I like myself better when I am on vacation. I am even more pleasant leading up to vacation in anticipation of the big day. I often count down the days and consider the amount of remaining “wake-ups” I must do before I get to go away. When I go away somewhere, I literally let go of all of the constant conversation in my head and bring myself entirely in the moment. I have worked on this mindful presence for years and it is the goal of every yoga class I take, to quiet the “monkey mind” (as it’s called by my Bikram yoghini) but it continues to be a lifelong challenge for me. My mother in law recently shared that I should set up a career that I could always do while on vacation of some sort. She lives her life this way and travels all over the world as a speaker, educator and expert in her field. She is still going strong well into her 70’s and I have been thinking about her words as it seems to create such vitality and joy for her. As I need to work in one place in my private practice I thought I would try a different approach. Maybe I could just imagine I was always on vacation instead.
Perhaps there is a way to take on the mindset of vacation while living in your daily life, with your daily routine, in your own home. Why wait for the one or two weeks a year you are not “working” to bring yourself into your own calmest personal space – your clearest mindset? I decided to do a personal experiment and give this thinking a try. Right after I took this on I had the perfect chance to try it out when I had a car cut me off on the freeway in their mad rush to some unknown crisis destination that was definitely worth risking their life and mine for on the freeway. I practiced smiling to myself and letting it go because, “Hey, I’m on vacation“, and frankly he must be really stressed out. As when I am in a foreign land exploring new territory I don’t sweat the small stuff and let things “ruin” my vacation, so I know how to prioritize what matters to me. This freed me up to be able to not care whatsoever about this freeway situation. It’s almost like we have the internal power to let things go for the greater good of enjoying our vacations that allowed me to let it go. I know when I have been laying on a beach in Hawaii, I could care less about anything. Nothing bothers me because I am calm, happy, and relaxed. I have decided that this is the place I always want to live my life from and that I should empower myself to be able to harness this feeling whenever I want too. Would it be good for you too?
Some of us don’t even allow ourselves to take vacation at all anymore. We falsely believe that we are invaluable to our jobs and things would get out of hand, too backed up, or destroyed, without our invaluable presence. Do you know of anyone who believes like this? Maybe it’s you? How about anyone in your life that works 10-12 hours a day giving the best parts of themselves to their employers while chained to a desk all day? I do. The stress level and amount of discontentment in their lives bleed into their personal relationships, energy levels and physical health. Sometimes they are waiting to retire to begin to take real care of themselves and “live their life”. The stress levels that they are immersed in are completely stifling, and yet millions of us do this everyday. If we allow ourselves to actually take vacation, we struggle to relax and know how to be present, let the work go and not check our emails. I feel like we are living our lives in reverse. Instead of working to live, we are living to work – and it’s killing us.
So I challenge you to give it a try. Imagine yourself on vacation as you go about your day. As you grocery shop, take your kids to school, and even go to work, imagine that you are exactly where you want to be. Be in the exact moment you are in as if you’d not rather be anywhere else. That is the place to live our life in calm, joyful presence. You don’t need to be sitting under a palm tree sipping a drink to allow yourself to realize this is exactly your life, set up by you. You can fight it, or you can shift your mindset to appreciating and acknowledging that in each and every moment this is as good as it gets.
Hey, It’s okay by me if you try it or not, because I’m on vacation.
Yours in Health,