Everyone has their catalyst story - when we look back at that time of our lives wondering if this was all we were meant to do, meant to be. Here’s the fascinating thing I’ve learned in my most recent introspection, I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with how my life was going. Although I was doing and being what I wanted to be before my own ‘a-ha’ moment, I wasn’t living a life that was soul-enriching either. You see, not everyone has to be at their lowest of lows to ask that question - is this it?
The woman behind these words can honestly say how grateful she is for what pushed her to walk in the unknown. To discover and learn from the shadow parts so that she can appreciate and feel joy from within. In this chapter of my life, I know I’ve found my bliss.
For me, knowing and living my bliss is about letting go. To live from
a grateful and abundant mindset and most of all, to be honest about
who I am.
A conversation on letting go
A week ago I went rock climbing, and as we sat by the river eating ice cream, we started talking about life. Like the life I had in New Zealand and of course, what brought me to Peru. In the beginning it was so important to me to share my catalyst story and the pain and chaos it brought to my life. Now, I simplify my words. If they want to know more, I gift them a copy of my book. You see, I’m not that story anymore and for me to fully embrace this chapter, this season, I have to consciously let go of that part of me.
She still lives, still breathes in my memories, but there’s no denying that I’m not her anymore.
Letting go is like pruning flowers after they’ve finished flowering, then being patient enough to allow the plant to heal itself before it can flower again. It heals from within, and that’s what I’ve been doing. In the last three years, I’ve shed parts of myself I never thought I would. Like living in Whakatane, my life by the Pacific Ocean, or the dance studio. In this season, they’re not part of my life and I’ve have to make peace with that.
What did we talk about by the river? I said that we all have people and passions in our lives that will leave us, and it’s up to us to decide if we want to fill that space with the same things. Trying to chase the feeling before the void. Then you start to question why they’re no longer in your life, and realise that maybe this is a chance to start again. To embrace new experiences, meet people who vibe with you, who want to see you grow and you want the same for them.
If I was the same woman I was from three years ago, there wouldn’t have been space now to grow like I have. He couldn’t believe that I had lived 33 years of my life never having discovered my love of the mountains. Honestly, neither can I. I’ve packed a lot of living in the last three years and for that I will be forever grateful.
Giving back to myself
The biggest lesson I’ve learned on the way to finding my bliss is to always give back to myself. I naturally have a lot of energy, and sometimes I take that for granted. So I keep going and going until there’s nothing left in the tank. Now I see that I can still do all the things I want to do without grinding myself to the bone, and that starts with listening to my body.
Giving back to myself means taking care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally. I know that when I’ve been working or around people a lot, I start to get tired and I’m not as focused. So, I take time to be alone, ground myself and relax. I make time for a trek or write down my thoughts - often the two things that get pushed aside when I get busy with work.
For a few months my eating habits became sporadic. Because I was busy. I’ve only just started having breakfast again and stopped hitting the snooze button. Small changes that will hopefully build better habits in the future.
Do you ever find yourself smiling for no particular reason? These days I have been often than not, and that’s how I know I’m following my bliss. I don’t need to do anything in particular to feel that joy, and when I do, it only amplifies what I already feel within. It’s no magic trick. That joy exists in all of us, we just have to give ourselves permission to feel and embrace it. But it is a choice, a choice I make everyday.
Ronna Grace Funtelar a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and poet currently working and traveling in Peru. A woman with a curious mind who lives for hiking mountains, outdoor adventures and eating pizza. She has a unique brand of optimism that is a combination of her great enthusiasm for life and cups of coffee during the day.