Stephanie Nelson – March 2012 Grad

A love for life led me on one of my greatest journeys…

Stephanie NelsonI have a great love for life! There are days I am so grateful to have an opportunity to wake up and feel the aches and pleasures. They remind me I have another day to do the mundane. To do something new and totally different.

I have found being in love with life, I naturally become a student of life. I study life like a lover, curious and lustful to know everything and experience it all. I listen to the messages of life with openness and feel the longing to linger in her presence as long as humanly possible.

I take risks, trusting in things I do not yet fully understand. I have yet to see the possibilities of how they may manifest in my life.  I am courageous enough to feel whatever is happening right now. I allow anticipation and thoughts about fear, “what if’s”, and the unknown to pass like a subtle cool breeze on hot day. Appreciating the exhilaration and relief in not knowing the future, giving me greater appreciation for what is right now.

I trust myself and I align myself only with the things, people, places, and experiences I know assist me to fall more in love with life and myself. I follow my desires and explore where they may lead me. Always giving myself permission to change course, realizing it is truly not the destination. It is the courage to live my own story that moves me to my core and keeps me feeling alive.

Stephanie-Travel-PhotoIt’s this way of thinking that has led me on one of the greatest journeys of my life. It was one year ago today that I finally did what my heart had been yearning to do for sometime. I left the career field that was leaving me partially satisfied, in search of finding out what would feed all of my soul and who I am when I am not trying to fit into the American mold. I sold all the belongings in my house, sold a vehicle, my dirt bikes, and rented out my house.

Next my partner and I picked out our backpacks and a few other supplies and jumped on a flight to Australia. We had no set plan of where we were going; we just had ideas, dreams, and excitement. We ended up visiting Bali, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. We had all sorts of amazing adventures, surprises, and a few uncomfortable moments. We hitchhiked, slept in hostels, slept outside, camped, trekked, met new people, and saw breath-taking sights.

Along with gaining a tolerance for bug bites, we gained flexibility, knowledge, culture, and a much more expanded view of the world and ourselves. I was especially aware on this adventure how grateful I am for the little things in life that so many others go without; hot water, heat, food, medical treatment, roads, infrastructure, clean water, education, and freedom to live and travel elsewhere. As well as the freedom to practice ones belief’s without a threat of harm.

I returned home expanded and more open and curious then ever. I have since explored my interest in personal transformation, music, speaking, healing, wellness, business, and writing. I would like to tell you this was the easiest year of my life. Although it was one of the most exhilarating years, in many ways it was also one of the most difficult. Many times I felt lost, confused and sad.

I experienced feeling judgment about having this new found freedom and not allowing myself to enjoy every drop of it. I was able to see very clearly my thoughts and beliefs, specifically the ones that were debilitating and holding me captive.

To me being a student of life is a continual process ever unfolding. With each new choice to follow my calling, I experience more courage, strength, resilience, compassion, exhilaration, discomfort and TRUST. It is in the breath of all these emotions I find aliveness, a depth of awareness, and appreciation for life and myself that is exhilarating and forever interestingly expanding and unfolding. Leaving me breathless, to see more, know more, experience more, and contribute MORE.