Travels, Day 13: Nyaung Shwe

Intention: honoring body, self, needs.

How can you honor yourself and others, today? How can you listen to your body, attune to your needs, and be receptive and responsive? Phrased this way, it may seem a mighty endeavor; however, honoring can be as simple as taking a moment to pause and check in. For me, that often looks like a deep breath, and a question asked either internally or out loud (yes, I talk to myself): what do I need right now? The answer is often closer than I realize: I need to lie down for a moment, or stretch, or jump up and down to get my yayas out, or take a bath. Honoring can be eating or drinking something nourishing that my body truly desires. Honoring can be stopping my work and going to bed a half-hour earlier than planned. Honoring is trusting. Honoring is letting myself ask questions and opening to the answers.

Travel highlights:

  1. A great morning walk through the countryside — with blistering sun interspersed by delightful patches of shady groves that provided blessed refuge.
  2. Little Myanmar girls reaching over their fence and then shaking my hand, over and over again, with bashful squeals of pleasure.
  3. Receiving an abundance of “hello!”s, and “mingala-wa!”s, accompanied by broad smiles and sincere friendliness. We felt no antagonism, only warmth.
  4. FaceTime back to the United States — with Clara and my dad — for the first time since leaving home nearly two weeks before! Plugging in to our “home base” and showing them a glimpse of our world here (not to mention, speaking English with relish!) was a deep and restorative treat.
  5. Cooking class! The woman who ran the class was truly special. She shared stories about carrying on her father’s legacy and love for tourists; her devotion to service and giving back to her community; having LOVE be the base of her business. I truly felt a kindred spirit, and a cross-cultural connection I had so been longing for.
  6. Another lovely connection, this time via great conversation with a new British friend, who shared about traveling through Asia solo, and spoke with us about politics and the state of world affairs.
  7. Riding back to back (and side-saddle!) with my mom on a tiny and very bumpy bike taxi.
  8. A swelling, bursting, heavy, breathtaking golden full moon over the Nyaung Shwe night market.


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