Good morning from a rainy day in Cape Town
This month will be a bit more personal than others. A few days ago I opened up the topic of what I should write about this month and the overwhelming majority of you were curious about my move to South Africa.
Before dive into that here are:
Insight Timer’s Learn How to Meditate in a 7 Days Course.
It’s a free guided 12 min meditation course that focuses on how to use your breath, how to process emotions, and techniques to bring your full awareness to something specific. Even as someone who has an established meditation practice this was a good refresher or it’s brilliant for someone just starting out. Highly recommend it.
From the archives: cozy up with this podcast episode of OnBeing with Jonathon Rowson. talking about systems, spirituality, climate change, and how our brains work.
“Getting things in their fullest, broadest, and deepest perspective is necessary to actually feel this problem. The crisis of climate change, in particular, is a crisis of disconnection between the facts and the feelings. We know something is true; we don’t feel that it’s true. We don’t live as if it’s true. There is what you might call a kind of stealth denial. We speak as if we believed it, but it’s not obvious from our behavior and the way we vote and what we campaign for, how we talk, that we accept this as a real problem. And I think that is ultimately spiritual.”
Integrating Our Souls, Systems, and Society episode of On Being with Krista Tippett
So – Why South Africa?
I don’t know where our deepest urges come from, but I do believe they start as little tickles. So small that without my journal I might not have remembered that months and months before moving here I wrote about it. Just one sentence thrown in during a paragraph about feeling this need for expansion and re-centering.
Life on Kaua’i, even during the pandemic, has always been a great source of joy. I’m so comfortable there and it’s safe emotionally and physically. But safe can also be a bubble where stagnation can happen. Comfort can also become a cozy sweater which feels too warm after a while.
I felt like I had no where to go and no room to grow. I had an amazing community, but not necessarily one that was pushing me in the ways I wanted to be pushed. Some people on island also don’t like the visibility that my posts and presence brings to the island which has always created a constant feeling of discord in me. Without the constant comings and goings of my travels I was forced to reconcile that maybe this wasn’t my place for the moment. I understand where they’re coming from, but it’s hard not to share the place I love.
The funny part looking back is I probably would have stayed. Moving in the midst of a pandemic seemed like a horrible idea and so much of my inner identity is tied to the islands. Inertia makes it easier to stay.
Yet I believe the universe is a catalyst, always presenting opportunities for our greatest potential for growth. After not speaking in several months Sam came back into my life, first over the phone and a few days later unexpectedly at my doorstep. That’s a story for another time, but in deciding on how to move forward together we both agreed that we needed a bigger space. I opened my computer to tell the landlord we were thinking of moving and I had an email received three minutes prior – it was from the rental agency saying the owners were moving back in. We were moving whether we had wanted to or not. Life is odd and forever interesting to me in this way.
Stripped of the easy option to stay put, I got to ask: What excites me right now? All other things ignored what fills me with energy? If this pandemic continues and travel continues to be restricted or inadvisable where is a country I could be based that I would want to stay? Something about moving across the world and completely re-centering my life geographically deeply appealed to me.
I first came to South Africa in 2018 then ended up returning 4 times over the next year because I liked it so much. Moreover, Cape Town is a city, but one that is nature-centric and feels livable for me. Within a 45 minute radius I have access to diving in kelp forests (water is F-ing cold though lol), rock climbing, surfing, huge mountains, sand dunes, mountain biking, horse country, and a vibrant healthy food scene. I already know a few people here, everyone speaks English, the culture is so friendly and by Hawaii prices it’s affordable for a high standard of living.
So what now?