Notes From a Blue Bike & Taking Time to Breathe.

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As I start off some of these thoughtful posts, I like to imagine myself in the movie “Gladiator.” There is a scene at the beginning, where the score is intense & subtle, and Russell Crow is taking determined steps through the field, gently skimming the tops of the grass with the palm of his hand.
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Now, while I may not be going into battle, and my current armor consists of yoga leggings & a tank top, there is still quite a bit of gravity in the subject I want to approach.In our culture, unless we are going out of our way to over-book ourselves & our families, and unless we are stretched so thin that we can barely make our appointments on time, and unless we are so tired that we are sleep-deprived, and unless our stress is the main topics of our conversations, we are lazy & apathetic.

That may seem like an overstatement, but is it really? I have come to realize that in most of my conversations, the main keywords are “stressed,” “tired,” “busy,” “rushed” . . . you get the picture.

However, when I don’t return with a response that simulates theirs, I get a “So, what do you do with yourself?”

If I mention a book that I have read recently: “Oh, it must be nice to have time to read.”

If I mention a new recipe that I have developed: “I remember when I had time to experiment in the kitchen.”

If I mention going for a walk/playing guitar/watching a movie/knitting/etc: “Hm, what’s it like to have time on your hands?”

Believing the lie that my identity and worth comes from work, when I do not report long, hard hours to these friends, I have been dismissed as lazy.

—>Friends, we have been tricked. <—
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We have been fed the lie that you must over work yourself to be of worth, and we get caught in a vicious cycle, because we know deep down that the work will never be done. There will always be another errand to run, another page to write, another client to meet, another hour to work.I’m sure other countries also have individuals that are workaholics, but in America, we seem to celebrate it. We celebrate your level of productivity, while other countries are taking tea time (the UK), fika (Sweden), & siesta (Italy, Portugal, Spain), and celebrating life & relationships. I have struggled with my worth in my productivity, and after my time of living abroad, I wrestle with the current culture itself. Refusing to revert to my old ways & thoughts, I have been searching for individuals who have also seen this paradigm shift, and who are standing their ground, fighting for a slower, more intentional life.

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Tsh Oxenreider is one of these people. As an expat that lived with her family in Turkey then transplanted themselves to Austin, TX, she knows a thing or two about reverse culture shock and refusing to “just go with” the hectic lifestyle that Americans seem to thrive on and be addicted to.I have been a fan of Tsh for a few years now, and have loved listening to her honest voice on her website & her podcast, The Art of Simple. She has come out with a new book (which comes outtoday-hooray!) called “Notes From a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World,” where she talks candidly about her transition, her family, and her passions. She also talks about how we can also fight a hectic lifestyle one day at a time, in the details of our lives, and how we make choices everyday to live the life that we were created for, not the one that other’s are telling us we should be doing (the ‘shoulds’ can kill you, remember?).

If you have ever craved to live a slower, more intentional life full of things you were passionate about, I promise you that there is truth, wisdom, and strength to make a change within its pages.

If you want to read more blog posts about intentional living, or if you would like to learn more about the book & the Blue Bike Tour, click here.

I encourage you to take some time this week, and breathe deeply of the life you have been given. Re-evaluate your priorities, uncover your passions, and spend time with those who are closest to your heart. Thanks for reading, dear friends. I’ll be back in a day or two with something delicious, I pinky swear! xx

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