When we smell the shirt of a loved one, we are transported through time and space (which Albert Einstein believed were illusions anyway) to the moments we had with that person. When we sit down at an old family piano and play the notes of our childhood, we travel back through the music to our first moments learning, to Thanksgivings and summer days hearing that music.
Time travel can be unbelievably useful with chronic illness. Sometimes there is just nothing we can do to change the pain of this moment, and so, like being beamed up to a starship, we can transport ourselves out of the moment and live somewhere else in time for a little while.
The tricky part that not many people consider is that we can also transport ourselves forward in time. I learned this at sleep-away camps and vacations with nobody I knew or mean girls as Amy Poehler would say. If we say to ourselves, I can close my eyes and sleep for three more nights and the next thing I know, I'll be home, if we really mean it and imagine the rumble of the at as it pulls out of the gravel drive to go home, feel the softness of the pillow pushed up against the car window so you can lay your head down, smell the scent of whomever is driving you home, and then feel your feet on the ground of your own floorboards, then truly the next thing you know it, you'll be home.
I do this in the hospital often. As we're pulling up for a painful procedure, I'm mentally pulling bad out, backing the car away, smiling at my husband, watching his strong hands on the wheel, taking us back home again.
We often do this to ourselves by accident actually. When we are having an amazing time and don't want the weekend or the night or the moment to end, we say to ourselves over and over in our brain, I don't want this to end. But as any former or current athlete knows, our brains will not register that don't, they just hear information about the weekend ending and suddenly it's over. Just like when you tell yourself, Don't mess up, don't mess up, don't strike out. Of course, what happens? You strike out.
So we have this unbelievable power to bend and change time but so often we forget to use it or we use it against ourselves. I've begun to visualize myself free of my leg compression sleeve, running into the ocean in a wetsuit with a surfboard above my head, I have a picture of this that I look at often and I tell myself that this will happen. That my leg feels just fine, that it is strong and free and light, and I don't care whether it is helping physically or not yet, it feels amazing to tell myself these things. To change the channel in my mind from focusing on the pain to feeling light and ease flood calmly into my body.
Yoga and meditation do this for us as well. A local celebrity was quoted in Yoga Journal as saying that she doesn't have time for meditation but people keep telling her that meditating will create more time. It's true. Try it. Try meditating three times a week for 15 minutes and at the end of the week ask yourself what you missed while you were meditating. Nothing. Ask yourself what you gained. Peace. Inner calm. Understanding. Better interactions with your spouse, with your children, with your dad, your mom, your coworkers, yourself.
When we add the good into our lives it doesn't push out any good, it only pushes out the things we never needed in the first place, self doubt, worry, pain. When you fill your life with just a little more of what you love, you'll have nothing to loose and everything to gain.
Nick and I cleaned out the garage this weekend and we traveled all over time and space. We found the tiny cross from his first communion with tens of tiny dents in the metal from when he wore it playing baseball when we first met. I held it in my hand and was transported back nearly thirteen years to a little Dairy Queen, to him in his uniform, to me leaning over the counter to sneak a kiss, to feeling that necklace cool against my cheek when he hugged me. I hugged him in the garage in that moment and was transported to the first time we ever said,I love you, we were standing just like that, in another garage six hundred miles away, but we were there again. And I was young & we were free, and healthy, and the world was before us.
And today the world is still before us, before me as I travel forward in time to selling our starter home, to opening up our horizons, to being closer to family and building a family of our own. I can feel the carpet on my skin as I roll and play with our toddler, I can feel the snow and sun on my face as I watch Nick teaching our children to snowboard or ski. I can smell the hot chocolate and the windburned baby skin and the rough stubble of aftershave on all the faces I will love. I am there.
And I can come back to today and love today knowing everything that has come before and all that will come to be.
I hope this week you take some time to travel back to a moment you felt free. Open up an old photo album, read a book you loved at seventeen, take out a onesie that your toddler hasn't worn in years and just breathe in the scent. Go back in time and stay there as long as you want, as long as you need.
Be free my loves. Know how much it means to me that you follow my journey, that it has become our journey, that we are not alone and my life has purpose in this present time. I hope you feel the same.
Lots of Love,
*This post was NOT sponsored & I do NOT own the rights to this video. Those belong to Ellie Goulding, vevo, and her record label. Click Here to learn more about Ellie Goulding and purchase her music.