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On the great inner Investigation, and my findings to date

Morning, friends!

It's been three weeks since I last wrote to you guys. Since then, I said a lot of see-you-laters: to my teammates, my job, my yoga community, my family, my friends, to my garden, to a city I called home for thirteen years and to a neighborhood I'd lived in for eight of those.

Last week, I packed up the last of my things, sold or gave away the rest, and rolled myself to DCA with two backpacks (one to my front, one to my back) and two suitcases (one for each arm) on a one-way flight to Tucson, Arizona.🌵
Right about now you might be wondering, "why? why would you do that? it's so hot there. do you know it's very hot there? and before the best month of the year in the mid-Atlantic?" 🤔 This was the same question asked by the man who found my stolen work badge on the metro a week after my last day and messaged me on Facebook. He didn't even know who I was, but had to ask. So even though none of you asked, I'm going to share anyway.
Let's take a step back: quitting my job and moving across the country alone, to a city where I'd have to completely start over, was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. And since yoga for me has always been a tool for self-reflection, it seems like I should share how I arrived here. Perhaps it will allow you some space to follow your own instincts, and trust you're not being reckless with your life but instead, curious in your pursuits!

So, I did a ton of investigating over the past six months about what was lying at the root of my discontent. It turns out that I'm a Type 5 enneagram, The Investigator. I asked myself a lot of questions to figure out what was off. I asked, is it my living situation? Is it my finances? Is it my entrepreneurial ambitions? Is it my dating life? Am I stir-crazy? Is it my job? Is it my fitness? Is it this city? Through that investigation, I examined a lot of potential "solutions." The Investigation — and yes, let's go ahead and capitalize it — led me to do many things. For instance:
  • I got approved for a mortgage, and nearly put a $300K+ offer on a condo.
  • I saved half of my total income in one of the world's most expensive cities...while working in media.
  • I led and sold out my first yoga retreat, and grew my 6:30am class following to max out my compensation mostly every week.
  • I spent a few evenings at a BDSM/fetish club.
  • I took a trip to one of the world's most pristine island chains by myself and swam with Galápagos penguins, among other wildlife.
  • I had three articles published in a pretty well-known outlet.
  • I got visible "abs" for the first time in my life. And remained steadfast in my resistance to coloring my hairs.
  • I walked to and from work almost every day, watching, and taking notes, and soaking up various corners of D.C.
Along the way, I kept checking in with what my instincts were telling me. And here were the conclusions of The Investigation:
  • I wanted to have my own place so I could write in peace, and build a routine that was my own. However, I didn't like the idea of doing this at the expense of my future savings (savings=choices). I didn't make enough to do both.
  • I didn't need to buy any new stuff. Buying "stuff" stopped feeling good. My biggest expense during that time was my writing class.
  • What I love most about teaching yoga is the creativity: creating the sequences, the playlists, the lesson plans, and even the shapes themselves. Leading a retreat was a powerful step into owning my expertise and trusting that I had something of value to offer, and that people were willing to pay for it.
  • I love learning and talking about sex, because I want to be able to write about it with more nuance and texture. And because I think a more sex-positive world makes for a less violent world (ahimsa).
  • I love to travel, but was allured by the image that it creates. This is especially true in D.C. where it's easy to feel lesser-than if you're less-traveled (it's gross, but true). When I got back from Ecuador, I realized I'd been so busy every day that I hardly did any journaling. And I realized that being able to write in reflection of experiences is the only reason I travel. For me, without a journal, traveling is just a performance.
  • I loved that my job afforded me the time to write and opportunity to have my work published. But I couldn't hone a creative writing craft there. My title was merely an ego boost. So I went ahead and sought out classes on my own.
  • The abs were short-lived. The grays are here to stay. Bodies are sacred and also soft.
  • I'll always love D.C., and maybe I will wind up back there again someday. But just because you love someplace doesn't mean you can't love someplace else, too.
Photo credit: Rose Peck
So there was a trend. More time writing. I want to get better, and eventually write a book. I think there's something there. And I was willing to take a risk to see if my gut was onto something. Worst case, I fail, and that's OK, too.

So my generous friend Becca, who is off pursuing her passions and developing her own craft, offered me a landing pad, which brought me to the desert (a semi-arid region technically): home to gigantic anthills and blinding moon views. Basically everything here is bigger, brighter, quieter, dryer, hotter, more dangerous and all-around otherworldly.

Last time, I asked what you were shedding to create space for renewal. Caitlin W. wrote back that she's "working to shed the perfectionist voice in her head." I think it's often the perfectionist voice that thinks it has all the answers, and doesn't give you the time to ask the questions.

I'm wondering what questions you're living in at the moment. Hit me up. I will likely read your responses over a nourishing plate of homemade breakfast that would sell for $17 at a cafe in Brooklyn, and a cup of French press coffee (because I have time for things like this now)!

And what's upcoming? Hopefully so many things. I have lists of topics that are growing by the day, from the aforementioned sex-positivity/ahimsa connection to what yoga has to teach us about how to value our own time. 💸

'Til then,

💖
Kelly

Journaling prompt ✍

Write a list of questions for which you most immediately would like answers. They can be big or small, personal or broad. 

Worth a read 📚

Stories from six women about how super-charging their careers despite their health took a major toll, and how they dealt with it. // "What kind of life is that—when holidays come in shifts and not for all workers together? That’s no holiday, if you have to celebrate by yourself.” // Is the idea of practicing mindfulness in the workplace in order to motivate people to work more, because it feels more pleasant sort of...messed up? // Could mini-brains grown in a laboratory setting actually come to develop their own consciousness? More at 11 on Black Mirror is Now Normal Life.

Tunes 🎶

New playlist features some emerging artists like Seratones and Audrey. Check it out.
Stream it!
Photo credit: Rose Peck
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