The Heart-Centred Traveller: Exploring the World from a Place of Love and Compassion
Introduction: The Meaning of a Heart-Centred Traveller
Travelling is an incredible opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, and discover new cultures. But for the heart-centred traveller, it’s about much more than just ticking off destinations from a bucket list. It’s about approaching travel as an opportunity to grow and connect on a deeper level.
Being a heart-centred traveller means being open to new experiences, and understanding that each destination has its unique beauty and culture. It also means being aware of your impact as a traveller and making choices that align with your values of love and compassion. This might mean staying in locally-owned accommodations, supporting local businesses, and being mindful of your environmental footprint.
The Journey is as Important as the Destination
For the heart-centred traveller, the journey is just as important as the destination. To me, the journey is just as important as the destination. I love slowing down, reflecting, and connecting with myself and the world around me. One of my favourite ways to do this is through journaling, and I have a deep love for these beautiful leather travel journals. It helps me practice self-awareness and reflect on my experiences more profoundly.
Connecting with Others: Understanding Different Perspectives
One of the most beautiful things about being a heart-centred traveller is the opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level. Whether it’s striking up a conversation with a local, or volunteering in a community, connecting with others has allowed me to understand different perspectives and cultures, and see the world from a new point of view. Additionally, I have made beautiful friendships through my travels, which have enriched my life in countless ways.
Embracing Learning and Growth
Being a heart-centred traveller also means being open to learning and growth. It’s about stepping outside your comfort zone and embracing new perspectives, cultures, and ways of living. This can be challenging, but it’s also enriching, as it helps us become more compassionate and understanding.
Conclusion: How to Make Your Next Trip a Heart-Centred Journey
In short, being a heart-centred traveller means approaching travel with an open heart and mind. It’s about exploring the world with love and compassion, and connecting with yourself, others, and the world around you. So, the next time you plan to travel, think about how to make it a heart-centred journey that aligns with your values and brings personal growth.
We would love to hear from you; where would you love to travel to, and how would you make it a heart-centred journey? Share your thoughts and plans in the comments below.
Five years ago, while sitting on a picturesque beach in Costa Rica, I made the life-changing decision to resign from my career as an educator. My own personal mental health journey led me to realize that the job was causing me immense stress, physical pain and burnout, and I knew that I needed to find a way to take control of my life and well-being. That’s when I decided to start my own business, and today, I am thrilled to celebrate the five-year anniversary of that decision.
When I first began, the idea of running a business was daunting and unfamiliar, and I didn’t have a set-out map. I was driven by the desire for freedom and the need to take control of my own well-being. In the early days, I faced many challenges and doubted myself at times, but I knew that I had to see it through.
Investment in Business
Throughout my journey, I’ve invested time, energy, and all the income earned back into my business. This investment has helped me to acquire more wisdom and knowledge that I could offer to my clients. My ultimate goal has always been to support individuals and the community on their mental health journey using holistic tools and modalities. I am passionate about providing valuable and high-quality services to them.
As I look back on the past five years, I am incredibly grateful for the decision I made to start my own business. It has been a rollercoaster ride, but it has been a fantastic journey. I am proud of what I have accomplished, and I am excited to see what the future holds.
A Toast to the Future
Starting a business is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But, if you are willing to put in the work, the rewards are worth it. I am living proof that it is possible to turn your dreams into reality, even if it starts with a resignation letter on a beach in Costa Rica and you don’t have a set-out map. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, and clients for their support and encouragement. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Here’s to many more years of success, supporting individuals and the community on their mental health journey using holistic tools and modalities, and fulfilling my dreams of living a pain-free life as an Entrepreneur. Let’s raise a glass to the future!
Authentic connection is a close, genuine, and sincere relationship or interaction with another person. It involves being open, transparent, and vulnerable with the other person and sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of judgment or rejection. An authentic connection is characterized by honesty, mutual understanding, and a sense of deep connection and belonging. It is an essential aspect of healthy relationships and can contribute to well-being and happiness.
Authentic connection and self-acceptance go hand in hand. When we are able to accept ourselves fully, flaws and all, we are able to be more open and genuine with others. This, in turn, allows us to form more profound, more meaningful connections.
However, self-acceptance can be challenging to achieve. We live in a society that often places a high value on perfection, and as a result, many of us struggle with self-doubt and a lack of self-worth. We may compare ourselves to others and feel like we don’t measure up, or we may be our worst critics, constantly judging and criticizing ourselves.
But the truth is, no one is perfect. We all have flaws and imperfections, and that’s okay. It’s what makes us unique and human. By learning to accept ourselves as we are, imperfections and all, we can build a stronger foundation for authentic connection with others.
