I write a lot about happiness, wellness and meditation. Peace, love and all that good stuff. So what do I do when I get away, take a break and run away from home? Well, I do all those things that I write about. I take the time to check in with a higher version of me. I take a look at my happiness level. I ponder what adjustments might be needed.
So where do I go to do these life altering practices? There’s not a specific latitude and longitude that guarantees the perfect energy vortex for happy research.
You might dream of that long exploration of Tahiti, New Zealand or the south of France. But sometimes, that’s just not on the list of possibilities. So rather than feel disappointed, I look at the possibilities. It’s not so much that I need to getaway to somewhere far or exotic. Mostly it’s just a matter of planning something different. Here are a few things that I have found are helpful.
Change the view!
This time I packed my tent and ran away to a state park in Ohio. I’m sitting at a picnic table with a cooled cup of great, pour-over coffee I made this morning. The sun was shining but now it’s a bit cloudy, which makes the computer screen easier to see. It also makes it easier to postpone my hike to the beach for swimming meditation until a get a bit more of this good work done.
You might say, “Computer?! I thought you were getting away?!” I’m working on projects that are near and dear to my happiness but don’t often get the undivided attention they deserve. AND I’m taking this break to write a blog post. All still on my list of stuff that I want/need to accomplish to up the happiness level.
Change the routine
When you’re living outside, the routine changes dramatically. I was sitting here at the table last night checking out the world thru social media. Suddenly I looked up from my very bright screen to notice that it was dark. I also noticed the drone of a mosquito army drawing near so I deduced it was time for bed. Did I look at the time? No… it was simply time to crawl in the tent or do battle with all the inhabitants of bug land as they swooped in to check out the glaring light from my computer. Similar situation was used to determine what time to get up. The sun began glaring down brightly on my little tent, raising the interior temp and bringing visions of a lovely empty beach to mind. Hmmm, yep, time to get up.
We become creatures of routine which isn’t a bad thing but consider shaking things up once in awhile. You might decide it’s time to join the “early to bed, early to risers” or determine that for a few days you might want to explore your “night owl” tendencies because you know you can sleep late the next day. You might enjoy seeing the sun rise or the moon traverse the sky while pondering your happy quotas. You don’t need to totally change everything, just shift gears a bit. The energy that comes from this little variations sometimes bring me a great boost of energy and insight.
Change my activities
I’ve not been as active as I like to be the past couple weeks. There have been a lot of events going on and I was busy preparing for all that. Now the hustle is past and I find myself living in the lush arms of mother nature. I do have a car but do I really need to drive it to the beach? No. I’ve been walking everywhere I can. I’m enjoying swimming. I take meditation breaks on the beach, sometimes while mindfully creating still life arrangements from the rocks, sticks and feathers I find lying around. When I get hungry, I know I have a hike back to the campsite and often don’t plan accordingly. But there’s also some beauty in realizing I’m hungry but the food is further away than three steps to the fridge.
It seems easier to stay in the moment, and to go deeper into meditation when I’m doing something different that the same old, same old routine I’m used to.
Are you due for a break?
How do you best take the time to do a regular review of your happiness levels? Or maybe a better question is, do you? Take the time for you. Take a break for fun. Don’t let life race by you without slowing yourself down enough to be sure you’re having as much fun as humanly possible. If you can’t get away, try mixing things up right where you are. Maybe a couple of days when you or even the whole family commits to taking a hike after dinner. Perhaps you could try a vegetarian or raw menu for a couple days. Take a shot at the earlier to bed, earlier to rise concept just to see what happens. Shaking up the routine can sometimes help you see something you’ve been missing or perhaps just make you appreciate all you do have. However you can design a break, I say Go for It!!