New Opportunities arise

What do you do when you have the opportunity to fullfill a dream? To do something different, take a chance without knowing the outcome? When you are given a shot at living life completely different than you ever expected? Take the damn chance. Jump with everything you have, and remind yourself not to look back, or ahead.

I was offered to come and help at a treatment center in Thailand. The same one I had went and checked out while in Chiang Mai. I can tell you that beginning this journey I had no plans or expectations of where it would take me. I knew that the word plan was not in the plan.
I have learned to take opportunities when they are presented. Regardless of negative thoughts, worries, stress or concern. There is a reason for this opportunity and I must take it.
So I gladly accepted and found myself on a plane from Koh Samui heading to Chiang Mai. It occured to me this was the first time since I could remember I didn’t question, or worry. I just did it. I knew it was the right choice. I made a decision without looking back. I can tell you today after 1 month, I am so grateful for that decision. Not only is it an opportunity to work with other recovering addicts, to share my passion for recovery and gain insight and knowledge in this field, but I get to LIVE in a foreign country. I get to spend time exploring, meet other travelers, and be apart of a brand new community and culture.
………..Of course, then fear creeped in. “What if I fail?” “I hardly know any Thai…” “What if I go broke?” “What about traveling to other countries?” “What if I want to go home?”………
All the what if’s and more that push us away from finding ourselves. The fear that drives us to stay conformed, and make the easy choice. The fear that deterioates the flowing love we are surrounded by.
What if?

But I know creator brought me here, and opened up this door for me. I know I have a God that loves, cares, and protects me. All I have to do is open my heart to all possibilities. I had to ignore my self-limiting beliefs, ignore my head, and follow my heart.

Here I am, a month into this new opportunity and absolutely loving the job. Everyone asks me, “How long will you stay?” or “when will you come home?” and I love the feeling of smiling, and responding “I dont really know.” It is such a freeing moment everytime I respond. This coming from someone who has planned everything in her life over the last 3 and a half years. Every day, every weekend, everything had a plan. And IF it did not go according to plan, well my world was shaken to pieces. Haha, and here I am living my wildest dreams, (since I have achieved this the dreams have gotten much bigger) but nevertheless. I have the opportunity to live and explore an entirely different culture. With no deadlines, due dates, time frames, or schedules. I dont have to do anything, and I get to do everything. I remember dreaming my blog would take off, and someone would pay me to travel. This was before I realized how much time and effort travel blogging actually takes in order to make any type of money from it. I don’t have to worry about that now. In the last month I have begun to make new friends, I am extremely happy a girl from The Netherlands is interning and staying in the same hotel as me. We are the same age and get along great. She really has helped this transition. We spend our days off together, exploring, eating, getting massages..oh and shopping! It has really helped the lonliness that sparks from time to time. Speaking of shopping; as part of helping out at the treatment center I of course had to update my wardrobe from Tie dye dresses and bathing suits to a more proffesional look. So shopping indeed was in order. Unfortunately reality hit when I took off that tie dye dress and began putting on “normal” clothes. I had gained weight. I knew inside that endless food carts, thai and indonesian food, fruit smoothies for days, and binging on mango and sticky rice accompanied with a lack of proper physical activity regularly each week had impacted my waistline. And now it was time to face it. All the hard work I have put in on my body was gone, can we say depression? Insecure? Lack of self worth? Even after 2 months of amazing traveling around beautiful countries with beautiful people. Life changing experiences, personal and spiritual growth. I was back in a fitting room hating myself. AGAIN. With the compulsion to just eat because it feels better. This sounded all to familiar to me and I realize that I continue to use food as a substance to fill my spiritual void. Was I relapsing in a different way? Partially yes. Although the only person affected once again, was myself. Now is the time to apply what I know, put the work in and find the little girl inside I love and let her know that eating is not a solution. That love has no boundaries and I will love her until she loves herself regardless of her size. That is not a pass for me to keep the weight on or continue gaining. But to recognize who am I trying to impress, and why is it so hard to love myself. Over the past month, I began building a similar life to the one I had back home, obsessing over food, talking about food, getting a gym membership and forcing myself to go. Wait a minute….again all to familiar. This is exactly what I left (except I loved my gym and miss it very much and enjoyed it very much!) But I began building a schedule, limiting my meetings here, failing to pray, to take accountability for what I put into my body.

Yesterday, I had this moment of clarity.
This moment of realizing, I have all the time in the world and now is the time.
This moment.
 I thought to myself, this is the perfect opportunity for more prayer, more meditation, more yoga, more writing, more reading, more recovery.
 Recovery from self, because I am my own problem.
 Not the food, or any other substance I choose.
NOW is the time to open my heart to truely begin to love myself for me, creating who I want to be.
I can take the time to write, to dive into spirituality on an entire new level. To practice the steps, and continue working on them. To be conscious of what I choose to put in my body and put effort into a practice that makes my body feel good. I am worthy of a healthy life. I am worthy of balance. Even if balance is incredibly difficult for me to achieve I have the time to be mindful and work towards balance. I have the time to practice self love today. I woke up this morning, called a few of my loved ones and my parents. I sipped tea instead of coffee and I did yoga. All on my own (with a video of course) but without motivation by anyone or anything else. Instead of heading to the gym and ripping it up on the bike and lifting weights on my own, I gracefully and lovingly watched myself and my body in the mirror while doing all sorts of poses that my body is not used to. But I felt so much love for myself and so proud of myself. (I am the type of person that likes classes, needs motivation from others to get moving). I can change that today, I can motivate myself. Instead of waking up slamming some coffee and flying on my bike to the gym and then rushing to the sauna and shower and rushing to work, I can take my time in the morning and practice an exercise that teaches me about my body and how to love my body and push my body into akward positions it probably wouldnt ever go in. It took me a month to get to this point, and sharing this experience will only motivate me to continue working on myself. If I came home tomorrow I would feel as if I had unfinished business, I would feel as if I took this whole thing for granted and forgot to stay in the moment. I would feel as if I left my journey to return out of fear and uncomfortability. Every day I wake up breathing, I listen to the monks chant at the temple across the way. I smile and think “Still in Thailand?”
Today I began to be truely grateful for this type of life, its different, its uncomfortable, but its my life today and I am excited to live it each day.
Bua Tong Waterfall
“Sticky waterfalls”

 

A moment of silence, a moment of gratitude

 

A local woman in Chiang Dao enjoying her Bamboo stogi

 

Sometimes it rains, and you learn to dance with patience

 

Blissfully yours,
Alicia Rose
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