alone at all.
As I’ve settled into my new home (for now) in Ubud, Bali, things have slowed down and a daily routine has brought me the comfort and clarity I missed while backpacking. I finally have time (outside of my GREAT internship!) more about that later) to reflect, sit down with my laptop and bring this tiny corner of the internet into focus. Contemplating how I want my posts and writing style to play out, and what I want people to gain when they spend time reading what I have to say. My “Inspo” google doc hasn’t seen this much activity in years. Whether my posts are retroactive, drawing upon the “this can’t be real” moments I experienced in the Philippines, or if they focus on the present, highlighting the people I meet in Ubud who spark new ideas for adventure, I hope that visiting my corner of the internet helps you acknowledge and cultivate the small and overlooked beauty of your everyday life.
If you’re here and have taken the time to read this to the end, you’re probably someone I care about a lot. Send me a message, email, reach out if you feel a warmth in your heart from something you’ve seen a hundred times before. Maybe what inspires you in your day will help notice something different in mine.
All my love