Authentic connection begins when you practice self-compassion.
So how do we achieve self-acceptance? It starts with self-compassion. Instead of being harsh and critical towards ourselves, we can learn to be kind and understanding. We can practice self-forgiveness and recognize that we are all human and make mistakes.
Another essential aspect of self-acceptance is learning to be present in the moment. We may tend to get caught up in the past or worry about the future, but by bringing our attention back to the present with compassion and non-judgement, we can start to let go of negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves.
In addition to practicing self-compassion and mindfulness, it can also be helpful to surround ourselves with supportive and accepting people. With a robust support system, it can be easier to feel confident and accepted in our skin.
So next time you struggle with self-doubt or a lack of self-worth, remember that it’s okay to be imperfect. By learning to accept ourselves, we can build authentic connections with others and create a sense of belonging and connection.
Self-compassion practices for authenticity.
Self-compassion is the practice of being kind, understanding, and compassionate towards oneself, especially during times of difficulty or failure. It is critical to have ‘soft eyes’ for yourself and others, this comes from holding space without judgment. Here are a few self-compassion practices that can help you live authentically:
Practice self-kindness: Treat yourself with the same kindness, care, and understanding you would offer a good friend.
Use self-compassionate language: Instead of using harsh or critical self-talk, try to speak to yourself with understanding and compassion.
Recognize common humanity: Remember that everyone experiences difficult emotions and setbacks and that you are not alone in your struggles.
Mindfulness: Bring your full attention to the present moment, without judgment. By making Mindfulness a practice, your neural pathways will naturally fire together, which helps you bring mindfulness into every situation you occur. Can you hold space without judgment, and with compassion for others?
Take a self-compassion break: Take a few minutes to close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and repeat a self-compassionate phrase to yourself, such as “I am doing my best” or “I am human, and it’s okay to make mistakes.”
Seek support: It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. Surround yourself with supportive people who can offer understanding and compassion.
Set intentions for the holiday season. Consider what you want to get out of the holidays and how you want to feel during this time. This can help you stay grounded and focused on what is most important to you.
Practice self-care. Take time for yourself and do things that nourish your body, mind, and spirit. This can include activities like getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, getting outside and into nature and taking breaks from technology.
Be present. Try to stay in the moment and fully engage in the activities and conversations you have with others. This can help you connect with others and reduce stress.
Practice loving-kindness. Also known as metta, we cultivate feelings of love, compassion, and well-wishing toward ourselves and others. Staying present and coming from a place of non-judgement is a great loving-kindness practice.
Practice gratitude. Take time to reflect on what you are grateful for and express your appreciation to others. This can help you cultivate a sense of positivity and joy.
Set boundaries. Setting boundaries can help you prioritize your well-being and prevent burnout. It’s okay to say no to invitations or activities that don’t align with your intentions or self-care needs.
Take breaks. The holiday season can be busy and overwhelming, so it’s essential to take breaks and rest when you need to. This can help you recharge and stay mindful throughout the season.
What are some ways you plan to incorporate mindfulness practice into your holidays?
Do you often feel fatigued, exhausted, depressed, anxious, forgetful or hopeless? Are you working hard yet and accomplishing things yet still feeling drained or inadequate? Do you often feel irritable with your coworkers, friends, and family? Have you experienced a sudden lack of interest in the things you love or often have feelings of apathy? If so, you may be one of the many humans on this earth that are experiencing a form of burnout. As you can guess by the many symptoms, burnout weaves its way into our lives in many shapes and forms and completely takes over, making everyday tasks feel like massive challenges. So, what exactly is burnout – Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress. Occupational Stress is the root cause of burnout and it affects our personal lives and relationships.
“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. “ (11th revision International Classification of Diseases ICD -11)
Let’s go deeper
At its core, burnout can be characterized by three dimensions that reduce our physical, mental, and professional energies:
Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; (no physical energy)
Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job. (mental – you feel detached)
A reduced professional efficacy (you’re not as performing as well as you used to – procrastination, you don’t care anymore, you don’t feel appreciated)
“Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be apple to describe experiences in other areas of life” Simply put – Burnout is linked to work!
In some industries, wearing exhaustion used to be a badge of honour.
In a world where we are taught to constantly hustle to push ourselves past our limits, reach our goals and get shit done all the while ignoring our body: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
We continue to push, ignoring all the subtle signs our bodies and brain are giving us to slow down. We work to the point where we’ve started to base our self-worth on how productive we were through the day, only to feel guilt and shame when we take a moment to listen to ourselves and rest when needed. On top of this, we are also experiencing overt and hidden stressors in many areas of our lives.
