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Let’s Try Something New!

I recently spoke with someone about “mindfulness” – being fully aware of the present. No future. No past. Just the here and now.

We’re always seeing quotes, posts and videos about living in the moment. But, let’s be honest, do we fully understand what that means? Can you honestly say you’ve mastered the skill of living in the present? And while we’re talking honesty, I’m being 100% real with you when I say “mindfulness” is a constant struggle of mine. I’m a HUGE planner. Always worried about the details of the future. Goals. Achieving. Striving. Growing. Which aren’t bad things – but, there’s a balance to be found! I think we can all agree that life becomes so robotic that we tend to not even remember day-to-day things like driving home from work because our route becomes so routine…so normal…so comfortable.

I’ve struggled A LOT over the last 2-1/2 years with our relocation from Los Angeles, CA back to Pittsburgh, PA. It was a culture shock. It was a climate shock. It was overall more disturbing to my happiness than I ever anticipated. This is something I’ve been trying to get better at as I grasp the concept of mindfulness. Not living in the past!

As I’ve been working through some of the hard transitions from moving home, I realized how I lost sight of the things that made me happy in Pittsburgh before I moved. Pittsburgh is my hometown! How come I had such a difficult time coming back? It seems a bit backwards.

Well – no more! No more pity parties. No more moping around. No more allowing the comparison of the two locations to become toxic to my soul.

One thing I absolutely LOVED about being in Cali was going out to eat alone. People watching. Observing life in action. Reading an inspirational magazine. Reflecting. Relaxing. Taking it all in.

6/5/16 was my first {intentional} local venture to try somewhere new to eat! To reflect. To relax. To take in life.

At first, I Googled a broad search for places that served healthy Sunday brunch within the Pittsburgh area. I then narrowed that search to places in the “North Hills” because I knew I was going to my Mom’s afterwards and she lives over at that way. BUT, then it hit me – “Why aren’t I searching for places near where I live first?”

I searched for coffee shops/diners in the McKees Rocks area. Some suggestions came up and so I chose one and began following my GPS. My GPS was taking me all kinds of weird ways, not taking me down the right road…all that fun stuff. I grew frustrated. I realized I started this afternoon low on patience. I was emotionally vulnerable because I was setting out on a new venture that I hoped would bring me a bit more happiness – and I couldn’t even find the first place I searched!

Finally, I arrived at the destination, only to find it was just the business that shipped and received the coffee beans – not an actual coffee shop. Failed. Ha!

Knowing of Broadway Ave. in Mckees Rocks, I decided to head up that way and simply drive around. I passed “Lynn’s Café.” Sold! I parked the car, walked in with my laptop and they didn’t have wireless. Ya know what? That’s OK. I decided to stay because it gave me the chance to enjoy alone time and write this blog post! Had they had wireless, I would have been using this time to do work-related things – and it’s Sunday…I needed to enjoy this afternoon for ME!

On 6/5/16, I found a new cafe by where I live. A cafe where the owner/head chef walked around and greeted people. A cafe that has an amazing breakfast panini. And, most importantly, a cafe that brought me the same sense of peace, happiness and fulfillment as a cafe would in California.

Yes, your environment, people, current circumstances, external situations can challenge your happiness and level of comfort; however, you have the final say. You have the ability to control how your environment, others, circumstances or situation impact your happiness. You have the ability to keep peace within…to say this is not going to reign over my life!

I would say brunch at Lynn’s Cafe was a success.

-Jen

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