Learning How To Do Life Again

Nov 30, 2018

Photograph by Lea Haas

Forging new paths, but still holding onto the pieces of who you are

I know I’m a grown woman, running a thriving business and raising a child as a single mom — but I’m also learning how to do life — differently, more expansively and on my own terms. In many ways, it’s about time. But we are where we are…and I believe we must trust the timing.

There are many reasons why we can find ourselves at pivotal thresholds. They are the times that we get stopped in our tracks so that we can recollect the lost pieces of ourselves. Sometimes it’s because of some upheaval like illness, a financial shake-up or the end of a love relationship, etc.

Finding your way home is about remembering what’s important to you — heeding the call deep within that reaches out to you and says, Hold on a minute. This isn’t the sum total of who you are. You’ve veered off path.

And boy did I veer off my path. While my story is dramatic in the sense of losing self, I share it because I know I am not alone — and more than anything, I want you to find your way back onto your own if you’ve strayed.

It’s been a year since I stepped out of a 33-year relationship where I had completely lost myself. In many ways I had stopped thinking for myself, stopped connecting to my needs, my intuition, my dreams. It was my version of self-betrayal. We find big and small ways to do this all the time. We sidestep our needs, stop challenging beliefs and release all that is unique and wonderful and absurd about ourselves.

Let’s not waste all that amazingness — the world needs more of our crazy, unique and even quirky beauty.

For me, after not traveling for 30 years, my soul screamed out to me…adventure, adventure, adventure. And this new, emboldened me was giddy at the prospect, seriously giddy. It started with a bucket list. Be it a journal, a vision board or a declaration — start your engines. Declare what you want, where you want to go (and don’t worry about the details).

I didn’t know how it was all going to work out, but traveling to Iceland was on my bucket list. I was determined to connect to the essence of who I am and my thirst to release the trapped explorer inside.

I also began to recognize the daunting responsibility of needing to set an example for my daughter. There’s nothing quite like being a parent to bring forth a bit of reflection. Was this the way I wanted to show her how to do life? Did I want this for her? She became a great and powerful mirror.

I want to show her that there is a way to do life differently. I want to show her to honor herself, her desires and her interconnectedness to the planet. I wanted to demonstrate that by doing that, life would be full and true — that she won’t have to try to find her way home decades later as a result of having ignored who she is.

But I also want her to know that if (and when) she veers off her own life path — she can course-correct and find her way home.

So off to Iceland we went — for a trip of a lifetime. For my daughter, True, it was the first time on a plane and for me, it was an undeniable confirmation that I am a traveler at heart and that mystery, discovery and newness are fuel to my soul.

And while my core remains the same with a love and devotion to God, nature, animals and relationships — I approach them and honor them all with a broadened lens.

For me, recognizing that it was time to pack my bags and hit the road (literally and figuratively) opened a whole new life that it was time to step into.

Yes, some things have changed and are new — but I have brought myself along for the ride.

And speaking of which — standing in vegan shoes while traveling is not always easy, especially when traveling abroad. I want to share a few tips that were helpful for our trip to Iceland that may help you in your travels.

You may think this is silly, but according to Anthony William aka the Medical Medium, in his book, Life Changing Foods — if you travel with a date in your pocket, you will always find your way to the food you need. While I didn’t travel with one literally in my pocket — I made sure to add a container of them to the mix of snacks I was bringing along for the trip. My healthy bag of tricks included green powders, protein bars, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.

Before leaving, I researched vegan options. Though there weren’t many, the ones we visited were awesome, like Kaffi Vinyl in Reykjavik. True to its name, the DJ spinning, the good eats and the awesome service was exactly what my body needed. Maybe it was the ‘lucky’ date…who knows, but I left full in more ways than one.

Another thing in my bag of travel tricks was an ‘On The Go’ kit my naturopath, Dr. Lainy Reicher of Vital Health of Woodstock put together for me before leaving. It was chock full of natural ingredients to keep us fortified and strong during our travels — and that it did. Just having it with me made me feel healthy.

On The Go Ingredients:

  • Immutec — to boost and support immune system during travel
  • Airline pesticide oil — to protect you from airplane pesticides
  • Melatonin — to combat jetlag
  • Motion Sickness — a tablet to ease travel sickness
  • Arnica — for bruising
  • Rescue Remedy — for stress relief
  • Ginger Capsules — for stomach health, digestion, nausea
  • Wo Oil — to combat impending flu symptoms
  • Optique — to aid irritated eyes
  • Slippery Elm — a throat remedy
  • Isatis Gold — to offset health vulnerability at the onset

At the end of the day, it’s about being prepared, being open yet standing in your conviction. I brought my vegan self along for the ride and checked something off my bucket list. It was an incredible month!

I send you expansive love as you listen to your own inner wisdom. Trust where it’s leading you…you never know…besides, Iceland is only a 5 ½ hour flight away!

—Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Cafe Woodstock


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