For quite some time, it’s been clear to me that I needed to take a break. Per my last post, I’ve been trying to let go of things that don’t completely fill me up so that I can make time for the things that do.
I’ve been doing OK with that initiative, but I was painfully aware that the process is not going as quickly as I expected. Now, I also know that I’m an “instant gratification” sort of person, so I’m not exactly a patient person. And even though I KNOW that lasting change takes time, it still is not easy. I mean, let’s hurry up and get to the end result, you know what I mean?!
Enter…VACATION! It’s not often that I take an entire week off, but my family and I scheduled some time off for Spring Break, and we decided to go to Hilton Head, SC. None of us has ever been there before, and we’ve been told how relaxed it is there. And I’ve been told by more than a few people that I need to spend more time outside, particularly around water and in the sunshine.
We should ALL be spending as much time outside as we can. How many of us ACTUALLY go outside on a regular basis (and I’m not talking about going outside to get into your car to drive to work or the store)? And when you DO go outside, how much attention are you giving to your surroundings? Are you able to let the fresh air, the smells and the sounds get inside of you and help you let go?
If you’re anything like me, then you get way too distracted by “stuff” most of the time. Things like:
- Your phone
- Your iPad
- Your laptop
- Your TV
You get the idea. I was explicitly told I needed to spend some time in nature, WITHOUT distractions, so that I could MAYBE make more progress with this journey I’m on to improve my life. So I decided that I would use this trip to Hilton Head to do just that. I quickly learned that Hilton Head is the perfect place for being outdoors…you can bike anywhere on the island, as there are miles and miles of trails. I booked bikes for each of us for the week, and we made great use of them while we were there.
In fact, I even found a yoga studio that I could easily bike to from where we were staying, so I signed up for a few classes. Not only did I get some “me time” while biking there on my own, but I had the opportunity to experience yoga in a lovely studio. Jiva Yoga Center welcomed me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Restorative class I took as my first class. I even took my mom back the next evening for a Yoga Therapeutics class. The local folks I met there were so friendly! If I lived in Hilton Head, this would be my home yoga studio for sure!
And then there were the lovely beaches, lagoons and rivers to spend time at. Oh, how I love the sound of the ocean waves…so peaceful! You know, whenever I meditate with my Calm app, I always choose the sound of ocean waves as my background sound. That’s great and all, but there’s nothing like actually BEING at the ocean, in person, hearing the waves and feeling the breeze and smelling the salt in the air. It’s one of the most relaxing things for me. Especially at sunset…what a way to end a great day!
By the end of our time in Hilton Head, I truly felt like a weight had been lifted to some degree. I felt like I could think a little more clearly, and I didn’t feel like I was being pulled in a million directions at once. I came away from that trip with some action items:
- Spend as much time outside as possible. So far, I’ve been able to keep that up. Since coming home, I’ve been taking my reading outside on the deck, and I’ve enjoyed having the sound of the birds in the background. Plus, I’ve been on the dog park trails after WAY too much time away…I definitely need more time at the dog park.
- Spend less time connected to technology. While I was away, I won’t lie…I did check Facebook and my email each day. But I did not spend nearly as much time online as I typically do. At first, that stressed me out. (What if I missed an important post from someone?!) But seriously, after a couple of days, I enjoyed not worrying about every little thing, and I didn’t really think about it too much from then on. Since coming home, I’d say I’ve been online more than when I was on vacation…but definitely not as much as before. Baby steps, right?
- Move my body. Every. Single. Day. It doesn’t have to be crazy, all-out workouts. But every day on vacation, I did something active. Whether it was walking, riding bikes or yoga, I was moving my body. And it felt amazing. And I felt happy. And I felt accomplished. And I suddenly didn’t feel the need to beat myself up over the way my body looks. Soooo…since coming home, I have kept that up. I’ve moved my body every single day (yoga, cycle classes, OrangeTheory, walking), and I am noticing that I am still feeling amazing, happy, accomplished, and proud of myself.
My goal at this point is to keep it up. I truly feel like if I can continue to do these three things, which are wonderful at making me feel recharged, many other things I’ve been struggling with will fall into place. I think that I’ll gain even more clarity on the things I need to let go of and which things I need to bring on board in order to live my best life. And to help me with achieving this, I’ll be focusing my meditations on these very things…reminding myself of how I’m happier when these things are part of my life.
You’ll be hearing from me in my next post on how this is going. My hope is that my next post will be all about how this is SO EASY for me. But…Well, we all know how life can be sometimes. I expect I won’t be perfect. And that is totally OK (and I hope I remember that it is totally OK when I mess up). I’m really going to try and enjoy the process, learn from any mistakes I make, and keep trying to improve as I go.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on all of this. Are you dealing with anything similar? What works to help you feel recharged?