I ended my summer with a two-week trip to California. I traveled alone, to attend a yoga workshop and to visit family. Flying back to Vancouver, I sat in my seat, oddly comfy and happy, reading a novel (by Laurie Colwin, if you’re curious). It was a luxury to sit, undisturbed in my thoughts.
During the trip, I conversed with someone about life on the road, we spoke of favorite locations, travel tips like which Thomas Cook UK discount codes to use and which spots are not to be missed. He mused that life is more complicated while traveling. I disagreed. “My life becomes smaller, simpler. I have only the clothes I’ve packed. I’m freed of domestic duties. I have time to read novels!”
I wouldn’t say my life is better on the road, sans home routine and comforts. But I like the minimalism. I am mentally focused. It’s as if I’m in a bubble, where my outer environment dynamic, but my inner sanctum is discrete. The boundaries are clear and close at hand. I have fewer (and, on a plane, very few) “options.” Yet that can be a relief. I can get my arms around my “situation.”
It is perhaps just mental training, to find such focus at home, where I have numerous distractions and responsibilities: more on the “to do” list. If distractions are automatically minimized during travel, why can’t they be consciously reduced during regular life?
My yoga space
I am grappling with a similar issue regarding my home practice. Before my move (which I discussed here), I practiced every morning at a nearby community centre, pictured here when the 2010 Winter Games came to town. It was not private, but I felt solitary. Now I practice in a cozy private room at home: it’s clean and bright, with all my props available. I simply roll out of bed, feed the animals, and enter my yoga space. Typically my boyfriend takes Momo (black Lab) out for a long jaunt while Sly (black cat) hangs out with me.
My new situation is undoubtedly an improvement, and yet my practices feel disjointed nowadays. I might break a sequence to play with Sly (an indoor kitty who craves his own morning romp) or to do a household chore, and I can hear Momo return home with gusto (crunching her requisite whole carrot!).
The community centre was public, but being amid strangers didn’t “count.” I was essentially alone. I could ignore them. But how can I ignore those close to me?
Is it just my own jumpy mind? How can I create stillness and solitude in daily life? The trouble is… I want a home filled with “distractions.” I wouldn’t forgo my relationships (human or canine or feline), no matter how much of a loner I can be.