Six months ago I got on the plane in London and travelled to my new home here in Los Angeles. The time feels like it’s gone by in about one second but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here forever.
I don’t believe in bad choices, every decision we make takes us somewhere, however I do believe in making choices from a strong and rooted place. Many of my clients turn up with a fear of making the ‘wrong’ choice, or feeling at a crossroads and not knowing where to go. I always explain this idea to them; that making a decision is a little like building a house. You can build your house on strong sturdy land, or you can build it on quicksand. The sturdy ground is build from love, faith in oneself and a desire to feel good. The quicksand is formed from fear, shoulds and what ifs. So when you make a choice, try and make it from a place inside that feels like it has some roots.
My desire to leave London came from a great place, because it was fuelled by wanting to feel good. In these six months I have not wavered on this decision, it feels perhaps more ‘right’ for me than anything ever has.
CHANGE IS GOOD
I love change, I think you might know that about me already. I’ve learned that to be afraid of the unknown is to invite in stress and restriction, and I choose to practice expansive thinking daily. However, change is a transitional energy and likes to stir things up, fear is a natural part of it, and that is ok. Anxiety is normal and I’m happy to have the tools to manage it. Back in London my heart felt sad, it’s good to have cracked it open again.
It’s never too late for change, there is always time for change and change will find you even if you run from it. To evolve is your natural state and it’s worth, at the very least, exploring.
When you make a choice fuelled from self love then you are unlikely to head anywhere other than exactly where you are supposed to be.
your loved ones will be sad but they will still love you
When you make a big decision for yourself, for your life, it suddenly isn’t so much about you. We all react to things, from the small to the great, from our own experiences and vision. Perception is everything. So, when I made this big step it meant that it also pulled up a lot of fears for other people. Some people wanted to repeat DON’T GO over and over, some wanted to know why why why, and some wanted to ignore the fact it was happening. Some people will feel specifically like you are leaving them.
Everyone who is truly connected to you will be excited for what you are excited about, even if they are sad too, they will love you because you love you. If they don’t, then be compassionate to their fears and be thankful that they care.
I’ve learned that I’m not someone who gets attached easily, I love my friends but I also want them to dig as deep as they possibly can to get to know themselves, to find out what they need and to discover how to best love their lives. I practice ‘positive selfishness‘ with the knowledge that if I feel my best then it reflects out so that I can be a better friend, therapist, sister, daughter and so on.
I’ve always found peace in my own company and only truly experienced loneliness when around other people, and so with this, I’m not afraid of doing things on my own. I’m obsessed with my family and lucky to be enveloped in what I consider to be the worlds greatest one, and equally aware how rare this is. I know that however much they wish I was less far away, it’s far smaller than how they feel if they knew I was feeling sad everyday.
I knew that I would still speak to everyone who was willing to meet me halfway, and that’s how it’s been, my nearest and dearest are like a 24/7 life giving drip in whatsapp and, well, modern technology is pretty great isn’t it.
Environment is everything
When you move to the other side of the world, all your hang ups come with you. The great thing is that they feel a hell of a lot better when you feel more comfortable in your environment.
I knew this already, because it’s what lead me to wanting to leave London. The only way I can describe how I felt that last couple of years was displaced. It was a sad feeling and I knew that London wasn’t in the environment that I needed anymore. Committing to leaving London was a decision to search for an environment that felt right, and for a while I wasn’t sure it would be LA, but when things aligned for me and I was able to come here I breathed a sigh of relief, because LA had always felt like home.
But back to the sense of environment. My friend Jayne and I talked a lot about this recently, how it’s essential for us to learn in what places and scenarios we thrive. And also, maybe more importantly what we need to feel good. This changes over the years, depending on what part of our lives we are in. I grew up in the countryside and my childhood was bug collecting, making dens, and casting spells. I don’t think I was designed to thrive in a built up place, though I love so much about the city I feel the most grounded when I can see big open spaces. I always wanted to live in the middle of nowhere and have a door to the big citttyyy whenever I felt like it. LA feels like this to me. I’m in the middle of everything I need but at the same time I can walk 20 minutes and be high up with a view, bump into a coyote and watch hummingbirds swoop back and forth.
I’m in total swoonsville being among plants and creatures that I don’t recognise, in weather that helps my AI disease thrive (dry heat hurrah!) and at liberty to be in the desert, on the beach or in the mountains with a short drive away. I love England, but I am wide eyed to explore somewhere else.
Moving somewhere you love puts you back in YES mode
Getting to view life with childlike wonder as an adult can sometimes be a rarity, and I feel like I’ve been given that with this adventure. Everything is interesting, including all the things that might be dull for someone in their day to day. I’m holding the magic of this feeling for as long as it lasts. I’m also LOVING getting out of my comfort zone, this isn’t something that is always common ground for me.
It’s so great to assume nothing and receive everything.
I struck gold in the friend department
Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone, I imagine looks TOTALLY different. I arrived and my LA family embraced me, drove me around and made me feel more loved than I’ve ever felt before. Boundaries are very important for me with the work that I do, and I’m happy to find a balance here, and a lot of laughing.
Having a wellness practice is essential
When things are swirling around you, whether it’s because you moved home or just because you are in a time of change, then the only way to be grounded is to put a wellness practice in place as soon as possible. For me this meant that I focused all my attention on creating a home that felt like home as soon as possible. When I arrived I was staying in a sublet but I still made a meditation space knowing that my morning practice would save me when I felt the waves of change. It has helped tremendously.
I’m still finding my people, which for me means the people I go to when my health is out of balance. I guess this is a process, and so I’m asking advice and trying out different practitioners. Finding these therapists is a priority for me, because my health is at the top of everything. I’ve learned that it’s easy to suddenly feel afraid when you don’t know the medical system or the protocol for SO many things. I’ve also learned that it’s easy to ask for help. WHO KNEW!
I also appreciate that my body needs new things in a new place and umm that air conditioning sometimes gives me migraines.
Never forget that being a human is hilarious and embarrassing
Do you ever think about this? I do all the time. I seriously believe we should never forget how funny life is. It keeps me on my toes and in a better frame of mind. Everything is embarrassing and wonderful, messy and golden.
Firstly moving to a new place threw me a heap of I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN challenges, because basically I like to do everything myself. I’m not controlling (duh surrender forever) but I just resonate with being a loner. As soon as I arrived here I instantly felt like I was in my own comedy show, cause, well everything is the same but NO NO IT’S NOT AT ALL. I have been forced to ask questions, to listen, to learn.
The internet is very helpful of course, but so are humans and I have cherished feeling like an idiot on many occasions. I can also see my sense of gratitude overflowing, daily. I see how things have lined up to greet me, and yes I’ve done the work, but I’m also a privileged person in most ways. I don’t want to not appreciate a second of it.
I no longer feel displaced.