Water is Life III
But the microscope must also be able to zoom out to see and understand the scope of the big picture, all connected variables that inspire me to run for the hills toward freedom.
Everything is connected.
When we begin to pay attention to the details of our lives, breathing deep into the unfamiliar cavities of our physical, mental and emotional realms, we can begin to see that the veil is thin and all realms of our health and well-being are inextricably linked.
This third installment of Water is Life focuses on freedom within all realms of life.
The people living in Cancer Alley deserve freedom from what they are experiencing. The people living at Standing Rock deserve the same freedom. The people now fighting for their clean waters and clean lands in Canada deserve what is their birthright, their freedom, too.
No human should have clean air, clean water, health, and well-being stripped from life.
So what is Joni Travels Well - The Freedom Movement all about and what does it have to do with “Water is Life”?
Water is a reoccurring theme. It keeps reappearing, so I keep paying attention. I was seeking solutions to solve problems individually, rippling out globally. I found a brilliant integrated resolution by way of revolution with quality water at its core.
The great outdoors became my passion once I escaped the hot, humid, inland, muggy, buggy lands of South Louisiana. I loved the ocean when we were lucky enough to make an annual trip to the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida, but where I grew up there was no ocean in sight. And when we once tried to go directly south to the Louisiana coast, there were certainly no clean squeaky white sand beaches with clean inviting ocean waters. Hardly.
Moving to Wyoming after college opened my eyes to the pristine beauty that exists in parts unknown. Now known, travel and even more so living, breathing and experiencing other lands and cultures on an intimate basis, has allowed new-to-me elements to become permanent parts woven into my physicality and psyche.
Living at the ocean in Southern California, I tapped into a more familiar realm, reclaiming the feminine left behind in the alpha-driven mountains. And in some ways, during those times of survival, when the masculine was the driver to make things happen, achieve, succeed, survive, the feminine was all but forgotten. Another story, but that eventually wreaked havoc on my personal health and well being. The ocean, over time, taught me something I had never deeply learned in the first place - to receive. That one is still a challenge as a self-made individual. Sometimes I still have to force myself to receive a compliment or any gift, and say thank you with zero guilt.
The ocean also retaught me to embrace trusting my intuition as I did at 22. Trust my gut. Trust the “knowing” of my right-brain dominant, creative, intuitive, expressive self, that while smashed in today's left-brain dominant modern society, occasionally peeked its head above ground moving me to where I needed to BE with all the ease and grace 'she' could muster. Our world is thankfully now beginning to see the itsy bitsy tiny beginnings of reclaiming the feminine. I cannot wait to see what happens as 2019 continues to unfold.
We have nothing without what Mother Earth naturally provides. Organic goodness, rich in the exact medicines we need, both internally and externally.
As we all love our birthplaces and remain grateful for all they gave to us, home is now multiple places. With this experience, we gain greater understanding of the contrast, the pluses, the minuses, and begin to embrace that there is no one "right" way. With this beginner mindset in place, we become more open, we learn, we thrive.
Tapping into different physical realms gave way to tapping into deeper emotional realms.
While I love where I was born, I felt suffocated by way too many expectations regarding how to BE. I felt oppressed by societal norms. I was judged and now twice disowned for not following most of the rules and regs. I couldn’t breathe within the suffocating confines of religion. I did not agree with the constant criticism of others. I could not stand the blatant patriarchal ways that continue to dominate within work and life. As a female, I was generally asked to be quiet, be good, behave, be nice, set good examples, smile, obey. Oh wait don’t disappear, but don’t shine too bright either. Beyond confused by constant contradictions offered as to how to be seen and heard, it's a wonder any of us made our own ways in the world. And, respect. How the f*ck to kindly ask for, much less command, some respect? Without being labeled as “crazy” or a “total bitch”. Yep, we’ve all heard it all.
This truly insane conditioning lives deep in our bones, deep in our cells, generations of living in submission, lowering our voices, behaving as expected, following orders - don't forget to smile.
And let's not forget, taking it back to the physical realm, getting paid far less with far less support and far less chance of promotion.
Patterns create pathways. Within our minds, actual neural pathways.
These patterns guide our thoughts.
Thoughts trigger our choices.
…which trigger our behaviors
…which trigger our experiences
…which release emotional responses
Emotional responses that we become addicted to whether positive or negative.
Another way of creating an understanding of this phenomenon is rooted in the psychology of yoga.
Samskaras. Subtle impressions of past actions.
The intention behind these actions that we perform with full awareness are the ones that make the greatest impressions on our minds.
It is the intention behind that action that gives power to that action.
Essentially, samskaras are the impression or impact of the action we take with full awareness of its goals. Each time we repeat the action, it leaves an impression in our minds. With repetition of the action, the impression becomes stronger until the action becomes a habit. Once a habit, it is not something you remain consciously aware of as it is now a pattern, a new neural pathway created within the mind. You no longer have to set an intention or goal around it. It's now a part of your being, part of what you do, part of who you are.
When "habit patterns" become so ingrained that our body chemistry is altered, they are called "addictions" - positive or negative. At this point, we have no recollection of the beginnings of the patterns. Our mental world is fully under the influence of these impressions on our mind, inextricably woven into our personalities and how we perceive the world.
Positive or negative, we humans move towards what is familiar, what is ingrained, those old familiar patterns, what we were raised with rather than something that is new and unknown.
If we want to create a future that’s different from what already exists, we have to step into the unknown. We must try something new. We must shift and change our thoughts.
We have 70,000 thoughts every single day and 90% of them are the exact same thoughts we had the day prior.
So how do we change our thoughts?
We find new ways to pay attention to our thoughts.
We slow down.
We pay attention to the breath.
We link breath with movement.
We stop. We sit still.
We pay attention.
We notice the thoughts.
We notice whether a thought is positive or negative.
We shift the thought toward positive.
Over and over.
A practice that can be practiced any time, anywhere.
Practice and all is coming. - Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
In doing this, we are creating a brand new feedback loop.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It is a process.
It can take time.
But with commitment and absolute consistency, transformation happens.
Sometimes with the pleasant surprise of rapid evolution.
Fighting for folks to discover modalities to train their brains and find freedom is woven deep into my holistic health businesses. There is no denying that everything is connected. Improving one realm of life more often than not improves most of the others.
No one - no one - is "successful" within all realms. We all have areas we must lean into. Change is inevitable, therefore we must learn that mindset is everything so that we are prepared to lean in, over and over. I urge you to research for yourself, support what calls to you, align, take action, make change happen.
Joni Travels Well - The Freedom Movement is not actually about me. It’s about union. It's about ALL of us. Holistic Health addresses ALL realms of life. This movement addresses traveling well through life, both inside and out with focus on the financial house. The financial realm layered with speaking and owning our truths, getting comfortable with being highly uncomfortable, vulnerability, soft skills, emotional intelligence, staying in our own lanes, knowing it's not the critic who counts, tapping into the genius of this particular remote work, coupled with radical responsibility and opportunity for all. No one above + no one below. Massive positive impact. Global community. Humans for humans. JOIN US.
Inside & Out,