Over the Christmas holiday, I had the luxury of being able to step away from my ‘normal life’ for 2 whole weeks. The most time we’ve taken to recharge. Ever. 2016 was a year of major upheaval in my personal life. Without getting into the specifics, as a family we felt it would be good for our souls to take the opportunity spend time in one of our favorite cities, La Paz, Mexico.
During this time, my calendar was wiped clean of appointments and ‘to-do’ lists. I didn’t write, I didn’t create and I didn’t watch a single minute of television. I did, however, have the opportunity to connect with my husband and my daughter. We played games nearly every day and listened to music. I read 3 books. I ate fresh food, paddle-boarded, walked everywhere I went, got plenty of sleep and relaxed. Simply put, it was nirvana.
I’m not telling you this to scream ‘look at me, isn’t my life faaaaabulous?’ I love my life, but like Jay-Z, I got 99 problems. I’m telling you this because inadvertently, I perceived a subtle shift. The changes were physical at first. My body didn’t have its usual aches or pains, including my neck which has plagued me most of my adult life. Then, my mind and spirit. My patience grew. I noticed and took enjoyment in small things: a conversation, a bird in flight, a silly dog or a mouth-watering meal. I connected deeply with my daughter and husband. My face formed itself into a smile abundantly.
In getting rid of the chatter of the outside world (and much of the chatter in my head), I was able to reboot. I was shedding the noise that plagues my life, and most likely, all of our lives. Quite by accident, once enough space had been created, relaxation was being peacefully restored to my head, my body, and the world around me. I was no longer reacting to what was being thrown in my direction. I was able to slow down and listen to myself and others. As time went on, I had more patience, love, hope and abundance…and less negativity, resentfulness and anger.
Nearly five months later, I’ve got a real conundrum on my hands. I’m having to ‘adult’ full time and I’ve fallen into the same habits: some healthy and some not so healthy. How can I harness what I learned just months ago and use it to the best of my ability moving forward? Long sabbatical or not, does everyone have the choice to step outside of his or her life to take inventory?
For the rest of 2017, let’s call it a Mother’s Day Resolution, I have committed to be intentional. To be clear, intentional is the opposite of reactionary. And I react A LOT. Will you try it with me? It’s going to be difficult, but let’s do our best to be intentional with our time, with the food that nourishes our bodies and with our families. This concept sounds nearly impossible because the lives we’ve created can be demanding, but as long as our focus is clear, I would be willing to make a bet we’ll feel elevated.
Creating space in our lives will allow our creativity to shine, our patience to remain intact and our relationships to deepen. Letting go of the clutter allows us to be buoyant. And that buoyancy in mind, body and spirit inspires others to do the same. Maybe we will inspire those closest to us, people within our community and perhaps even our country. What a truly meaningful Mother's Day gift that would be.
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