The Perfect Vacation & Passwords

can't remember passwords. mapThis, I must say, is a GREAT feeling: returning to work from vacation and not being able to remember my password.  When this happens, I know that I truly got away from my day-to-day stuff.

Vacation.  You’re able to get away from work and you have the opportunity to renew, recharge, and re-invigorate your senses, your inner calm, and your ideals.  You’re able to ignore the chorus of shoulds and woulds and coulds that dog your work days and you relax into moments of Just Now.

Vacation is over and you come back to work, sit down in front of your computer  and . . . you can’t remember your password.  And it feels good — even though you have a mild concern about what is happening to your mind.  Those letters and digits that you have typed in day after day while on auto-pilot have simply vanished from your memory.  You get the feeling that you went a lot farther on your tirp than you actually did.

Has this happened to you?

Life is just so pleasantly full when you have been allowed to let your mind and heart go to that place that doesn’t require dashing off to work, grocery shopping on the way home, cooking a quick meal, and then catching up on chores around the house so you aren’t completely inundated once you get a day off.

It strikes me that I want to create more  Vacation Moments in my day to day.  Be more mindful about “making time” to do fun stuff that reminds me that my life is good and that there is time to do fun stuff.  [I realize that this is not an extremely ingenious notion!]  With all of the reminders to create a heightened awareness of being more mindful, I think we all understand the need for more relaxation . . . more time to just be and less time to just do.

My vacation time travels in cycles.  There have been the Glory Days of having lots of trips and there have been times when any travel has been non-existent.  These days, my travel time is at an all time low.  My solution?  I grab mini-vacation time whenever I can get it, and I thoroughly enjoy the experience.  I don’t have to be on a tropical beach for two weeks to go into my Happy Place (even though that sounds like a LOT of fun!).

And as for passwords, this last December when I returned home from a trip, I did indeed forget the password for opening the computer at work.  Maybe this is not the best litmus test of a great vacation, but it does make me feel blessed that I was able to get outside of my head and inside of my soul.

The Perfect Vacation:

IMG_2918This thought of the perfect vacation occurred to me when I was sitting in a locals’ brew pub on Maui.  I realized that I hadn’t needed my reading glasses for several days . . . meaning that I had been blessedly away from any printed materials and the computer screen .  As much as I appreciate technology and its many wonders (I truly do), sometimes it just feels so good to unplug, turn my phone off, and just be in the moment that engages all of my senses.

It felt great to take a break from technology.  And it causes me to think on making a conscious effort in my non-vacation days to unplug and seek experiences that engage my senses more fully.

Today, I am going for some balance!  How about you?  What does balance look and feel like for you?

Embrace Your Inner Honey Badger & Make Some Mud Balls

Escape your present reality and think like a honey badger.  Every time I watch this BBC documentary clip of the honey badger, I am so inspired by this animal’s persistence.  The honey badger’s focus on escaping the enclosure is nothing short of amazing.  It uses any and every resource it has to get to where it wants to go.  This animal truly is a marvel.  And what a lesson to all of us who doubt or fear or give up or don’t believe that something is possible.  The message straight from the honey badger itself: It is possible.  Just watch the video (4:12) and you will see what I am saying.  It is a hoot!

When I watch this video, I think about my life and about where I want to go.  Where I know I want to be. What I want to accomplish.  I am reminded of that quote by Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”  Well, the thing is: I do know . . . and I am expending personal resource: time, energy, creativity, etc.

But still . . . am I using every resource that is available to me?

This honey badger’s tenacity shows me that the answer to my question is Absolutely not.  The thing is: I know that I am capable of so much more.  Perhaps this is what drives the pistons of life’s dissatisfaction or confusion or self-defeat within my inner world.  I know that I have so much more inside of me to create, to offer, to be.  In the video, the honey badger even makes mud balls (!) to stage its escape.  Mud balls . . . an escape prop out of dirt and water.  Maybe I am easily moved, entertained, and inspired, but I find this very inspiring.  This honey badger never ceases to execute the next escape plan with what diminishing resources are available.  It uses ingenuity to make its goal happen, no matter what “tools” are available.

The word escape has so many different connotations.  It can mean that I am escaping from something that isn’t pleasant or that is demoralizing.  Or it can mean that I am experiencing a moment of escape, like the feeling of reveling in the sunshine on that Maui beach . . . but still with life’s root-of-reality reminding me of that which I will be returning to once vacation is over . . . something that isn’t bad but that isn’t all that great either.

