It’s Saturday morning and I’m Golden Gate Bridgedriving across the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time for awhile.  I look up at the large “International Orange” towers and smile at their magnificence.  I love this bridge.

Memories are triggered.  Memories from what my life used to be like.  I am suddenly blown away by the resilience of the human mind and what it’s capable of – by it’s plasticity and it’s ability to rebuild itself, to grow, to learn, to change.

Five years ago I was afraid to drive on the freeway.  

What I’m doing right now would have been impossible.

Five years ago I was afraid to fly. 

I am driving to the San Francisco International airport to take 3 flights over the next 30 hours.

Five years ago I was agoraphobic. 

Agoraphobia is fear of leaving the house.  And today I’m moving out of the country.

I’m blown away.

My car is packed with 2 suitcases filled with clothes, toiletries and computer/video equipment.  Amongst other things, I’ve packed 4 shades of pink nail polish, 6 bikinis and 14 dresses.

So much for minimalism.  

Guilt over how much stuff I’m bringing has been distracting me all morning.  Roughly one pound of “stuff” for each pound of my body.  Why do I feel guilty?

I try to calm my shameful thoughts with rationalization, “moving with only 115 lbs of stuff!” But the shame lingers, like I’m doing it wrong and should only have one backpack of stuff.  I have no idea where I got this from.  Like some made up relationship in my head about “it’s better to require less.”  I’m not exactly a one pair of shorts kinda girl.  I like variety.  I like colors.  So I try not to give those thoughts too much energy.

I initiated a “No Bikini Left Behind!” policy Agoraphobic to Expatwhile packing. My Minimalism Coach said, “If you have a bathing suit cover-up that you’re not brining when you go to an island, you have no business keeping it.”  The same applies for bathing suits.

Today I’m moving to Bali, Indonesia.

Agoraphobic to Expat.  All I can think right now is, “This is a miracle.”  A huge grin takes over my face and I am flooded with gratitude.  Waves of energy pulsate throughout my body, from my head down to my feet.  Tears come to my eyes.  Today is a good day.  I’m smiling big as I drive through the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza.

I am a miracle. 

My intention isn’t to be boasting.  My extreme gratitude is for the plasticity of the mind (& for my new life : )  Our minds are incredibly resilient.  I know this absolutely.  This is what the mind can do when you train it with simple tools.  Tools like deep breaths, meditating and living by spiritual principles like honesty, patience & acceptance.

I don’t meditate because I want to be a Guru, I meditate because there was (and is) a LOT going on in my head. 

Meditation re-wired my brain and along with some other practices, gave me my life back.

I’m not special.  We are all the same.

We all have minds capable of miraculous change. 

We all have the power to quite literally change our minds.  This in turn dramatically changes our lives.  And our lives expand in proportion to our willingness to feel fear.  If we can find the courage to take action through our fear, we will be rewarded with our own version of Paradise.

Part of my mission is to help people experience less fear, so they can enjoy peace of mind and live a richer life.  Please join me in Paradise – subscribe to my blog & share it with your friends.  

Love Kirsten