• Lizzie Shutt

My Happiness Reflection Story, Deep Connection Virtually, Halfway Through 2020 WOAH

A strong afternoon sea breeze cools the air and rustles the tall pine trees, the sun is hiding behind a few clouds as it is getting closer to its bedtime, and the van with its happy travelers rolls up to a new land, Pines Beach.

The young travelers were looking for a place to disappear into nature, their adventurous hearts set out barefoot into the pine needle covered forest floor. They walked through the open forest creating their own sort of path up and down small hills. Soon they encountered a low spot along where the forest edge met the beach and the trees created a windshield. They both knew they had found their spot. Sitting down they tested if their assumption was true. Yes it was!

Now they trekked back to the van to gather their belongings and dinner equipment: one Mexican blanket, a guitar, sweaters, a book "One Straw Revolution" (highly recommend), a pot, gas powered stove, silverware, and groceries (orange bell pepper, avocado, lime, cilantro, salsa, farmer's market tempeh, brown rice.) Balancing the food and supplies going down hill was alarming, but a sigh of relief rushed through their bodies as they made it safely to their hideout.

He played guitar while she read. Back to back they sat, both in their own worlds yet supporting one another. Dinner was cooked to perfection (their favorite: Mexican) and enjoyed peacefully harbored by the tall trees surrounding. They wished to set up up camp, but it wasn't smart (or allowed). They headed back to the van when the sun had set with smiles, full bellies, and a love for life in their hearts.

Emmett and I did not know this would be our last weekend in New Zealand, but unknowingly we still savored every present moment. There's a lot I want to tie in to this story so bear with me as I take your through my mind journey.

We made these the next morning! Van life cooking never held us back!!

The reason this memory resurfaced:

This past weekend I had some of my college besties come stay with me. My family loves to host and accommodate for my friends so there was no shortage of food or fun! We all said it felt like a weekend retreat in so many ways. However, the tasty vegan food and outdoor fun was not the part that felt healing, as if we were on a retreat, rather it was the fact that we were all together and collectively decided to deepen our relationships with one another. The love and vulnerability that poured out of each of us showed how special it is to have a support system.

I am grateful to have seen them (haven't seen them since before New Zealand!), but I realize that is not possible for everyone at this time to see your support systems, your bestie, your grandma, your partner etc. yet there is still a way connect!! I want to share the game that facilitated this deep connection with my friends: "We're Not Really Strangers". Also look through here to find pdf/quizlet version because I'm not sure if the virtual one is free or available on their site hehe!

The question:

"What has been the happiest moment in your year so far?"

This took me a minute to think, I've had so many great moments, but the time at Pines Beach just felt surreal. I wanted to share this question with you too because through all the fear and pain our world has experienced recently there is still the ability to choose and experience happiness!

What would be your answer? (journal or share it)

Post-game reflecting:

While reflecting I realized we are halfway through 2020! CRAZZYY! It prompted me to look back at the goals/resolutions I set for 2020. I encourage you to do the same, even if you have not written ambitions for 2020 I'm sure there are areas of your life you would like to dedicate more time to nurturing and growing. Take this article as a reminder to kickstart that process! If you need an accountability coach I'm here for you too.

Present reflection:

Lastly as I wrote the story at the beginning a literal action became a metaphor in my mind, "Back to back they sat, both in their own worlds yet supporting one another." I see this phrase so fitting to our time right now in self isolation and social distancing from our loved ones, co-workers, and community. We may not be in person, but there are ways to support others, and even deeply connect (a human necessity)... thats where this game comes in!

Hopefully I was able to articulate my experience in a way you could follow along with and that you take what you need from this blog. You have all you need within you, sometimes you just have to ask yourself the right questions.

"Live Dirty, Eat Clean & Green",

Lizzie Shutt


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