Hi my loves, and happy END OF NOVEMBER! I hope everyone had the most rejuvenating, relaxing & wonderful Thanksgiving with their fams & loved ones.
If you followed along on my Thanksgiving adventures via Instagram + Snapchat, then you now well know that I was in the beautiful town of Carmel by the Sea, and that I was freakin’ obsessed with every single ounce of the mountain beauty and soaking in all the down time with my family.
Yes, DOWN TIME. Real down time, enjoyed by YOURS TRULY! What a concept, right?
This year has been a doozy. So much awesome stuff has happened, and my career has grown and evolved at a rapid, zooming pace. It’s pretty much everything I’ve wanted and dreamt of — yet also it’s been a challenge to find time to slow down, connect with the people I love most, and stay present in each moment.
And hang on, before you think this is one of those “poor me, I’m so busy!” type of posts — stop right there. I’m not that kind of gal. I don’t think it’s cool to be busy, or that there is anything more impressive about me or any other busy person just because I have a lot going on.
I’ve CHOSEN to have a lot going on… I’ve said YES to a million and one things this year, and while it’s been awesome for my career — it’s taken a toll on my overall wellness routine & my life and heart as a whole.
Soon I’ll share with you guys a few measures I have taken to reconnect to myself and unwind the busy-busy-busy-ness without sacrificing success in my career. (You already know about my Panchakarma and yoga training, but those have only been the beginnings of a pretty big life transformation.)
So Just How Am I Choosing to Slow Down?
Anyway, one thing I’ve learned is that being in nature — specifically in the mountains, forest, and colder climates (not snowing but colder beachy climates) really reconnects me to my core and my ability to slow down. And it works fast… which, even though I’m trying to slow down, I really appreciate.
That’s why I have been heading up to the mountains of Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey as much as possible this season.
And on top of the reconnection to nature, being with people I really love most and feel completely comfortable and myself with is the second thing. People where I don’t always have to feel so “ON.” Where I can literally just sit at dinner in silence for 10+ minutes or talk incessantly about how much I relate to yogic principles and the universe’s eccentricities and not feel like a weirdo.
So, this Thanksgiving in Carmel with my family was… well… nothing short of magical.
I needed it. Needed it so badly, you guys. It’s hard to explain how much I needed it.
Something happened in Carmel, between the adventures in Big Sur and watching the epic ocean waves crash onto the shore and bundling up for long beach walks with my dad and taking in the foresty streets with NO ADDRESSES on them — the houses only have names there! How cool is that?
And that something that happened was that I reconnected to who I am at my core.
I didn’t think I had necessarily lost that person… but yes, even though I have been telling myself to slow the heck down for a long time, I finally realized in Carmel that there is a massive difference between telling yourself you’ll slow down and actually slowing down.
Every minute that I was there I made a conscious effort to be present. And on top of being present, I made a conscious effort to have fun. Sometimes when I am with my family I can fall into a mood where I am not necessarily having fun — I’m just kind of there, and obsessing about all the other things I have to do. (Ugh, how annoying??)
So I knew this time around that I did NOT want to be that way. It never leaves me feeling fulfilled, recharged or proud of the way I’ve acted. If anything, it makes me feel sort of guilty and sad when I look back on it.
This time around I took every opportunity to be in the present moment, put my phone away, disconnect from work, and do the things that would make me happiest and have the most fun.
We adventured all over Big Sur, explored cute coffee shops in Carmel, I got to see my dad’s old lot where he used to have a house (I am still beyond depressed that he sold it TOO SOON!!), and I said “no” (politely) to Black Friday shopping with the ladies in my fam in favor of a long-ass beach walk and some yoga in my hotel room to reconnect.
Because at the end of the day, why spend time doing anything that is not going to make us feel fully alive and present? I learned long ago not to force myself through any situation… and now I know what to do with myself instead of just dragging myself along in situations where I KNOW I will not be fully present or enjoyable to be around.
Lil’ Adventures in Carmel by the Sea
One of my absolute favorite moments on this trip was exploring little nooks and crannies of downtown Carmel with my dad.
My dad is my hero — the most kind, generous, selfless, hilarious, and giving person that I know. My mom is the one who everyone knows I am close with because she is my best friend and we do everything together… but my dad is that awesome person in the background who I really bond with in a few ways: by exploring together, taking photos together (a new passion of his, and obvi a longtime passion of mine!), and being outside together for long, long walks where he gives the best business and life advice ever.
So on our last evening in Carmel we set out on a little photoshoot adventure together that resulted in all of the photos in this post!
Per usual, I did not pack enough warm clothes (I am such a So Cal freak who literally does not understand cold weather climates even though I grew up in Nor Cal)… so this Express outfit was my warmest, most weather-appropriate outfit that I brought on the trip.
Otherwise, I stole my mom’s clothes every day. *WHOOPS*
And I’ll be honest… it was my mom’s idea for me to get the tights — lol. Thank god she thought of it, because even the thought of my bare legs in the chilly-chilly, drizzly nights in Carmel freaks me out to think about!!
This is also for sure my new favorite dress… it’s so comfy, and so versatile. I dressed it up with these black booties and the jacket, but I can also dress it down with flats and my hair in my signature lil’ top knot for errands around town.
Anyway, my dad and I hit up all of our favorite Carmel spots while taking these photos. We took them by the cozy fireplace at our hotel, on our walk into town outside all of our favorite little haunts, and at my number one fave coffee shop on earth… Carmel Roasting Co.
Then we had to run (literally, sprint) back to our hotel to meet our fam to walk to our final dinner in town… we got so caught up in what we were doing, hours passed without us hardly realizing it!
Taking pics with my dad is a fun new tradition we’ve gotten into over the years… now that he finally understands blogging and appreciates what I do for a living!
I am so grateful for the little Nor Cal mountain towns I get to visit and my amazing family for reminding me to slow down — our lives are so precious, and rushing through life gets us NOWHERE.
I am super dedicated to continue exploring this notion of slowing down as we move into the end of the year and 2017… it is my top goal — to be present, slow down and enjoy every little adventure that life presents me with.
Also, you can shop my looks from Carmel below! How was everyone else’s Thanksgiving? Would love to hear your fam traditions and what you were all up to! XO