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.

Doggone Relaxed

RomeoOver Thanksgiving, I had a serious boyfriend. He is the most handsome creature I’ve ever laid eyes on. His name is Romeo. Which is perfect for him because he is a love bug.

My original goals over Thanksgiving last week were to be really productive and to finish up a bunch of projects I was working on. But then I got to hang with my boyfriend Romeo.

And here’s the thing- I actually relaxed. Over a holiday. Can you imagine?

If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE¬†work and be productive. But I also LOVE dogs. And since I have a crazy schedule at the moment, I don’t really have time for a dog. So I live vicariously through other people’s dogs. Like the perfect and sweet Romeo.

And it was actually really wonderful. We went on several walks every day. Sometimes he would come over and look at me and I would know it’s time to stop working and give him attention. And we would snuggle for long periods of time.

And I would actually relax. Like deepbreathsmilingandgigglingathiscuteness-style relax. And it was wonderful. And a real vacation. And dang… I needed it.

And yeah we took a lot of selfies. Look at him. You’d do the same and you know it.

Thank you, sweet Romeo for getting me to stop, drop, and roll around with your cuddly-cute-self. You’re my most successful romantic relationship to date.

 

Week Off

Last week, I did a very strange thing for me. I took a whole week off working.

To be fair, I love my work. I love to create. It’s how I relax. When I finally make it my career, I’m going to be the most uptight relaxed person you ever met.

But because I do work on so many projects and am constantly focused on performance and creating, it can make me distracted at times. And when I’m away from it and think there’s a lot I should be doing, I can get a little worked up.

So I made myself a promise to take the week off last week when I was at home visiting my family and friends for the holidays.

And let me tell you… it was great.

It’s easy to lose perspective when you’re totally engrossed in something. I think I had lost a little perspective in my own world. And by forcing myself to not constantly produce, I got to breathe a little deeper and enjoy the present moment even more.

But most importantly, I got to just hang out with my family without anything else on my mind.

Sure. After Christmas when everyone was just relaxing by themselves, I may have done a little organizing for our upcoming Other Client List shoot. But I wasn’t working hard. Just a lil. And just because it’s relaxing.

And rest assured, after about 20 minutes, I joined my dad in the living room and drank cheap wine and watched terrible network TV.

And it was awesome.