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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Going Home

As the title implies, my time living in Europe is coming to an end.  I cannot believe 4 months have come and gone already!

It seems like the time has at times flown and at other times crept by.  It seems like a lifetime ago that I was filled with the excitement of the Olympics and the adventures that lay ahead.  It really has been only 4 months...

Before I get into the meat and potato's of the blog, mmmm meat and potato's (said with my best Homer Simpson voice) a few quick updates.

December I am planning on holding Two 1000 Challenge Community events.  A holidays around the world event like we did last year - it was a lot of fun wasn't it?? :)  And a 12-12-12 at 12:12 am/pm event similar to what we did on 11-11-11 at 11:11am/pm last year.  Details will come out in the next week or two.

On the subject of December it is the gift giving season.  Who is in need of a new wall or office calendar?  If you said yes, check out my photography website.  I have calendar's there as well as many other great gift ideas:  Jesse Brisendine Photography

It is funny because when I left California for Europe way back in July, I had visions of a much different experience than I have had.  I imagined traveling on the weekends, visiting all the cool spots to eat at, having beers at some of the local pubs, and covering every square inch of London by foot.

It started out that way.  The first month I was here, I would say I walked about 7 miles every weekend around London.  I would finish that walk with a stop at a random pub for a tasty cold beer.  And then life happened.

An ongoing stomach/digestive issue, to put it delicately, and the medicine I am taking to try to help with it put me on the sidelines from doing some of the things I enjoy.  Since that first month, I have gone out to eat maybe six times, and have had two days where I allowed myself a couple beers.  My body has been so sensitive that alcohol, red meat, spicy food, greasy food, sugary food, buttery food, fatty food, fun food, etc... really unleashes havoc on me almost immediately after.  For a couple weeks there I thought I was getting better, and then took several big steps backwards.

I am  not complaining though.  Although I would be if I was not flexible with my dreams and visions that I have for my life.

I was talking to a friend a few days ago about dogs and how they spend so much time chasing their tails.  They will spend hours in the pursuit of trying to catch up to something that is.... that is already behind them.  And what they miss out on while engaged in this endeavor, is all the potential fun that lies in front of them.

Humans get caught chasing their tails too.  We all have times where we wish we could go back, "if only we could do this over," "if I could just be like I was at this time" etc... We can't go back.  We can only stay right where we are, or move forward.  So why do we spend so much time holding onto the past.

We marry ourselves to ideas we have.  Visions, of how life is "Supposed to be," when Life has other ideas for us.  If we resist the ebs and flows life throws at us, we end up like the dog, spending a lot of our time chasing our tails.  BUT, if we learn to ride the waves that come with the ebs and flows of life, then we will always be able to find a new opportunity that was hidden behind the vision of what we thought life was "supposed to be."

I'll offer myself up as an example. 

I had this vision of what my down time, my personal time here in Europe was "supposed to be." Travel on the weekends, adventures at pubs and various restaurants, exploring the city on foot, and of course documenting all of it with my camera.  I had dreamed about this, I was excited about it, I could not wait for it, I got a taste of it, I wanted more of it, then life decided it was time for an ebb and flow.

Decision time for Jesse, do I hold onto the above dream, chase my tail, only ultimately to be let down when I realize that I can never catch it?  Or do I get flexible, do I ride the wave and flow with the ebb and flow?

I opted for choice #2.

The time that was going to be spent on pubs and restaurants got redirected into refining my diet, eating well, and getting rid of extra body fat I have been carrying around for far to long.  As a result of this decision I am going home in better overall shape than when I left.

The time I was going to devote to traveling and getting out in the countryside I re-invested into myself.  I spent some time rehabbing nagging injuries and learning how my body moves and ways to correct imbalances that have caused me problems for years.  And while I am not fully healed, i am definitely healing, and stronger in some ways than I have ever been in my life.  As an added bonus, I now can be more empathetic with clients who experience similar injuries.  Something I was not able to do before.

The time I was going to spend walking around and exploring, I re-invested to my own personal learning and growth.  I have been talking about taking online classes for the last 3 years.  I love to learn, but never make the time for myself.  I decided to finally do it.  And since I was given this gift of extra free time (notice the choice of language "given a gift,") I was able to really dive into this class I am taking and as a result am probably 3 months ahead in it than I would be otherwise!  And the best part is what I am learning here is only going to make me more effective as a Life Coach which means it will only help me better pursue what I am really passionate about - helping people.

Other little things that I was able to do with my extra time I was given:
  • Read three more books than I would have normally read.  
  • Get ahead on some of my business development and expansion.
  • Learn to meditate ( I have only been talking about doing this for 6 years or more)
  • Learn new creative ways to challenge my body with exercise combinations
I am sure there are a couple more in there, but that is all I can think of for now.

The point is this:

Life is not always going to work out the way we think it is "supposed to."  We are going to get thrown curve balls from time to time.  Life ebbs and flows, it always has and it always will.  If we don't learn to hit the curve or to ride the ebb and flow, we will be left like our four legged friends, chasing what's behind us, never able to catch it.

On the other hand if we learn to hit the curve, if we learn to flow with the ebb and flow, if we learn to look for opportunity in places we had not thought to look before, then one thing is for sure, we will never find ourselves hung up on dreams of the past.

Opportunity to create and make your life better exists around every corner, we just got to be willing to look for it.

So I did not get to have the European adventure I had envisioned.   I still had a great time and I am so thankful for the opportunities I did have, all of them.  I know I will be back and I know there will be other opportunities to see Ireland, Scotland, and many more places. But I may never get the opportunity of "time:" Time to heal, Time to learn, and Time to grow that I have had these last several months.  I am so glad I took advantage of the opportunity.

And now for the next adventure, back to California!  Who knows what opportunities will in store in the near future. I will certainly be looking for them :)

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,



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