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Day 10: Sumner Beach and New Routines

This morning I tried a new routine that I had thought through yesterday. When I woke up around 6:45, I threw the curtains open to flood the room with light. I allowed myself a few moments to lay there and review my dreams in my head, but then climbed out of my cocoon. Lately I’ve been laying in bed and going back to sleep in the mornings, and I think it’s making me more groggy. I turned the kettle on and then walked a few steps to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. By the time I finished, the water had boiled and come to rest. I pulled out a ginger-turmeric tea bag, and poured the hot water over it into a plain white mug. Then I pulled on some comfortable pants, walking shoes and a light jacket, and put my headphones in. I started up a 20 minute morning walking meditation, and headed out the door.

Unlike yesterday’s dense clouds and howling wind, this morning was calm and bright. As I turned out of the parking lot, sunshine hit my face and I smiled into it. As I walked, the guided meditation podcast helped remind me to slow down, maintain connection with my breath and body, and gently notice the world around me. It’s funny how easily I would slip into walking at a fairly fast clip, then catch myself and pause for a moment before continuing on more slowly. The point of this venture outside was to get sunlight and fresh air, not to hurry back to the motel or get in some cardio. There were a few other people out jogging that I smiled at. Dew rested on the purple and white petals of rhododendrons and other flowers whose names I’ve yet to learn.

By the time I circled back to my room, my teacup was empty and I felt refreshed and awake. I bumped into my new boss at the top of the stairs, and we chatted for a few minutes. He asked how I was getting along with everything, and offered several suggestions for day trips I could take in the area. When we said goodbye, I returned to my room and refilled my cup halfway with the still-warm water from the kettle. Then I unrolled my yoga mat and started a 15-minute energetic flow. Feeling good about moving around and wanting more, I did a 20-minute pilates session next. Then I (somewhat reluctantly) jumped into a cold shower. My mind and body really did not want to get fully beneath the spray of cool water, but once I did it felt really nice. And it definitely helped keep it quick! I dried off and got dressed in work clothes, then checked the time. I still had an hour before I needed to go downstairs for training! Great.

So, here we are now. I added a few things to my journal and then opened up my laptop to write this. When I finish I’ll make a light breakfast, probably yogurt with fruit and granola, because I’m not feeling very hungry but I know I’ll need it for my morning of work. I feel really good today and I’m looking forward to continuing this morning routine through the week: get outside as early as possible, move my body, hydrate, and have time for something creative.

Later that day…

During the meditation podcast from this morning, the speaker asked us to set an intention for the day. What came up for me almost immediately was fun and exploration. I’ve had my fair share of both in the last couple weeks, but more recently in the days I arrived in Christchurch, I’ve been relatively focused on more practical matters around my new job, where I’m staying until I start, setting up banking and things like that. I haven’t really gotten out of the city, or even seen much of it beyond errand-running, so it felt like some fresh views were in order.

Lucky for me, I met a nice French man at an eatery in the city center the day before, and when he told me he would be surfing today because the waves were supposed to be really good, I asked if I could come watch. In the late afternoon, he let me know where they would be and I headed out to meet them. By this time, clouds had returned along with a strong wind coming off the sea. I buttoned up my flannel and got

my camera settings dialed in. I lost myself in observing the surfers riding and fighting the huge waves–probably the biggest I’d ever seen. It was nice to be behind the camera again too, as I did not take many photos while I was in Colorado. We went to two different beaches and they surfed until a storm rolled in strong and daylight began to wane.

By the time I made my way up the steps to my room in the dwindling evening light, I felt very satisfied with the day. It was a simple thing to take a moment in the morning to choose an intention of fun and exploration for the day, and that permission I gave myself made it easier to let go and enjoy the day without thinking of tasks I need to get done. It was fun to explore a new area with some new friends.

Talk soon!


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