A Time of Release
Well, I am now in beautiful Chiang Mai during the the annual Lantern Festival, Loy Krathong, and Yi Peng water festival. Both festivals celebrate releasing any negative thoughts, beliefs, or situations in your life – a powerful ritual for the Thai people which is especially significant this year as they are mourning the death of their beloved King.
It also feels like a very appropriate time for me to be here while working hard to release unhealthy behaviours, patterns, beliefs, and shed physical weight of my own. Boy, am I ready to release all of these mental and physical burdens!
One of the most refreshing aspects I found about ph360 is their definition of health. It resonated deeply to see a healthy lifestyle program discuss health from a holistic perspective beyond just “food and fitness”. Including things like your social life, home and work environment, natural talents, mental strengths, and more into the definition of health just makes so much sense.
City vs Country
My travels through Chiang Mai turned out to be a perfect experiment in testing the information about the ideal place for my health. My ph360 profile tells me that my body prefers to be close to nature with expansive, scenic views from my balcony or window. I should avoid noisy, city-like atmospheres.
I wanted to be close to the downtown core during the Lantern and Water Festival, and so I chose a hotel close to the river and nightmarket. It was a central location which was great. However, I made the rookie traveler mistake of assuming “3 star” hotel meant the same thing in Thailand as it did in North America. Oops.
The room was basic. It had what I needed – air conditioning, a bed, a desk, a private bathroom, etc; yet the sliding glass door to the patio was the only window and it looked out onto a construction site and more buildings. Day by Day, I felt myself becoming more agitated, ungrounded, and even slightly anxious. I was thrilled the day I came across the only green parkland in Chiang Mai Old District and spent at least an hour on the grass – feeling it between my toes and walking around to ground myself again. I also became aware that getting some work done on a bench in the park didn’t feel like such a chore or require as much motivation.
It was then I realized ph360 and Shae was right – I had to get out of the city and into a rural area to feel a general sense of ease, and to churn out some work I really needed to complete.
Rural Life – #shaemademedoit
My main priorities for choosing my next place of residence was a natural surrounding with views of greenery and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Now, truth-be-told, I didn’t quite realize just how far out of the city I had booked a place. Once I arrived and settled my nerves about being so far away from city amenities like grocery stores and restaurants (another point that ph360 and Shae told me – I may like to have control over my access to amenities to meet my needs. Yup. Check!), the close proximity to nature more than made up for it.
I couldn’t believe what a difference it made for me to be in nature. I woke up on the first morning looking out across the lawn to beautiful trees, a little stream running in front of my patio, and birds and geckos chatting away. Bliss.
Being far away from the city also limited my distractions. I found myself longing to sit in the breakfast room which was separate from the hotel, and tap away at the computer while lifting my gaze above my screen over a green meadow while the easy breeze invited the lace curtains to a slow dance.
It is amazing how my physical environment put my mind at ease to be more productive in a relaxed setting. Lesson learned.
Until next time 🙂