This picture I posted of my little lady in Mexico? Looks lovely and perfect and IG worthy doesn’t it? What if I told you that hrs before this magical moment, I was sitting on my suitcase and crying my eyes out holding a squirmy, also-melting-down tired 3 year old in cancun customs.
The world can be harsh. NOBODY asked if we were okay. In fact, EVERYBODY rolled their eyes at us and one man even shoved us both out of the way because my toddler was dawdling in the lineup.
People were so mean to my daughter and I that sweaty, crowded day in Cancun Customs. (I hate to say it but the 60+ Canadians on our plane were the worst of the lot.)
It was one of my lowest travel moments. Truly my brain was like “I am never travelling through this customs again.”
Smart brain… trying to keep me away from future pain and suffering.
But…. I’d do it again, my soul loves travel and the 10 days in the Mayan Riviera were magical and WORTH the excruciating afternoon in customs. My soul says yes, my brain says “F NO. fuck that shit, fuck mean people, I’m never travelling solo through Cancun again, why do I even do this travel thing, etc.”
We know in our souls what makes us happy. So why do our brains jump all over the (-) bandwagon? like the above? Why is it when we are doing what we love, our brain is still holding us back?
When our brains freak out we have a combo of suffering (Cancun customs with a 3 yr old is straight up shitty) but what compounds it is that sometimes these moments touch on triggers, old messaging & beliefs we’ve picked up along the way from people, places, media, society, that became entrenched + reinforced.
In many cases, we mistakenly took them on as our”permanent operating system. People being mean or judgemental is a trigger for me, I had a huge crisis of faith in humanity that afternoon. It stirred very old (faulty) stories I carry, that the world is harsh and cruel and doesn’t give a shit about you. The moment was hard, but it also rehashed ALL of the suffering around that entire topic.
You know that the message of “never do this travel shit again” its faulty (and false) messaging. You know that you need not suffer. Yet it comes back over and over.
How do we stop our brains from overthrowing what our souls want?
There are 3 steps:
1.) become AWARE of this process; notice it happening with curiosity and be like, hmm. My brain is chattering. I have a trigger here. Where does that come from? (Aside from being tired as F during travel)
2.) when you can pause, be aware, you have bought yourself a CHOICE. Being able to say “no brain, I don’t buy into that message today” is empowering. It won’t stop you from bawling in customs in cancun *but* it will stop you from letting fear win and never travelling.
The only way to stop this cycle and beat fear, beat negative thinking, is to dig deeper. understand where it came from and why particular travel moments push your buttons. Know it’s your brain, but that the bigger part of you, your soul, knows you love all this adventure. And with time, you will then discredit the arguments of your old operating system that prefers to avoid anything new or uncomfortable.
The brain wants to keep us secure, safe and in a place of NO change. The brains job isn’t happiness, its keeping us alive by removing us from all risk lol.
So, just get better at ignoring the brain.
Listen your soul and DO IT ANYWAY.
Get on that plane.
Follow other parents who do it.
We all go through this.