To Live Life Fully Alive And Awake

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This is one of my favorite videos. Please take a few minutes to watch it and then let’s chat.


Routine is the enemy of time, it makes it fly by.

I watch this video often. I also share it often because I think it’s something we. need to hear and something I feel in my heart often.

My favorite line is, “I want to be aware of every day I’m alive. And I want to make it to 85 and be exhausted because I have been alive and awake every. single. day.”

Yes. Please.

A pivotal ah-ha moment happened to me when I watched this video for the first time. I discovered it right around the time I left my job to travel and I felt like it was everything I was trying to say but hadn’t been able to find the right words.

Doing something that doesn’t make sense to a lot of people (like leaving a job you love for an indefinite amount of time) can be really scary and really lonely. I had plenty of people in my life who were supportive and encouraging but at the end of the day, they were still going to be waking up and carrying on with their jobs and lives and their normal. I was getting rid of mine in search of something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

The words and way Jedidiah explains the why of taking his trip are some of my favorite. It’s not about finding something, like he said it’s not about the bike, it’s about being alive and awake.

I remember when someone asked why I was quitting my job to travel and I told them, “Because I want to have to figure things out on my own. I want to be in a totally different place in a different country surrounded by people who speak a different language and I have to figure it out. What I want to do, where I want to go, how to get back to where I’m staying. I’m excited to find out what happens.”

Simply, I wanted to be alive and awake. I wanted something different than my everyday.

Something as simple as this moment I had in Amsterdam. I needed contact solution and I will never ever forget it because it was such a thrill. I was alive and awake the entire time. I had to find the store, I had to find the aisle. I asked 3 different people if what I was looking at was the right stuff. I remember doing some mediocre acting in the middle of the aisle as I went through the motions of taking out my contact and using the solution. I was still and squatted down for a while, trying to read the foreign words and see if I could connect them to English.

Something as simple and mundane as buying contact solution is a memory I will never forget. Because I was alive and awake.

And you know what? Travel wasn’t the solution to being alive and awake.

Travel just helped me see how I could be alive and awake with my everyday life. I knew I’d be returning to the States but didn’t want to lose that fascination Jedidiah referenced. That awareness and awe of everything around me. My brain had been so stimulated and I didn’t want that to go away. I knew I couldn’t come home and settle into another routine, I wanted my brain to be alive and aware of the greatness, the awe and wonder, the beauty of what was around me.

When I go to the store for contact solution, it’s pretty uneventful. I know exactly where I’m going and what I’m getting. But for some reason, because of my experience in Amsterdam, every time I buy contact solution I’m alive and awake for it. I usually smile to myself and look at the writing on the box remembering the time I performed a short skit for a stranger in a similar aisle in a little store halfway around the world.

Steph Castelein walking at a temple while traveling in Bangkok, Thailand.
Traveling is so special to us but it’s mostly because it makes us feel alive and awake. I mean, look at this place!

I still get caught in the routine of everyday life, but now I’m aware of it. I recognize myself falling into it when I’m indifferent. When I don’t get really happy or really sad.

The goal is to be alive and awake every. single. day. Alive and awake to me is to feel, to show up, to remember, to live presently and intentionally. To have purpose.

I hope this video has an impact on you like it did me.
I hope you won’t feel as alone or confused for wanting something different than you have right now, even if right now is really, really great.
I hope you find things that challenge you and make you feel alive and awake, whatever that may be.
I hope you shake up your routine and feel fully alive.

And when you go, remember it’s not so much about the trip as it is about being alive and awake.

PS: Jedidiah Jenkins is a great writer I’ve been following on Instagram ever since I saw this video. He recently came out with a new book, To Shake The Sleeping Self and I had 2 friends text and say it’s a must read. It’s on my 2019 book list and I’m so excited to dive in. Here’s my 2019 book list!


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