Do you ever stop to smell the flowers? Or get impatient when someone does? (*hand raises sheepishly). I was falling asleep to the sound of the tree frogs, crickets and the rolling ocean last night when it all came together. The calm I feel when traveling stems from my observation and acknowledgment of everything around me. Instead of trying to multi-task by answering an email while I walk, or watch TV while eat, I’ve been left alone to take in the sights, the smells and the taste of what I’m experiencing leaving me feeling whole and relaxed. I never noticed before how the awareness of my surroundings and the lack of distractions is what makes me feel relaxed while on vacation. So the real question is, how can I recreate this feeling of serenity at home? Sure I don’t have the beach and the pool, the prepared food and the endless time in the sun, but, I can make a conscious decision to take time to disconnect and live in the moment and the space that I’m in.
I’ve been rotating between a few different books during this trip, which is probably why my dreams are out of control, but there’s one that led me towards this aha moment: Thrive by Ariana Huffington. Have you read it? Ironically, it was given to me by the woman who owns the house that we’ve been renting this week. She must know that this is the type of setting you need to reap its full benefits, perhap it’s not that ironic after all.
But how do I encapsulate this feeling of freedom of mind, body and soul and take it home with me to make it part of my everyday living? Pressure, stress and frustration all seem to find a way to rear their ugly heads as soon as the plane lands making you feel as though you never left. There has to be a better way.
In returning from this vacation, my goal is to consciously make an effort to appreciate my surroundings and make more out of the small things. For example, instead of rushing to walk the dog, enjoy the fresh air and space for your thoughts to grow and settle. Or stopping myself from one more scroll through <insert preferred social media platform here> before bed. Or maybe the worst habit I’ve developed: checking my phone first thing when I wake up in the morning (before I’m even out of bed!). Instead of letting work and the day take on me, it’s time for me to take on the day: on my terms, at my pace, so I can stop to smell the flowers.
Please share with someone who also feels the stress of coming back to work after vacation and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!