Learning To Stop Chasing What’s Next: Living Slow in Fast-Paced California

I grew up in the Bay Area. Born and raised in San Jose. 

Both of my parents went to San Jose State University and when I was young we lived in family-student housing while my dad got his business degree.

In elementary school, I watched major freeways get built and orchards destroyed as the tech industry boomed.

On weekends we drove a few hours in various directions to get to major tourist spots that other people would travel from around the world to see; Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, the Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, the Aquarium in Monterey, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite. These were all places I grew up going to over and over and have wonderful memories from. My parents were from Southern California and my grandparents still lived down there so Disneyland was on the list of regular family vacations as well which was always a treat.

When I graduated from high school I didn’t go far. I moved to Santa Cruz, living among the redwoods with the ocean close by. I’ve never lived luxuriously nor have I experienced having gobs of money in my bank account to spend on overpriced indulgences, however, I feel abundant in experiences of all the beautiful places I’ve seen and lived in.

Growing up as Silicon Valley sprawled across the most fertile soil in California and watching the impact of cell phones and computers becoming household items and part of our lifestyle habits, I can’t say I’m proud. Though I know plenty of friends, family, and clients who have spent decades or longer embracing the paths of working for places like Adobe, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, eBay, and Apple. My high school teachers had encouraged me to go into tech but I chose to study child development and women’s studies. I began my yoga practice and took improvisational dance classes as part of my self-discovery process as a young person. I became an environmentalist and watched as the local Bay Area habitats became encroached on by housing needs as the California population exploded.

Some of the consequences of chasing financial success I’ve witnessed and researched include obvious repercussions on the nervous system and body. With this, I see the popularity of restorative practices and more attention to mental and emotional health growing. What has been known as “alternative” is now known as a healthy lifestyle. Many are experiencing disconnection from themselves and their most important relationships, missing time with children who grow up quickly, and getting caught up in addictions like social media.

A type of tunnel vision of focus and workaholism can get one into an all-or-nothing mentality in the name of something that feels more important than anything else. 

Chasing the next thing is something I’ve been guilty of myself. Assessing the direction of your dreams becomes essential in deciding what choices will align with your truth and deep resonant value systems. Having opportunities is one thing, having the wisdom to choose what really fits  YOU helps develop the foundations for who you really want to become and be successful at. Taking time to tune into your own inner voice and intuition is paramount for your next powerful steps. Today, I feel clear about the path I’m on, leading to financial prosperity in a balanced way and still honoring myself by not forcing things or being in a rush.

Women Who Are Up To Something invites you to take time to consider what is next for you.

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