Breathe In, Breathe Out – Lunch Break Reflections
A year ago today I was settling into my flat in London, adjusting to the jet lag and 6+ hour time difference and trying to find my way around “big” Tesco. It’s incredible how much can change in just one year. I learned a lot from my time in London and traveling through Europe in general. One thing is the importance of natural beauty and getting in touch with the natural world. Previously living in small town NJ and NYC, this was something I just hadn’t been used to or found important in the midst of so much man-made beauty. Traveling through Europe brought out my awe in nature, culture and all of the beautiful things in our world.
Coming back to the U.S. and hopping straight into a schedule of 40 hour work weeks and 20+ hour school weeks (simultaneously) I struggled with the idea of taking the time in the day to explore the wonderful places around me and taking some time out of the day for myself. One of my favorite places to spend time around campus is the New York Botanical Gardens, which I only made it to once this past semester, and just to see the Holiday Train Show. What did get me out and about on my lunch breaks however, was the homework that I needed to do for my photography class. I would go for walks throughout the Upper West Side observing the fast paced and ever changing culture through my lens. It got me away from my desk and helped split up my work day.
As I work in the Hearst Tower, I am only a three block walk away from Central Park West. Now that my photography class is over, I no longer lug my big camera to work every morning. I do however take long walks on my lunch breaks. I’ve walked down to 5th Avenue to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the crowds outside of Trump Tower. I walk down towards the Hudson to explore street-side farmer’s markets every Wednesday afternoon. And I’ve started walking through Central Park, finding isolated and peaceful spots in the middle of the busy exciting city, and I meditate there.
This helps me get back in tune with nature and myself, while giving me a needed break from my computer screen. I’ve been reading Gabby Bernstein’s latest book The Universe Has Your Back (yes, you can expect a review to come very soon!) and I do a mix of her meditations and meditations from apps like Headspace and Omvana. This book is all about rewiring your way of thinking so that you can embrace love and the Universe’s natural path for you.
For some reason, my last lunch break meditation was only partially successful – or so I thought. I could only get through half of the meditation before I became distracted. I kept feeling something pulling me back to the office and despite multiple attempts to complete the practice I felt like I couldn’t. I paused it and decided that I would try again later that night after work. I headed back to the office, totally frozen (this was the day before it snowed last week!) and got on the escalator.
On the escalator next to me (there’s three!) I saw a heard of men in perfectly tailored suits surrounding a thinner yet more muscular man in the middle. Again, I was frozen and my headphones were still in blasting my Spotify playlist. At the top of the escalator I put in my floor number on the elevator and waited with the same group of people. I took off my headphones, blew my embarassingly runny nose and unzipped my jacket. Then I heard an Australian accent behind me in the elevator. I turned around. And low and behold, the man standing next to me on the escalator, whom I made eye contact with and smiled at me contagiously in the elevator, was Chris Hemsworth.
It turned out that the Universe had kept my “best interests” at heart when guiding me away from my frozen cross-legged position in Central Park and nudged me to go back to the office at that exact moment. A few minutes earlier or later and I would have missed him. Somehow, someway the timing that afternoon had been just right for me. (Who else takes their lunch break at 3:30 anyway?) And believe it or not, the next chapter in my book was about serendipitous spontaneous encounters such as these. Yes, I guess the Universe will have my back in 2017. x
Stay Classy! xx