Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing



Guest Blogger: Nancy Oelklaus

Journey From Head to Heart: Living and Working Authentically
My husband and I just returned from two weeks in Europe–one week in Cyprus and one in Croatia. These destinations are off the beaten track for Americans; in fact, we saw only one other American family during the entire two weeks.

When we travel, we don’t go on tours. Instead, we get maps and books and decide, one day at a time, what we will do. I call this wayfinding–letting one thing naturally lead to the next, open for discovery. Our technology didn’t work well, so we were completely unplugged–no phone, no internet, little English language TV. A beautiful head-clearing. A wonderful re-connection with each other. Nothing to tie us to the everyday lives we live here in Austin.

Greek mythology has it that Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, was born from the Mediterranean sea crashing ashore near the place where we stayed. So I set an intention for the trip to become more open for love.

For two weeks I was set free from judgment. People I encountered were speaking other languages; I couldn’t understand what they were saying, so I didn’t judge whether or not I agreed. They were from different cultures, so I gave no thought to what they wore or how they looked. We were seeing wondrous, beautiful sights, and my heart was increasingly opening to the beauty, with each sight even more amazing than the last. Appreciation was my dominant emotion.

This is a gift of travel–seeing with new eyes. One of my teachers once said, “What you see is not what you’re looking at; it’s what you’re looking with. So let us look with eyes of love.”

It’s easier to look with eyes of love when I’m in a strange place. Now my intention is to be the me who was in Cyprus and Croatia when I’m in Austin in my everyday life.

About the Author

Nancy Oelklaus

Nancy Oelklaus is a personal life coach based in Austin, Texas and the author of Journey From Head to Heart: Living and Working Authentically as well as Alphabet Meditations for Teachers and co-author of Rewriting Life Scripts, with Liliane Desjardins and Irene Watson.

Nancy Oelklaus leads Hye Road Retreats with horseman Lindy Segall. Learn more at

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