Sometimes, the expectations we set for ourselves are beyond our human capability.
We live off endless lists and goals, only to keep adding to this never-ending to-do list. We accomplish one task and keep going, keep doing, keep being, all the while we keep ignoring the signs of burnout.
We never feel like we’re doing enough. We are constantly adding dirt and stones to a never-ending mountain. A mountain we all continuously climb while being completely exhausted carrying a heavy mental load – more money, get that promotion, read more, travel more, do more. We often can get caught in a cycle of fear of missing out.
Burnout is not normal and constant exhaustion should not be a status symbol.
Furthermore, we can break burnout into three main types: Frenetic Burnout, Underchalleneged Burnout, Worn-Out Burnout.
Frantically working despite feeling overwhelmed
Overlooking your own needs in order to meet work demands
Lack of personal boundaries.
Bored Out – the opposite of frenetic (many elementary and high school students can relate to this type of burnout)
Feeling like your work is monotonous
Lack of opportunities to grow and develop within the system/company
Mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.
Feeling passive and unmotivated.
Giving up on a project when something doesn’t go as planned and you just quit – too many cognitive stressors – your energy is depleted.
What can we do about it?
We live in a society that encourages emotional numbness so we can keep up with the machine pace of life. And so, instead of feeling our feelings, we ignore them. We suppress them. We try to make them go away with food or work or alcohol or Netflix or spending endless hours scrolling through social media. These numbing techniques eventually become maladaptive coping strategies, which just contribute to the cycle of stress and burnout.
Maladaptive coping strategies are essentially survival strategies and can be exhausting to keep up. They keep our nervous system stuck in a state of defence and keep us from being disconnected from the feelings that essentially rob us of our ‘aliveness’.
For years, I turned to work and constantly keep myself busy to stop myself from feeling my pain, shame and rage. It’s scary to feel our feelings. But when I took a moment to breathe, to get on my Yoga mat with softness and non-judgement, I started to learn to pay attention to what my body was feeling and what it needed to ease tension and raise my energy.
We have to rewire our brains to slow down and stop the rush. We have to pause and check-in with our breath, with our body and listen. We have to be courageous to feel our feelings instead of pretending we don’t have any. Especially if those feelings are heavy and painful and grief-filled.
My strategy to cope with burnout can often be boiled down into two methods
Lean in and feel
Learning to feel our feelings needs to be a mindful and slow process. A softening, a melting, a gentle thawing of heavy and cold ice buildup. It’s a process of being gentle with ourselves and those around us and cultivating a space of compassion without judgement.
Healing from burnout takes more than a few days of rest. Waiting until the weekend to rest isn’t sustainable either. But, we can take tiny steps every day that will help shift our energy. These small steps will help you develop self-awareness, and eventually, you will begin to cultivate your resilience tool bucket of rituals, routines and activities that become adaptive coping strategies, and ultimately help you get back up when you get back down.
I highly recommend checking out this incredible Burnout Unlock The Stress Cycle“>book. These women dive deep into the science of burnout and provide stellar science-based strategies to minimize stress and manage emotions.
Practicing self-awareness is the process of truly understanding ourselves and proactively and consistently checking in with ourselves. I often take moments throughout my day to stop and ask myself questions such as:
What does your body need at this moment?
Do you need to up-regulate or down-regulate?
What brings you joy?
What calms you down?
What gives you energy? What drains your energy?
Remember that whatever energy you are feeling needs to move. And how we regulate where this energy moves throughout us are key to overcoming burnout.
Some of the things that help me stay regulated are stillness, movement, and journaling.
Stillness looks like savouring my morning cup of coffee or tea, early in the morning before anyone else is awake. This space gives me a quiet time for meditation and a chance to just be before the busyness of the day consumes me.
Movement looks like 3 Sun Salutations before my family wakes up, it helps me shift my energy and check in with my body to find out what it needs for the day. Movement looks like a walk in our woods to say good morning to my favourite tree.
Journaling looks like organizing my thoughts and planning my day. I set my to-do list and write in my gratitude journal. It’s a time for me to reflect and stay organized.
And, we don’t need to be alone to do most of these things. Include your students, your family and friends, think of this as collaborative care. Remember, when we can put on our oxygen tank first, we become better co-regulators for those in our lives.
We heal through establishing adaptive coping strategies that we know help us feel good.
And in the end…
So in the end, know you aren’t alone as you move into your battle against burnout. Millions of people experience burnout every day, some more so than others. Practice self-awareness, allow yourself to feel and name those feelings you feel. Little by little you will begin to recognize your true self.