I know I’ve been away from social media for quite a while but I needed a break. Working the way I was at my day job (non-stop, 13+ hour days…) and not sleeping all too well was leaving me burnt out. I would check my inboxes (work and personal) and get overwhelmed. Every notification that popped up on my phone screen would give me a tight feeling in my chest. I tried to hop back in to FB and IG but after I would post something, I felt like I wasn’t really being true to myself, if that makes sense.
My boyfriend and I had a trip planned to Tennessee to get away from work and school (for him) for just a moment and I realized that I need Self-Love September and Sound & Sessions more than ever. Tennessee reflected a lot of things back to me that I needed to hear, see, experience, and notice at this particular point in my life. And it’s a beautiful place!
I had only previously driven through Tennessee on my way to and from Fort Knox and/or Louisville, Kentucky to and from Atlanta, Georgia but never really stopped in Tennessee to really check it out. Because of this, my boyfriend decided that our last trip of the Summer would be to Chattanooga because it’s not too far and not too much in the way of adventuring, or so we thought!
Chattanooga was surprisingly close, only an hour and a half, from where we are, which made me very happy because the possibility of future day trips is exciting! On our “Must See” list included the standards: Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls, and Rock City (of course!). We were able to experience all three things on one hot day, which was great because I thought I was happy with the idea of relaxing for the remainder of the trip. Turns out: I’m not a big fan of relaxing, apparently.
I experienced a bit of a moment at the Hunter Museum within hours of checking in to our hotel. My boyfriend and I came across the painting above: ‘Phenomena Royal Violet Visitation’ by Paul Jenkins (1923-2012). I was extremely drawn to this painting. The colors are so vibrant and expressive. When viewed from the right at an angle, it appeared to take on a muddy, muted tone. When viewed from the left at an angle, the colors stayed a little more vibrant. I thought about how the left and right sides of our body are: your left is typically feminine / receptive, your right is typically masculine / giving. To me, the muddiness from the angled right side view represented how we can feel less vibrant if we give too much, and the vibrancy of the angled left side view represented how taking too much can become almost too much to handle. When viewed from the center, you get the perfect balance of left and right, female and male, darkness and light, yin and yang, etc. It was a very stirring piece for me because I realized that I had been giving too much of myself to everyone except to mySelf. I realized that I needed to shed certain expectations placed on me by myself and others and just BE. *SPOILER ALERT* that didn’t end up too well.
I tried to throw an agenda out the window for our last day and be somewhat spontaneous. I saw that Nashville wasn’t too far up from where we were (about 2 hours). I remembered some great photos I had seen in Nashville from other bloggers and friends on FB but I didn’t quite know where they had been taken. I figured we could walk around and explore but Nashville is quite…large. I quickly tracked down the “I believe in Nashville” mural I had seen in quite a few blogs but only after I had put in the wrong address! That little detour was fun because we ate at a great restaurant that featured an interesting mural (the one with the sandwich and the beetle above) and there was another mural just around the corner (the one with the quote a the beginning of this post). After some shrugging and Googling, we decided to head towards Lynchburg (about an hour south of Nashville, sort of on the way back to Chattanooga) to take a tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery, which turned out to be really fun and informative! Bonus: we didn’t know 2016 is the 150th anniversary of Jack Daniel’s being the oldest distillery in the U.S. Exciting!
I’ll be uploading more photos of our trip to my Flickr. I realized I took way more photos (and videos!) on my Nikon than on my phone so stay tuned 🙂
After we came home, I had an extra day off to just…chill. After my boyfriend went to work I sat in meditation, which I haven’t done for quite some time. The reflection felt good and uneasy at the same time. Good because I had not sat like that in a while, uneasy because I had not sat like that in a while. My body felt squirmy and fidgety, like I was wasting time by just ‘sitting there’ but my mind knew I wasn’t just ‘sitting there’. I followed along Day 1 of Elle North and Sora Surya No’s Enter The Sacred Temple with a beautiful guided meditation by Julie Santiago. It was about finding the key to unlock your gifts as a medicine woman. My key had a top shaped like AURYN from The NeverEnding Story and on the back were the words “Healer” and “Storyteller”. I sat with those two words last night and have been sitting with them all day today. I feel as though I’m trying to find my way back to these two words after being away from them for a little while. Last night, my Temple Guardian, who happened to look like Eva Green’s Artemisia (from 300: Rise Of An Empire), showed me that I’m ready to come back.
I’m looking forward to this cleansing Full Moon! I hope you’re having a great week so far!