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Here We Go! - Day 1 of our 365-day trip around the world

We've arrived. Day 1 of 365 days of travel around the world. It's all still surreal and I am wondering when it is going to kick in that we are not on vacation. Before I left, my good friend gifted me a pair of small, triangular cat ear earrings and I thought it was the perfect gift to represent my intentions for this year. She and I were talking about how one of the best things you can do when communicating others is to JUST be fully present and listen…without trying to solve the problem, soothe the pain, downplay its severity. To listen without thinking about what to say next or focusing on other things outside the conversation. To listen with compassion and without judgment.

I was watching a documentary called Kumaré where, for an experiment, a young man feigned to be an Indian guru and was able to create a small following. His "teaching" was completely made up and he taught that he (the "guru") was merely a reflection of the inner guru that we can all find in ourselves. He was basically telling everyone that he was a fake and that they should look inside themselves (and not to him or other external people/circumstances) for healing. Yet, these people changed their lives for the better based largely on his inspiration. Why/how do you ask did this happen and why is it relevant? It's because Kumaré spent 1:1 time with each individual, listening compassionately, with his full presence and without any judgments. He made each person feel seen and heard; and by doing so, empowered them to make the changes they thought they needed to make in their lives. As I travel to new places and meet all kinds of different people, I want to listen and learn from them, without judging their way of being or imposing my own. I want to make others feel embraced by my presence and in return want to remain open-minded to learn what I can from them. It is my hope I can leave the people I meet feeling inspired, empowered and like they matter.

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