Lesson from the Islands

I just got back from Hawaii yesterday.

I spent a long weekend in Maui. I was there for a wedding. They call it getting “Maui’d.” I enjoyed that pun probably too much.

I feel somewhat behind on things. That’s likely thanks to the intense travel I had for a couple weeks before this trip. I don’t have to travel again until early next week. Woot. Go me.

I realized this morning I wanted to share the lessons I learned from my trip to Maui. It wasn’t a pure vacation since there were some marriage-oriented obligations. But those were easy and fun. And I spent the few days I was there at a condo that was right on the ocean, so I went to sleep and woke up every day to the sounds of the ocean waves.

I always like to be “productive.” I like to get something out of or make the most of almost any situation. So with four or so days off-the-grid just hanging out with minimal obligations, I wondered what lesson I have to show for it. What can I share with the world that is life-changing from these precious few days letting my brain fully let go and just enjoy?

It’s actually pretty simple. The lesson is relax.

Relax.

That’s it.

There’s so much we can’t control. There’s so much to see. They’re so much to linger on and dawdle over. There’s so much in this world to enjoy.

Sure, packing up and living on the islands isn’t the trajectory for most people. Though I loved it, I am happy to be back (with my dogs). I’m happy to be in a place where my industry thrives and able to take advantage of many opportunities around me. But that doesn’t mean I need to be tense about it all. I can enjoy and relax even without going to sleep with ocean sounds every night.

The environment on Maui caters to relaxation. So if we know it’s possible to reach that level of relaxation, why not do whatever it takes to allow elements of that external environment and the lesson it provides to internally cultivate that same feeling? 

Even with all the beauty, you can still be stressed on Maui. And even with all the chaos, you can still be calm in LA.

Or wherever you are.

Just relax, baby.

Relax.

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Vacay

IIMG_6291 am good at going. I am good at doing. I am good at moving.

I am not very good at stopping.

But I recently was fortunate enough to get to stop for a while.

Through a series of fortunate circumstances, I snagged a four night vacation in Hawaii.

Lucky. I know. Believe me… I know.

I was of course looking forward to some time in paradise. But I wasn’t sure what I was really going to do with myself. I wasn’t going on my own so it’s not like I could do what I normally do when left alone and create a series of make-believe characters that converse with each other. I couldn’t even really take too much time to write or work on any of the pending projects I’ve got coming up because I wanted to actually enjoy the beauty around me.

So I had to stop. For a period of time.

I had to not make plans. Not contact people. Stay off my phone as much as possible. And just enjoy the scenery around me.

And I’ll be honest, it was extremely refreshing. I read two books. Two! I never take the time to even finish one because I only have a few minutes here and there in my day. But I had time to read two!

I went for hikes. I woke up energized with the sun and watched it rise over the ocean from my incredible balcony view. I saw rainbows and went swimming in the refreshing water. I took deep breaths and enjoyed myself in the moment.

And I came back totally ready to work again. But this time, with a new revitalized perspective. I’ve relaxed because the relaxation of the vacation and the island seeped into my core.

I love traveling. I haven’t traveled (for pleasure) much lately. And this was a good reminder that taking a few days off make a huge different in my happiness and productivity levels. So even though I’m not always good at stopping and it can take me a bit to build back up the momentum I had before stopping… I think once in a while it’s worth it.