My family just returned from a 2 week trip to the Mayan Riveria. I was getting some of those looks before we left of ‘how irresponsible…..how can you even THINK of travelling at a time like this?!”. And, yes, we thought about it and knew the risks both with plane travel and the possibilities of what life would be like, upon our arrival state-side.
We’d been through weeks of high intensity stress and, when we had to fly our girl back from school in India and change our travel plans and our bags already packed and I had already marked myself off of my work schedule, and our older kids were already at the beach in Mexico, AND we couldn’t face anymore of the intensity in a balanced way, we decided that it was really in our highest interest to get out of dodge and have some down time.
And while we only escaped ‘The Coming’ by about a week before it hit Mexico, we had a great time swimming in the clear, quiet, pristine cenotes, rode bikes around town, and surfed waves in the ocean for hours. We laughed a lot, played a lot and had lots and lots of outdoor time. The time also allowed the space to take a step back and view the world’s problems from a broader perspective. It allowed me to meditate daily, which always helps to calm my mind and body. Once that happens, I’m able to look at events from a ‘higher view’.
By the 12th day, I finally ‘found myself’ again. During my meditation on the beach, I was able to get that clarity that had been eluding me for the prior weeks. If I’m not centered, EVERYTHING can become a drama, in my mind.
When I get this time away, that pause, if you will, I get out of my day-to-day unconscious workaholic tendencies. I can find that rest place so that I can think clearly. I can see what it is that I really want in my life. And best of all, that gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach releases.
While I know that not everyone is going to be able to escape to the beach over these next few months, you have this incredible opportunity, right now, that’s unprecedented in my lifetime. I’ve never seen a time where we all have this time to do absolutely nothing.
My entire life, I’ve been hurrying from activity to activity, whether it’s been as a teenager with school, work, swim team, student council or as a mother running around to soccer practices, play dates, organizing parties or getting to an art class…..I’ve never had ‘forced’ time down. And I think the interesting part is that everyone else in the world is doing the same thing, so there’s no FOMO!
And don’t misunderstand me…..I know this time is also very scary for a lot of folks….the fear of the day, the unknown, how some populations are going to continue with food and shelter over these next few months. I am completely aware that people are out of work right now and it’s a very unstable time, economically for people.
What I want to share is that, even if you’re stuck by choice or force to be at home and not work right now, the silver lining is that you get to re-set your life. You have 2-4 weeks to do whatever you want to take care of yourself!
There are unlimited resources online to learn how to cook that food you’ve always wanted to try, how to paint, how to fix your bathroom sink. You can learn a new language, practice daily yoga and meditation, do your prayers, color or draw, play games with your family, pull out a puzzle, de-clutter your closet.
Whatever it is, you have TIME now, that wasn’t there before. And what I’d like to invite you to do, is to take this time to sit down and really meditate and envision what you’d REALLY like to do, either now or later, once life starts normalizing again.
Try doing some of the below activities while you are locked down at home:
This is sort of one of those ‘glass is half empty v. glass is half full’ situations. One can decide that Armageddon is just around the corner, OR one can look at this as an opportunity to create a new life.
I believe that part of this time is Mother Nature taking a break from us, as a human species. My hope is that we can take this time reflect on how we’re interacting with her and each other.
I’ve heard that the air pollution in China had decreased and that the canals in Venice are clearer than they have been in 60 years with animals showing up, like dolphins at the mouth of the river, that they don’t normally see. I see this as a positive impact on our world.
I found this great book called ‘Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking’, which is so perfect for helping to create a re-set at this point in our lives. I feel like we have this opportunity for starting our lives new and looking at how we ‘re-start’, once the cogs of the system start up again.
It would be easy to fall into the old habits of how one has been living one’s life OR there’s this great opportunity to create something completely (or partially new).
I’d like to invite you to take a look at your own life, your own impact on the world around you, and what you might change that you weren’t aware of due to the fast pace of life. What have you wanted to do but just haven’t made the time for? Do it now! And start the habit of creating a new way of being for yourself and family while we have a quieter time available.
My Challenge to You:
Sit down for 20 minutes in a quiet, serene place with a piece of paper or a journal.
Take about 5 minutes and just close your eyes. Breathe long and deep.
Once you feel your head starting to clear, start imagining all of the things or activities or ways of being that you’ve always wanted to do but just hadn’t had the time.
And then just start writing. Don’t worry about punctuation or spelling or whether it makes sense….just stream-of-consciousness. Go for it! Have fun and imagine what it feels like to have time on your own and what you can do to delight your creative side, build up your physical body, or to slow down your racing mind.
Here are some more ideas for you to get the creative juices flowing: