Suddenly, I felt antsy and wanted to leave. Instead, I leaned into my seat and took in the experience.

 

The start of May brought me to Nashville Y’all. I didn’t know what to expect and as much as I love all things about the South – southern food, the southern drawl, southern homes…there were quite a few things outside my comfort zone happening in the Bachelorette Party capital of the world. Lot’s of drinking, honky-tonk, humidity like no one’s business, serious country music, and slowing it down. I was excited to be in NASH and jump into the unknown of this mystical place. I envisioned the likes of Dolly Parton and Reese Witherspoon crossing my path with big warm smiles and perfectly polished from head to toe.

As I wandered around downtown …ready and armed to connect to all NASH had to offer…my journey started in the city’s main artery – Broadway street. I navigated the Bird scooters swarming the sidewalks and jumped off to the curb, surrounded by the blaring music of a Nashville Party Bike Tour as one of the many bachelorette parties hollered to songs like “Save a Horse [Ride a Cowboy].” Something about the spirit of Nashville is celebratory. Where I might usually avoid the crazy crowds of scooters, bachelorettes, and booze tours… I wanted to soak in the energy of celebrating, indulging and partying on a weekday in the south. Y’all, it felt good to be out and about on a school nite!

My journey started out with a grabbing a seat at Luke Bryan’s bar on Broadway and listening to a band play new and old country songs with one of my colleagues. We were there for a medical conference and wanted to grab dinner at a local spot before a busy few days. My body relaxed into my chair hearing one of the songs from Luke that I loved – “Play it Again.” It’s interesting to feel how I dance and move to a song I know all the lyrics that I can belt that out with the band. It feels amazing and I feel connected and so in the moment. As I was singing along with the band, smiling ear to ear, I pulled out a $5 tip and happily dropped it in the hat on the stage. When an old country song came on and it was slow, deep, and foreign, I noticed how different a moment can feel. Suddenly, I felt antsy and wanted to leave. Instead, I leaned into my seat and took in the experience of how amazing the band was to play such a variety of music from all different eras —  magical to enjoy, especially with a good burger and some seriously tasty cheese fries.

I spent the late afternoon on Sunday enjoying fried chicken on a southern biscuit, art murals of wings, and shopping like a true Southern belle. All of this felt magical. No schedule, no restrictions on diet, no one but me…in NASH. This photo is my favorite because my heart did make a connection to this beautiful city that is going through so much change and transition similar to me — trying to keep its roots and authentic self while balancing new things and people. NASH is finding its perfect blend of the old things and new…just like me.

Questions for Reflection:

How can you create a magical experience of your own by sitting with the unknown, what is unfamiliar or something that feels uncomfortable?

What restrictions can you lift that makes it feel uncomfortable but freeing and allows for magic to happen?

What city or place would be a magical place for you to explore and why?

Virtual Tea Party Report

We had a sweet group come together in May! I defined magic as an experience beyond what’s expected or predictable, beyond what I could have imagined, serendipitous, supported and guided by forces bigger than myself, and/or expanding my limited view of life and the world.

On the theme of magic, we responded to two questions:

What’s a magical experience you’ve had and what did it provide for you?

How could you become even more open and aware of magic in your life — without having to go anywhere, and why would that be important?

Thanks for having me! I feel the Tea Party was magical — not only did I get answers from what you shared with me, but also I got answers from what came from within myself when I felt connected with and inspired by what you shared.

JinYao, 33

Bay Area, California

Go slowly, travel with heart. ™

#goslowly #travelwithheart #ttwithchloe