Watch the video below (4:12), be inspired, and then click on the aqua-blue link to a fun and inspiring journaling prompt below.  Have fun with the prompt.  It could very well have the power to create a ripple effect into how you choose to live your life.  I wish you the very best of energy with your respective dreams and goals.

pencil stubClick on the aqua-blue link below for today’s journaling prompt: Your Great Escape Plan

Your Great Escape Plan

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and add it to your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you, I promise.  Life is meant to be grown.]

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The Way Things Stack Up

Stones pyramid on sand symbolizing zen, harmony, balance. OceanThe way that things stack up don’t always make sense.  You look at a rock cairn and you see dissimilar shapes and textures and sizes.  What doesn’t naturally fit together neatly and perfectly into one whole structure has the potential to allow for balance to offset the dissimilarities in size and shape.

Cairns represent a balance that requires delicacy and a measure of hope. They offer natural beauty presented in a random-deliberate-natural sort of way.  A lot like life.  They do not ask for some added adhesive that will make the balancing act a little easier.  The rocks defy gravity by leaning on each other. Cairns have the potential to  stand for a very long time.  They represent the possibilities that I might have overlooked otherwise.

I am thinking that cairns in the right setting appeal to me.  I do like to see them on the beach below high tide such that the tide will roll in and eradicate the evidence of man — restoring a different natural order.  The ocean is persistent that way.

I have an old scale that I bought at an estate sale.  This scale has seen better-balanced days.  In order for the pointer to balance the beam, I had to add several tiny antique French coins in one of the weights pan.  The coins bring everything up to true.  Balance.  What is it exactly?  We seek it.  We desire it.  We believe that we would appreciate how it feels . . . if we could only be certain that we are actually experiencing it.  There are books and poems and songs written about balance.  Still, I do not know exactly what it means or how it feels in my life.

Vision Board 058We weigh decisions.  And justice.  And mercy.  And priorities.  And options.  We weigh fairness and love and life.  We somehow intuit when something isn’t feeling quite right, so we start to mess with the scale.  We add more coins.  Or we pick up a different rock to add to the cairn.  We deliberate.  Or we sometimes say the-hell-with-it and just give it a go.

Life’s events tumble together, and my carefully-constructed towers of well-thought-out plans are strewn all willy-nilly.  Sometimes I am left with the oddest of pieces to balance back together again.  I see the beauty in the pile of rocks that are before me, and I seek guidance and allow my intuition to lead me.

I recently read a great Irish proverb: “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”   I so agree.  A good laugh is like medicine and a long sleep restores the body and the soul.  Along the vein of cairns, I was thinking about which life blessings provide me with balance: laughter, sleep, forgiveness, appreciation, humility, kindness, patience, travel, adventure, discovery, learning, courage . . .

The way that things stack up at times doesn’t always make sense, but I continue to attempt to counterbalance with those things that point me to true.

 

 

 

 

Just say Yes. Take a chance.

take a riskThis quote speaks directly to my heart.

I think of the times in my life when I have simply said Yes.  No lists of pros and cons. No SWOT or Force Field analysis.  No seeking of advice from another person.  No flipping of coins or swaying of the amulet.  Just pure trust in pure dumb luck.

I am thinking of those times when I didn’t doubt.  When I sidestepped land mines of fear.  When I took the labyrinth of detours with neither complaint nor concern.  When I let go of my attachment to an anticipated outcome.  Moments when I looked fate in the eye and said, “Pleased to meet you.  Tell me more.  Show me more.  This is awesome!”

honey-beeHappy chances of serendipity.  When I allow myself to love.  To fall in love.  To be myself.  To trust.  To embrace the promptings of my intuition.

These moments are enormous beyond wonder.  They are the moments when life is richly rewarded with the most unexpected of gifts.  Amazing and beautiful gifts.  In retrospect, these moments surprise me because they are the times when I surprised myself . . . when I allowed me to be true to my own self with no interference.  toaster oven 3

Being willing to take a chance that is True to Self is one of life’s richest rewards.  It is like reading a thick novel with a heroine you can admire.  She is someone who is willing to take chances and to live a life of no regret . . . someone who is willing to trust herself.  Although she has flaws, you cheer her on precisely because of her flaws.  She doesn’t let her less-than-stellar experiences and choices hold her back from fulfillment.  Who doesn’t want her to find her bliss in the final chapter?  I certainly do.

It feels so great — magical really — to take those humbling chances and live a life of no regret.  Many times we question our common sense, our motives, our resources.  We wonder if we are ever going to be truly happy or feel whole.  And then it happens.  toaster oven

We receive the reward of taking a chance.  Life is magnified when this happens.  We still see our own flaws but they are diminished by the courage it took to take the chance that would propel us out of darkness into light.

History is being written in the finest of ways.  There are happy endings.  They do exist.  Life may not appear to be perfect on the outside.  But a life of no regret as a result of taking chances?  It is perfection.

