Real Life: Self-Care Meets Digital Nomad Life

5 Minute Read: Self-care, self-retreat, yoga, poetry, simple living, healthy lifestyle, lifestyle design, digital nomad.

I returned home to Nelson yesterday, having lingered in Victoria five days past originally planned. I’m not sure what to write yet, about this trip.

There’s a lot to say, really, but I’m in the thick of processing. And what’s emerging is in its early days…after years in the making.

For now, I’ll share a few pictures and sketch some simple lines to be filled in with posts to come.

Selfie from my airbnb, Victoria, BC

Selfie from my airbnb, Victoria, BC


First, a thread of presence, kindness and connection was woven throughout my time there.

This thread included “strangers” in my daily wanderings…also new friends…and several people near and dear to me, however far away.

The latter were my core support system and were there for me so completely in daily conversations. The trip was not all “fun stuff,” to say the least; their love, care and deep listening was invaluable.

Also the Universe, to which I surrendered in profound gratitude.

And Bald Eagle, my protector and guardian since childhood. One even guided me home from yoga the last day (literally, flying low, circling above my head and leading me for blocks back to the airbnb). I see them often in Nelson, but this was the first time in Vic. The experience was unbelievable. 

This whole experience was unbelievable. I feel held.

Journaling…exploring…practicing

Journaling…exploring…practicing

Again…it wasn’t all carefree and happy.

For one, I did what I always do – throw myself into my work with heart, mind and soul. I spent most hours of most days working with clients long distance.

I also taught my Chinese Medicine students via FaceTime, which went beautifully despite the switch in format.

And…I sat with some deep dread and painful core beliefs (you know, on my “off” time ;). It was not easy. It is not finished. It was and is deeply needed.

My airbnb, Victoria, BC

My airbnb, Victoria, BC

My surrounds were pretty much perfect though!

I had to switch airbnbs because the first was booked during my extra days.

The new one was right next to the harbour, Chinatown and Victoria’s Chinese Medicine school. It was also a 5-minute walk to The Quantum Yoga Club, where I delighted in daily practices and beautiful connections. (My first airbnb was lovely too, but a 40-minute fast walk each way!)

While working with clients and teaching, I could gaze at the water, listen to seagulls, and generally fall in love with my digital nomad lifestyle.

Digital nomad life, Victoria, BC

Digital nomad life, Victoria, BC

Mostly, I worked from “home” – I focus best that way, with plenty of silence and solitude.

Still, I spent an hour each day at a small café. The switch-up in surrounds offered an infusion of creativity and play.

2% Jazz Coffee Shop, Victoria, BC

2% Jazz Coffee Shop, Victoria, BC

While there, I made sure to indulge in the local kombucha.

After 90-minute hot yoga, those bubbles were divine. Plus, that was pretty much my only sugar all day, and it was *just enough*.

Otherwise, I continued to buy plant-strong, paleo-primal, keto food to eat in. This week featured abundant greens, local eggs, raw cheese, grass-fed butter, coconut milk, olives, and 100% dark chocolate. Simple, nutrient-dense, nourishing, delicious.

Locally made kombucha on tap, 2% Jazz Coffee Shop

Locally made kombucha on tap, 2% Jazz Coffee Shop

I also continued to explore new possibilities – both in my digital nomad life…and locally.

David Whyte’s writings and readings helped with this…and my places of ongoing practice.

As I mentioned last week, attending his tour was my original reason for visiting Victoria. I first discovered David’s book Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity in my 20s, at a pivotal juncture. I took a huge leap then…and have followed his written and spoken words since.

Now age 43, at another pivot point with life and work, his words still speak to my soul. I’ll leave you with this one (hear him recite it here):

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone,
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your home
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ David Whyte, “Sweet Darkness”


What now?

Well, I love cuddling my cats again! Missed them terribly! And my home of Nelson, BC, is stunning and abundant in kind-hearted people.

That said, I returned to some pretty tough stuff. It wasn’t easy last night…and this week will be one day at a time. But (though today is minus 3 degrees!), spring is coming. As are new beginnings.

How about you? Anything stirring with the shifting seasons? Also, this week’s…

Victoria Harbour, Victoria, BC

Victoria Harbour, Victoria, BC

Recipes + Links

More from David Whyte on not knowing. From a conversation at the edge.

Playlist on repeat this week. Especially Lily Kershaw and Fred Pellerin.

I have a carrot problem. Also I hate my toilet. Cracked me up. (And I'm craving the cookies.)

Easy meals in under 30. Also from Juli, this line-up is more complicated than my own meals, tbh. Looks so good though!

How many siblings do you have? I'm the eldest of four girls. Does it affect my personality? Yes.

Their responses are So. Good. "I spoke to three women over the age of 70 to hear about the first time they fell in love, the ways love transforms over time, and their thoughts about all things romance-related today. Their wisdom has both inspired and resonated with me – all three perspectives are vastly different, and yet rich with history, emotion and nostalgia."

Everyone around you is grieving. Please go easy, be present, be kind. Always.

P.S., xo.


Life by design.

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With steadiness + ease.

 
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