Fireworks and Living in the Moment

It has been a rollercoaster of a week! I think the lack of sleep, busy working, class, and home schedules, coupled with my trying to keep up with the relationships most important to me has left me feeling pulled in all different directions.   I’m only one person trying to make everyone happy and thankfully, through this experiment, I have made sure to add my own personal happiness to my long “To Do” list.  I realize there is only so much I can do in the on-too-few hours of the day but I’m giving it all a go!

This past December a good friend of mine brought me to an amazing yoga class taught by Rachel Brathen.  During that class, I was inspired by her calm happy and honest presence.  Listing to her guide the jam packed room through a combination of mindful meditation and a beautifully choreographed yoga sequence, I realized that Yoga Girl has something that I want.  She spoke of meditation, mindfulness, taking a leap into the unknown and most of all finding the happiness within yourself.  I had heard the things she said before but it wasn’t her words that touched me but rather her whole being. She is so amazingly present and she radiates true and honest joy.  Inspired, I ordered her book and began reading when I got home from the event.  Her life is amazing, she’s been through so much more then I could ever imagine but she has still been able to pick up her broken pieces to make herself whole again.  She took great risks in her life and received great rewards for her bold actions.  She is a true inspiration and one of my greatest takeaways from the actual yoga class and reading her book is that I have to focus on being mindful and present in the moment.

Easier said than done.  But this weekend, I experienced a true and beautiful moment of mindfulness at a food truck festival of all places!

Yesterday after a quiet morning, Evan and I met up with some friends (one of whom I haven’t seen since my first semester of undergrad – where has the time gone?) at Laurita Winery in New Egypt, NJ for their first food truck festival of the summer.  It was such a wonderful day, being able to reconnect with old friends is truly a blessing.

Walking through the length of the little road where all of the food trucks were lined up back to back was a truly euphoric experience.  I am not the biggest shopper, department stores give me all kinds of anxiety but take me to a farmers market  or food festival (I’ve been known to get irrationally excited at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s too) and… oh boy I can literally die happy.  I absolutely love cooking, trying different foods, and ‘visiting/experiencing’ different cultures through my taste buds.

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There were so many delicious foods and it was all in such a beautifully rustic place… 😍.  Who could blame me for practically jumping up and down when we arrived?  It was tough to narrow down my choices but in the end I feasted on the most amazing brick oven pizza (one a margarita pizza and another, a nutella-marshmallow-and-strawberry pizza), some fabulous Korean dumplings, potato and cheese perogies, and to top it all off, a fabulous coconut, pineapple and ‘shark bite’ flavored shaved ice (and not all in that particular order).  With such great food, sangria and friends, we had a wonderful evening but the absolute best part was yet to come.

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I didn’t think we’d get to stay until the fireworks but boy am I glad we did! I literally couldn’t stop smiling during the entire show. Watching that magnificent display was magical! There was a moment standing up on that beautiful taris overlooking a sprawling vineyard that I was able to glimpse at Yoga Girl’s sense of internal peace.  In those few minutes, standing next to my-soon-to-be-hubby/best friend with the invigorating feeling of the cool breeze against my skin, I experienced sheer joy.  I realized for those brief instances, I was completely happy in the present moment. I was able to see myself and my life in its entirety -the good and the bad-and be truly grateful for all the things in my life that lead me to that particular space in time.  Life has it’s ups and downs but I think that the key to finding my happiness lies in my ability to live my life mindfully and with gratefulness.

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