I used to be the “taking a vacation from my wellness” kind of girl. I thought that vacations were about doing what I want when I want. A break from my everyday life, responsibilities and goals. Just a nice time relaxing, yummy food, a good book, time with my family and sleeping in. And while that is still true the difference is now I bring a little “clarity”.
- Before I tell you how I add clarity, let me tell you why! After 40 years the lesson that stands out the most? It’s what you do everyday that makes up the fruit of my life. Now let me preface that by absolutely being clear, I am NOT speaking about perfection. In fact it’s exactly the opposite. My first focus was to identify what I need in my life to feel healthy and to have the energy I want to do the things I want to do. And let’s face it, on my vacation I want that energy even more. I want to enjoy new sites, meet new people and have authentic experiences. You can read more about this in my “Nine Morning Habits to Start your Day” blog post.
I have learned along my journey is that all good things that have happened have begun with clarity. And no it isn’t always fun, it can be full of emotion and even hard to face sometimes. But it always leads me in the right direction. So to help me stay true to myself this summer as I travel I thought why not add a little clarity to my suitcase.
I remember watching Dorothy, Scarecrow and the Lion in the Wizard of OZ and thinking how could a lion be afraid? I was a little girl in love with red ruby slippers loudly singing along not knowing that one day I would forget my own courage. So what does my courage look like now? It’s the courage to say no to me when my brain tries to tell me how good something will taste. Or how I can fit more in if I don’t give myself time on my mat. You see courage for me is about having the courage to stay true to me and to know “I had it with me all along”. So I bring my mat, I take mindful walks, I choose my food mindfully and the “sweeter things in life” are found in time with my family.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be hard on yourself? Some days I swear it’s an olympic sport and I’m a dedicated athlete working hard to achieve another gold. This is why it comes right after courage, because sometimes courage can bring with it being judgemental and hard on myself. But loving kindness with courage means having that piece of chocolate. It means sleeping in a little longer and then getting on my mat. It means loving myself even if I sleep through my mat time or eat a whole chocolate bar.
I used to be that girl who would set goals so high that they were never really attainable. Then I could explain away being exhausted and could drape myself on the altar of “trying my best”. But really I was just setting myself up to be impossibly unhappy. So now before I hold myself to reaching a goal, first I ask one question. Is this attainable “and” without causing harm?
There is a reason that the labour board says we need breaks and vacation. It’s because our body and mind need it. According to Psychology Today “lack of sleep and rest can not only dull and mute some of our more positive traits and tendencies, but handicap them entirely”. Well I don’t know about you but I like my positive traits and would like to keep them! So instead of over planning my vacations I’ve moved to planning rest. Allowing the day to unfold in the moment. To be mindful in my vacation, listening in and reconnecting to my body and my mind.
How can I possibly talk about listening in without intuition? Staying connected to my intuition can be hard during the hustle and bustle of the everyday. Especially when the mind is focused on the days tasks. And the less you listen to it, the harder I find it is to listen. This is why I focus my meditation and stillness vacation time on reconnecting to my intuition and my heart. So how do I do that? I take my time to answer questions, choose a meal, share an opinion. I allow the answer to present itself vs over thinking. I allow stillness and go with the flow, and listen into my emotions. They tell me everything I need to know .
That leads me to Truth… Have you ever noticed that when you aren’t trying to think of the answer it comes forward on it’s own? I have many theories on this and the short version is that we stop “thinking of the answer” and listen to our heart. I call this listening for the truth and while I try to give myself time for this everyday. But like ever intention, it can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day. stuck between “not having time” or “needing to act”. So I view my vacations, short and long as an opportunity to stop “thinking” about everything and “listen for the truth” to present itself.
Sometimes you just have to say yes! Give yourself permission to do something new, fun and out of the box. Do it wholly and guilt free.
Want to know more? Read my post on Preventing the holiday travel blues.