We all have thicker skin than we give ourselves credit for and though creatures of habit, we can survive a tremendous shake up of routine. We can even do so with grace. The past couple of months proved all I am capable of letting go and that we humans can adapt to most anything. In pursuit of forming a partnership and raising capital for my combined restaurant and yoga studio, I was willing to lay comfort at my doorstep and toss familiarity to the wind. The result…a few nights of lost sleep, a gnarly food poisoning episode, sand in my pants and more minutes in the day.
In 60 days, I have managed to stay alive and even thrive while literally living out of my suitcase. The back half of my land cruiser has served as a spare closet, bed and hamper. The closest thing to normalcy in my day has been typing on my Macbook Air. I’ve realized ‘comfort’ is really nothing more than our state of mind. Perception of what is a ‘need’ and what is pure desire has become very clear.
I ‘need’ food, water and shelter. I WANT the water to come from a purified source, food to be organic and delicious and shelter to be cozy and inviting. I WANT to use my favorite shampoo. I can adapt to using bar soap on my hair in a pinch. I WANT to have a green smoothie most mornings. I can adapt to eating half an avocado cut with a plastic knife and sprinkled with iodized salt from a tiny paper packet. I WANT to enjoy 9-grain, gluten-free toast spread with coconut butter for breakfast. I can get by just fine eating bread that is more or less ‘white’, un-toasted and dry.
Side note about the bread…if you ever choose to buy a loaf that requires refrigeration, do not consume after leaving it in the trunk of your car for three days, especially if the bread contains eggs and the sun is blazing at 90 degrees. Rotten egg product + heat = hours of violent puking.
What I Let Go Of:
My symphony of supplements. For months, if not years, I had been taking a ludicrous sum of ‘health enhancing’ tablets, tinctures and pills. The orchestra included chlorella powder, D3, magnesium, spirulina, aloe and B-complex. That is a lot to lug around when living like a dharma bum so after a few days, I downsized to just one…a probiotic. Keeping a handle on all the rest was a pain in the butt and keeping the probiotic cold was trouble enough (which, I did so by placing it in a plastic bag with ice I got at the seafood counter of a local market.) Did my skin turn sallow? Did my hair fall out? Did my muscles fatigue and cramp? No. I continued to walk, run, create, laugh and work without a choir of FARM-ACEUTICALS.
Clothing. When you have a limited selection of clothes to wear, you also have more time. Scrutinizing your reflection in the mirror, hoping it will validate the outfit you put together takes time. Way too much time. Decision making minutes lapse and when added up, steal hours from your life.
In the two months I’ve been on the move, I have managed to look presentable for business meetings, tea with friends, afternoons at the beach and yoga. I did so with two pairs of jeans, one of which I managed to soil completely with half a jar of melted cocoa butter (the stains actually make them look more stylish), one pair of jean shorts, four t-shirts, (all linen so they would dry quickly in the warmth of the car), two sweatshirts, one bikini, two yoga outfits, two pairs of flip flops and one pair of boots.
I’m not suggesting you reduce your wardrobe to one that will fit in a small backpack, but perhaps consider building a more refined collection. One with just the pieces you wear most often and then donate the rest. Doing so will add hours to your life. I promise.
While on this crazy journey, I kept up with my hot yoga, taking class at Corepower. One morning, I wanted to catch an early session, but when I went for my yoga clothes, they were knotted up in the trunk, reeking of sweat and mildew. They had been left there for two days soiled and unwashed. I couldn’t possibly enter the studio smelling like a jock strap so I took my clothes to sea. It didn’t matter to me the clothes would be wet, I was going to get soaked in the hot room anyway, I just needed the smell out. To my surprise and delight, the ocean water dissolved the nastiness. Once I peeled my way into the wet spandex, It wasn’t the dampness that was disturbing, it was that, as with all clothes that visit the beach, sand particles had become one with the fibers. Not very comfortable in the groin but again, I managed.
The Sum of What I Discovered:
After sleeping in six different homes, one motel, on a futon, two couches, in three beds, on an airbed, the floor and the front seat of my car, I discovered I really can sleep anywhere. I can sleep in a bed with the windows open, a bed with the windows shut, with a fan on, fan off and with trains zipping by.
My hair still looks okay when I am forced to use a bar of soap for washing.
Toast can be made just as successfully in a dry skillet as in the toaster…excellent if you are guest and do not want to wake your hosts with the obnoxious ‘toast is done’ ding.
I can stay up late, go to be early. Rise late. Rise early. None of which kill me. I am still here, body functioning and writing this post with a smile.
Tonight I rest in cozy sweats and a hoodie, sucking down Thai Coconut soup on a plush and inviting sofa that again, is not my own. This house is not mine own, neither are the homes I have been sleeping in for the past two months. But hey, no matter what, there are friends waiting with open arms to invite me in and if our schedules don’t align, the car is a welcome retreat. In either case, there is always a place to rest my head and there is always food, water and sanity. We really don’t ‘NEED’ anymore than that.
Your Personal Wellness Consultant and
Virtual Health Chef,