The New York Times recently posted a timely article – Tips for Keeping That Post-Vacation Feeling. I saw the article as I was waiting in the airport, on my way back from 10 days of retreating, relaxing and reconnecting. I just received the news my flight was delayed and I would miss my connection home and would be stuck in LAX for 10 hours. Luckily I was basking in my post vacation bubble so it all seemed aligned.
As I was reading the article, I was reminded of the pervasive fear that so many of us have about the re-entry following time away. But as I was reflecting upon my vacation, I realized that I did not have the typical pit in my stomach about heading home. I felt fulfilled, nourished, and excited to get back home. But then again, I had just spent the last week and a half in absolute majestic surroundings, spending extensive periods in silence, sharing, and connecting with myself and others. And so as I continue to integrate the many insights and inspirations that this period of time afforded me, I realized there were some important reminders that I will bring home with me.
1. Silence Is Golden: Literally, there is nothing like spending expanded periods of silence whether on our own or in a collective that can help us to find our own inner light. Often times this light may be masked by percolating thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but ultimately with continued practice and support, we find ourselves calm, peaceful, and at ease. Even if for just a fleeting moment, that is really all it takes to remind us that silence is with us always. It may not always be as easily accessible as we start to immerse back into our lives, but by just spending just a few intentional minutes each day, we are reminded of the gifts that silence can bring. Hint: Sit in silence upon first waking up for just a few moments or while sitting in the car upon arriving at our morning destination.
2. Nature Really Does Nurture: I spent summers as a kid attending summer camp and several backpacking adventures. I loved connecting with nature. Like many of us, my twenties and beyond inspired different adventures and opportunities – outside of nature. So when I found myself this past week, literally immersed in the beauty of the magical island of Molokai, I felt at home. As the week evolved, I noticed that with each passing day, I was becoming aware of certain smells and sounds and beautiful flowers that were always there, but required the presence of mind to be noticed. The feeling and sound of the wind especially was something I realized was so powerful, but I had never paid attention too. I often share how the many benefits of meditation show up not during the actual sitting, but during the unexpected moments throughout our days and lives. This was certainly the case for my newly rediscovered love of nature. Now I take it where I can get it. Whether it is my morning meditation, or even if I am en route to somewhere, I try to appreciate the sound of the birds, or the rain, or any other element of nature that I now know is a mainline to nourishing my soul. Hint: Take a moment to simply look up and gaze at the clouds. Try to find a heart shape and then notice all the other shapes that begin to be revealed.
3. Connecting With A Community Is Key: Part of what I love about sharing + teaching meditation is simply experiencing it with others. There truly is something about the collective energy that simply feels good. When we connect with others, especially in silence and meditation, we find ourselves being held and supported in the most unintentional of ways. It is this presence and feeling of holding space that becomes integral, especially as we enter + deepen on the path of spiritual awareness and personal discovery. Hint: Reach out to a like minded friend or partner and share a moment of silence, or discuss a spiritual reading, or even share a favorite quote or poem.
Will this post-vacay bubble be burst? Perhaps, but for now I’m hopeful that I will integrate the lessons learned from my vacation life into my everyday life.
Oh, and that 10 hour delay in Los Angeles, ended up being one of the highlights of my entire time away as I got to see one of my best friends as well as my cousins and their precious little girls. We spent a couple of hours at the beach – playing in the sand, feeling nourished by the beauty and sounds of the ocean, and connecting with each other in the small period of time we had. Proof that the bubble doesn’t always have to burst but possibly just expand with a knowingness that our experiences are ALWAYS with us. We may just need a little bit of silence to be reminded.