This year started with the plan to volunteer 3 months in Thailand at Peace Revolution HQ’s office. What it started as 3 months has became the whole year traveling and learning things, that’s why i took inspiration to write 12 things to stay more on the present moment and live happier than before.
The plan was fare enough: volunteer, discover the thai culture and learn thai massage. Suddenly one day before taking my flight to Thailand some projects dropped out so at that time I realized that I had nothing to do to come back any soon, that’s how my journey started as 3 month plan and is finishing this year on the road.
It would be a lie if i say that this year was perfect, but I can say that this year has thought me that life is impermanent and we need to be ready to deal with all kind of challenges. But more you learn how to live the present moment you will master any kind of challenge and make it a success for your life.
- Enjoy food.
Take your time to recognize the flavors on your mouth. This apple crumble made me have some tears of joy. One of my discoveries this year was the vinaigrette you can make with strawberries for your salad which I totally felt in love. Thai food is always delightful but for those who doesn’t like spicy food like me you need to learn how to moderate spiciness on your plat every day.
- Do something that you have never done before.
This year I learned how to not plan one day trips with new friends and how losing yourself in the middle of the mountains in Chiang Mai (North of Thailand) you can find such an lovely family of elephants. Ride a scooter or a motorbike from time to time.
- Money comes and money goes.
Use your money wisely and more if you don’t know the length of your travel. Use your skills to help or even better to have a job for those times when money is scarce. I gave thai massage on my journeys and also I made a pair of gloves to a friend with icelandic yarn, for example.
- You are not a super woman, sometimes you need to ask help, accept your vulnerability and ask your family or friends for help, they always be there. Don’t be ashamed of and be grateful for it, sometimes you never know who will help you.
- Wake up early every single morning. You can catch a beautiful sunrise on your birthday or any other day.
6. Do exercise.
Chose your favorite one and practice it every day. I love yoga and my achievement this year was the headstand.Thanks to Angie and Katie who inspired me to continue my journey as a yogi.
7. Disconnect from the net…
And mostly when you have free time with your friends or family. There are some moments we don’t need to have a conversation about life, we can enjoy those moments being without the necessity to have a phone next to us and just because of the pleasure we can enjoy sharing good ideas from books or go to the library with your best friend to enjoy smelling books.
8. Buy a color book and paint everywhere.
One weekend after a long walking to the mall I arrived to a bookstore and found plenty of coloring books including mandala books and i my first thought was i need one of those. So i bought one book and some markers and start coloring right away, Since then I’ve been coloring on planes, trains, coffee shops and is one of the best times to just enjoying the time having fun and forget everything else. One of my best decisions of the year.
9. Take a pause.
The daily routine is not always smoother as we imagined before. This year has thought me that sometime it is better to take a pause from the job and right away take a taxi to have lunch with your friends. Or if the weather is too hot go back to your room and take a shower. Taking a pause is not only to stop doing what you are doing at the moment is also to take a deep breath to focus your mind on the present moment so you can continue doing what you were doing before, the key is to be aware when you need a pause and make it happen.
There is time to make a pause and also time to make this pause a little bit bigger to meditate. I usually wake up early to meditate and before going to sleep. Definitely meditation is one of the things I have practice more during this year and once you understand the benefits of the practice and the awareness that brings you to the present moment is not easy to stop.
11. Ride a bike to get around the city… or motor bike.
Because riding a bike is fun and even better when is one of the activities you can do on the way to the office or the way to come back home. Riding a bike recalls your inner child and it can be a good time to be playful and enjoy the moment feeling the air passing over your body. Even if it rains you can still enjoying the way back home.
12. Take a long walk or even better, encourage your friends to do some kicking.
One day I proposed to my friends to take a good walk from the city center of Chiang Mai to the Doi Suthep temple. We took a look on the map and it was around 17 km, and for the 3 of us was ok. We woke prepared our things and started with our 5 hour journey. We made some pauses visiting other temple, taking a good cup of coffee, laying down on the grass on the middle of the hike and finally have some coconut water when we arrived to the temple. May be it was a small challenge but this has encouraged me to continue hiking wherever i am.
This list is only an example of joyful is to enjoy the present moment and that life is changing all the time, but the most important is to remind ourselves that life is here to play with it. I’m sure next year will be super fun and challenging. I’m ready!