I’m in Wisconsin, staying in the home and revisiting the life I left behind last year.
My ex-husband, Tom, is traveling to Australia on business for three weeks and asked if I would come back to Wisconsin to take care of our dog, Chandler, while he’s away. Of course, I said yes.
Everything is exactly where I left it. Photos on bookshelves haven’t been moved, furniture is in the same arrangement, and my dresser sits in the same place it was while I emptied it last year.
As I unpacked my duffle bag, set things in drawers, hung tops and dresses in the closet, and organized t-shirts and jeans on shelves, I experienced the most significant realization.
I could move right back into this house, this life, and it would be like I never left. It would feel like I had been gone on vacation for a week, and I could step right back into the comfort of old habits and patterns.
Muscle memory is real, people. At levels we can only understand through embodied wisdom.
We all get how muscle memory works. And when we think of building muscle memory, it’s usually around activities we love doing, like playing the guitar, running, painting, writing, etc.
We rarely think of muscle memory when it comes to daily activities, yet that’s exactly where we live. We think we’re making choices, but in reality, our unconscious mind and body are making many choices for us on autopilot.
I’m not a doctor, neuroscientist, or anything of the sort, so do your research.
From what I understand, the brain uses a lot of energy. To save energy, the brain creates neural pathways (highways) for the things we do every day, like brushing our teeth, driving a car, etc., so it doesn’t have to constantly piece the details together.
Movement gets the synapses firing to bridge the gap to create the neural pathway (layman understanding again, please do your research)—the brain uses movement to create neural pathways.
The body leads, and the mind follows.
Pretty much everything you do daily is unconscious. It’s coded in the cells of your body and in the neural pathways of your brain.
This is why it’s so difficult to stop, start, or change habits. This is why it’s so hard for addicts to stop the addiction. This is why it’s so hard for you to make significant changes in your life when you’re living in the same environment, around the same people, having the same conversations, and sharing the same experiences.
If you want to make changes fast, MOVE differently.
I’ve been able to make massive shifts throughout the past year because nothing in my life is ever the same on any given day. I don’t have a home base. I stay in hotels and Airbnbs for a few days or weeks; one month at the lake house in Austin, TX (one of my favorite places). Even though I’ve been in Salt Lake City for two months, I move around to different areas within the city.
I have to make decisions around food every day more-so than when I had a home. Sometimes I have a kitchen to cook in, and sometimes I don’t. Where to eat. What to eat. When to eat. And figuring out how to eat healthy while on the road without access to all of the kitchen gadgets are daily challenges (I miss my juicer, yo!).
Instead of listening to podcasts while running, driving, or editing photos, as I did for years, I listen to music. I turned off the TV, stopped streaming motivational/educational Youtube videos, and started creating more.
I’m always uncomfortable. Some rooms are so small I’m tripping over things; some are bright and beautiful, but none of them are my own. My car has quirks that I have to work around. Sometimes I don’t have air conditioning while in 90-degree temps. Sometimes I don’t have heat in 30-degree temps. Sometimes I have space to unpack my clothes, and other times I’m digging through my duffle bag each day (which drives me nuts).
I’m constantly troubleshooting because no day ever goes as planned, and I don’t have the tools I’d have if I had a home base.
And yet, I find a way to get things done. I move with and through the discomfort.
I get it. This is extreme. You can’t all live nomad lives. But you can live differently to allow transformation to happen fast. You can make conscious choices to override unconscious habits.
It’ll be uncomfortable as hell, and it ain’t gonna be easy for the first few weeks.
Scrap the morning routine. Scrap every routine.
Move throughout your day differently.
Arrange your furniture differently.
Take a different route to work, your kid’s baseball game, and the grocery store.
Change jobs (if you’re unhappy).
Launch the business.
Start the damn workout.
Let go of expectations and external validation. Surrender to the discomfort.
For decades I believed the body got in the way; I often felt the burden of the limitations through ability, health, or sickness. I could feel the density, the weight of the body held by gravity. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I wanted to crawl out of my own skin.
Now I know without a shadow of a doubt that the body is the key to the kingdom.
We hold frequency, power, codes, and wisdom in our bodies. We channel God through our bodies. Energy radiates from our bodies and activates others.
I will leave this home once again on exactly the same day I walked out 365 days ago.
A different person.
A butterfly who has lovingly left her cocoon and is ready to soar.
I’ve embraced deep love of self and found my voice. I am home.
I hold the knowing that it has everything to do with me, and it has nothing to do with me.
All I can do, all I have to do, is just BE through the practice of self-mastery and mastering my craft, and then let go and let God.
Embrace discomfort. Step into the unknown. Lead with love. Hold everything loosely.
And so it is. Aho.