Last week, Craig and I went on vacation to beautiful Esperance, WA. Before leaving on our glorious adventure, I set the intention to leave my to-do list behind and spend the holiday just being present. No blogging. No work. No mental strain.
My mind and body were crying out for a break from the busyness. I’d been hustling my lil booty off the past three months, juggling full-time teaching and my baby blog. I was in desperate need of rejuvenation to say the least. Taking the week off from the day-to-day grind was truly blissful!
The backdrop of our holiday was nothing short of spectacular. The beach was the epitome of picturesque with the most mesmerizing, iridescent waters and soft, stunningly white sand. I’ve actually never seen sand so fine; it was like cornflour! The most amazing thing about the beach was its seclusion. We had an endless stretch of land in both directions all to ourselves. I mean, this is the ideal place to clock-off and relax, right?!
Although I intended to do nothing, my days were filled with life’s simplest pleasures. My time away consisted of the following:
// waking up naturally sans alarm.
// indulging in hearty breakfasts. cooked with love by the sweet owner of our B&B.
// wearing not a stitch of make-up the entire week. ever.
// reading this book. seriously, knock-your-socks-off powerful. #spirited
// letting the day unfold naturally and spontaneously. asking, ‘what do you wanna do now?’ then doing that exact thing.
// 4-wheel driving along the beach. windows down. blasting our favorite tunes.
// taking an afternoon nap. everyday. (pure bliss!)
// lying on a blanket in the park. watching the clouds roll by. making animals out of their fluffy forms. (am I seven again?)
// sitting in a cafe long after finishing my soy latte just to soak up the tranquil ambience.
// forgetting the time on my watch and letting my intuition be my guide.
I’m sure you’re getting the picture. This holiday was pure euphoria. I listened to my body, rested A LOT, and took part in things I enjoy.
I felt freer that I have in a long time.
Yes, I had time off work, and yes, I was on vacation but the real reason I felt free was due to a crucial mind shift.
Oftentimes, even on weekends when I am not ‘working’ and my to-do list ‘should’ be shorter, I find I am still on go-go-go autopilot. When Monday morning (quickly) rolls around, I don’t feel rejuvenated; I feel exhausted already. It’s because I don’t let myself recharge. I don’t give myself permission to back off and just be.
As a former perfectionist and type-A personality, I have pretty high expectations of myself. I demand a lot from myself and keep striving higher and higher. Recently, I have begun to heal this task-master part of me and reframe its role in my life.
One important thing I’ve learned along the way is this:
You can choose to buy into the never-ending rat race that really never does end. OR You can just as easily choose to honor yourself and release some of those unnecessary expectations of self, in turn, discovering more serenity and freedom.
Yesterday, I was talking about all of this with my mom, and she reminded me of this timely quote from The Big Book.
Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. The higher my expectations of [fill in your blank], the lower my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations.
Now, this isn’t to say you throw all your resolve and commitment out the window. Oh, no, no. This is about letting go of the overwhelm and easing up on yourself. This is about self-care, self-love and self-worth.
And all this talk about ‘self’ doesn’t equate to selfishness. It’s quite the opposite, actually.
When you value and love yourself, you become better equipped to offer that care, love and value out to the world and those around you. We’ll all thank you for honoring yourself. [Cue the applause!]
So, as I emerge back into the real world away from bikinis and sunscreen, I hold fast to my renewed state of mind. Freedom and serenity are mine for the taking every. single. day.
(And, hey, they’re there waiting to be lapped up by you, too, gorgeous one!)
// Question: What do you need to let go of in your life today in order to increase your serenity level? I’d love to hear in the comments below.