Vacation. When I hear this word (whether it’s my vacation or someone else’s that’s mentioned), I tend to unconsciously let out a sigh. Just the mention of the word seems to trigger an immediate release of enormous doses of dopamine and serotonin in my body.
Vacation is one of those wonderful times when (many people) unplug from work. It allows us to recharge and is good for us. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we need a break until we actually step away for a while.
When you rest your mind, it is more open to accepting ideas and being creative. Have you ever noticed that when you’re lying in bed or taking a shower, ideas seem to come to you more easily? I certainly have. I’ve even noticed that it happens when I just stop what I’m doing and sit quietly for a few minutes. Being still allows you to let go of what is clouding your thoughts and open your mind. It’s during these times when creativity flows.
For the last eight years, we’ve spent a week in the summer at a small cottage by a lake in New Hampshire’s lakes region. My perspective changes when I’m away. Although I still cook, wash clothes and clean up, my “regular” routine is different and I have more time to relax, refresh and recharge.
And I tend to write better (or at least more easily), have more ideas, and feel more at peace. I feel that I am more aware–or as some of my favorite meditation experts say, more mindful.
I decided that I want to feel like that more without having to escape from my daily life to do so. I know that it will help me in so many different ways, like being a better, more patient and more productive wife, mother, daughter, friend, creative person, and member of society.
I’ve found a path to having more peace and creativity in my life.
In the last several months I’ve begun to meditate. Keep reading, it’s not some woo-woo craziness. By meditating, I mean that I’ve purposefully set aside time each day to be still. It’s typically at night when I have a dark, quiet place to sit. I’ve begun with short guided meditations from YouTube, where someone walks you through what to do. It’s been really helpful as a beginner.
I focus on something (usually my breath) and when my thoughts wander, I turn back to noticing my breath. It’s a practice that is easier some days than others. But it’s a learned skill that trains your brain to go to a place of serenity. Over time, I know that it will get easier and result in more mindfulness, awareness and openness in my life.
In the short time I’ve been practicing meditation, I’ve learned that I can get to a place where my mind is still (-ish) and that wonderful feeling that I have much of the time when I’m on vacation. If I can get to that place during meditation, my goal is to be able to reach that point in my daily life without even having to try, and be able to enjoy a more creative life. I have a feeling that it will be a lifelong journey, but baby steps and consistency lead to big things.
Do you meditate? I want to hear about it. Let me know what your journey has been, and how it has changed your life.