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is one of those epic poems that has spoken different things to me at different times in my life:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth . . .”

These days, I read these words, and I no longer see me standing at the trailhead as a solitary traveler.  And I am not standing in one place to ponder in long-I stood mode — as I once might have.  I am discovering the beauty of the African proverb: “If you want to travel fast, travel alone. If you want to travel far, travel together.”

suitcasesI want to “travel far” . . . be the path well-traveled or wildly untrammeled.  Be there a light backpack or a fabulous amount of luggage.  It’s all good . . . to be traveling far and taking chances with no regrets. To saying Yes.

Are you caught in Yo-yo Land?

cool swirly yoyoPROMPT: Is there something in your life that you keep doing over and over again — even though you say that you don’t want to do so?  Something that you know is b-a-d for you?  That is blocking your Bliss?  Is there something that you keep returning to, even though you have vowed that you never would? Are you trying to lose weight, and you have fallen victim to yo-yo dieting?  Do you keep going back to that unhealthy relationship that you know will never allow for mutual respect?  Do you return each morning to that unrewarding job with the maniacal boss?  Up and down and all around — going in loops and circles and reversals?

Is there something that you feel mysteriously and inexplicably tethered to — unconsciously or otherwise– that keeps reeling you back in?

We have all heard the metaphor that life is a river.  That you can never step into the same river twice.  That fighting the current expends a great deal of misspent energy.  That if you go with the flow, things will feel easier.  That there are eddies and currents that will befuddle your senses.  That there are drops in the river that will surprise you.  That there are Class IV rapids that will tip your raft and divest you of not only your luxuries but your essentials.  That any ol’ dead fish can float downstream — it takes a live one to go against the current.  Still waters run deep and narrow waters cut deep.  That a waterfall is the unfortunate realization that you have made one helluva big mistake and are in for the ride of your life.

You get the idea.  There are so many wowza metaphors for rivers.  Why?  Because they are cool and powerful and unpredictable and demand a great deal of respect from anyone who ventures into its current.

yellow and blue yoyoBut a yo-yo?  Is a yo-yo cool enough to be a metaphor for life and its crazy trajectories?  Just look at the names of yo-yo tricks: the Sleeper, Rock the Baby, Breakaway, Braintwister, Man on the Flying Trapeze, Around the World, Walk the Dog, Invisi-Whip, Buddha’s Revenge.  Look at all of this coolness that can identify life’s mysteries, demonstrate really amazing skill of movement, and explain how to resolve personal problems.  Feeling stressed?  Walk the Dog.  Feeling restless?  Take a trip Around the World.  Feeling like life has become boring? Be a Woman on the Flying Trapeze.  Feeling unmotivated?  Crack the Invisi-Whip on your Sleeper.

At this point, is anyone else ready to simply drop everything and go buy a yo-yo?

As impressive as some of these tricks may appear to be, I am not so sure that I want to continually be reeled back to Point A.  Or Point B.  Or L-M-N-O-P.  Wait, I just realized: I don’t want to be the yo-yo.  I want to be the Yo-Yo Slinger.  I want to be the one spinning the yo-yo into cosmic fantastic-ness. InternetSlang.com defines YOYO as “You’re on Your Own.”  Well, we are on our own.  I am on my own, the Yo-Yo Master Herself.  Spinning tricks and following the arc.

Lest I get lost in Yo-Yo Land, I pull myself back to my original question:   Is there something in my life that I keep doing over and over again — even though I say that I don’t want to do so?  I might want to pay attention to this.  Or at the very least, get out of Reversal Mode and distract myself properly by buying a yo-yo and googling some youtube videos on how to learn some of these very cool tricks.  I might not only surprise myself with an aptitude that defies gravity but divert myself from the unhealthier tether points in my life.

Yo-yo_player_Antikensammlung_Berlin_F2549

So, how does The Art of Yo-Yo actually translate and guide me on the trajectory of

Life Wisdom?

  1. Around the World –> Get rid of some stuff.  A lot of stuff, actually. Be ready to travel.  And travel light.
  2. Double or Nothing –> Become more habituated to taking risks.  Try Something New every single day.
  3. Over the Falls –> While knowing that life has its share of waterfalls, do not fear the unknown around the bend.
  4. Dizzy Baby –> Don’t be fearful of the tricks of the current.  You will eventually pop out of the eddies.
  5. Stop and Go –> Take time to pay attention and cultivate mindfulness.
  6. Hop the Fence –> Jump the grooves in life.
  7. Forward Pass –> Create your own trajectories and work your own magic.
  8. Wormhole –> Be the Yo-yo Master, not the yo-yo.