When I was looking ahead to a month in Bali at a "coworking retreat" without any actual work to do, I was a little worried I'd be twiddling my thumbs while all my new Bali friends spent hours tirelessly focused on their big, important jobs.
I knew I wanted the month to be relaxing, but productive. I knew I wanted to achieve something. I knew that I wanted to feel like I've gotten a piece of myself back that I lost so long ago. Over the last two years, I feel like I've drowned my soul in sorrow, in work, in negativity, (in take out food), in distance from God, and I wanted to find a way back to my true self. A place where I was at peace, in heart, in mind, in body, in soul.
I kept thinking back to this concept of surrendering -- how could I embrace this concept while still feeling like I had a plan, something to work towards?
And so I decided to make it a crowd-sourced affair. I gathered a list of my closest friends, my most esteemed colleagues (past and present), mentors, and family. And I clicked send.
Dearest of dears,
For some, it may be minutes since we've spoken, and for others, years. No matter which, I hope this email finds you in good health and happiness.
Surprised to hear from me? If I can sum all you need to know, it's that I'm looking ahead and will be embarking on a journey of self discovery (vision: 90% vegging on my couch watching E!, 10% self discovery). I don't know what's ahead, and if you know me at all, I hope you can sympathize with how much it pains me to not have a plan. The truth is, however, this is purely self-inflicted discomfort, and I figured if I am going to commit to a period of uncertainty, I'm going to need to find some loopholes to maintain my sanity.
I've decided to carefully select a range of important people from my life, past and present, professional and personal, like-minded and so far out of my spectrum of understanding, to help guide the way. Since I can't plan my own life, I might as well put someone else to the task, which is where you come in.
To start my journey, I'll be spending 30 days in Bali (how Eat, Pray, Love of me, I know). Doing what? Who knows. I just know where I'll be May 1 - May 30. After that? I'll know June 1st, I suppose.
You have each impacted my life in a positive way, having helped shape the person I am today. You've imparted some wisdom, showcased your talents, and left a piece of you with me that has stuck.
30 days in Bali isn't a whole lot, but it's more free time than I could have ever dreamed of just a few days ago. I hope to walk away from this experience stronger, or even perhaps softer, than the day I walked in...whether physically, mentally, spiritually, or professionally. I am asking that you challenge me to complete something in my first 30 days in Bali. It can be as committed as a daily practice or as "small" as reading a single powerful excerpt that has moved you.
Your challenge should benefit my mind, body, and/or soul somehow. For example:
physically daily yoga, run 3x/week, someone please task me to finally complete the 30-day squat challenge
emotionally recite a mantra daily, speak to one family/friend on the phone daily, read a powerful essay
spiritually read and interpret one ayah from the Quran daily, practice mindfulness, download the HeadSpace app
intellectually listen to Episode X of Podcast Y, read a book
professionally finish a 20 hour SQL course, overhaul my resume
anything so long as you believe it will have a positive impact
THE MANY THANKS
Words can't express how much I care for your relationships, friendships, mentorships, and more. You've each carried me in ways I hope to continue floating on during this period, so your support now is much, much appreciated.
Catch you on the flip side. :)