Murphy and I are currently in Nashville, TN. Yeah- I’m here again, the only spot I’m staying twice on this seven week journey. I couldn’t help but stop for a night to see Vince Gill and Martina McBride perform at the Grand Ole Opery! I cannot believe how fast the trip has gone, while at the same time it feels like I’ve been away from home for months. Naturally, I’ve been reflecting on the trip more as the countdown to returning home is official given my turn West this morning.
I have so much I could write about. What hotel chains I think are the best value. How to maximize travel rewards. What spots were my favorites. What places were pleasantly surprising vs. disappointing. What traveling while on a macronutrient diet much of the journey is like. What working out 32 days in a row has been like given limited gym options. What podcasts and sermons have hit home most. How many different cultures I’ve experienced along the way. I suppose I’ll cover these topics in due time. Below is an unedited photo from the rooftop of my hotel in Sarasota, FL. I had to share- it was awesome!
Today I just want to look back in gratitude as I reflect. I left town with so many unknowns. I didn’t know how the trip would impact my day-to-day work, which it really hasn’t as much as I feared. I’d argue I’m less important than I thought given the team around me, you know who you are (thank you)! I didn’t know what the experience would bring spiritually, if anything out of the norm at all. The past few weeks have actually been really great in that regard, as my spiritual depth has strengthened. I didn’t have some of my destinations planned, yet I found my way nonetheless. I tried to limit expectations overall and simply let the experience unfold from a place of being present. I’d say I did this relatively well, considering my humanness desires a plan and control.
Update of states visited and/or driven through: Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama…. still counting. I’ve seen so many parts of the country. So much contrast from nature, to weather, and culture. I feel so blessed for this!
I believe clarity can certainly been accelerated when one steps away from their normal everyday environment. I also just feel like we could all use a little time with ourselves where we’re forced to really get in touch with who we are again. I thought of something earlier today- we all need to fall back in love with ourselves again! I don’t mean being selfish or building anything related to ego. I simply mean our daily patterns typically don’t make spending time in thought, solitude and exercising self-love as much of priority as it should be. We are often operating from a place of exhaustion, survival, routine, complacency or frantically keeping up with busy schedules. I think we could all use some time away. I know this is easier for some (like me) than others. We have a plethora of responsibilities personally and professionally. Yet I think it’s important to step away by oneself and recharge, breathe differently, upset the routine and feel what it’s like outside of the box (the norm). I feel like we need to treat ourselves. Take ourselves out on a date where we don’t have to worry about pleasing someone else or any responsibilities. We need to fall back in love with the true version of ourselves again. I’d argue we were all born that way before the world hit us. We need a little more adventure, a little spark, some God time, some reflection time and some downright escape time. Clarity comes at a light-speed rate when you’re out of your normal solar system. I can now attest.
I hope I can be an inspiration to even one other person who reads this to start planning an adventure by themself. I hope you can feel a weight lifted by exploring the depths of disconnection from what you’re supposed to be, while spending time just being YOU. I pray you’ll take a chance and start living differently. The first step is the hardest. Book a room somewhere you’ve never been. Get in the car and just drive, even if only for a day or two if other obligations are too strenuous. Get away and get back to loving yourself, being yourself and living for yourself. We can all make excuses, as I did for a long time. The truth is- the world can wait. Our ego will create every reason to keep us right where we are, because spiritual growth and self-love are the last things ego wants us to experience. This trip has given me so much more clarity on what is important in life. I have so much more clarity on what life is all about. I have a deeper connection to myself and to God. Call it a path of forgiveness of myself and others. Call it a path of escaping the complex world for more inner peace and self-love. Call it an escape from life or running toward God. Call it making up for lost time with my 15 year-old pup. Call it an adventure. Call it doing something weird or kind of crazy. I would simply say it’s been really good for me. I hope you’ll do something outside the box that you’ve always wanted to do as well, something that lights your fire. At the risk of sounding cliche, yet from a place of utter sincerity, I feel compelled to remind you that we only live once!
I’m headed to the Grand Ole Opry tonight and west toward Lake of the Ozarks tomorrow! Much love!