Making It Last…

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I’ve been having this conversation with myself and with some of you over the past few weeks–how to take the amazing feelings we get on vacation and bring them into our “regular” lives. You know, the calm, the freedom, the happiness, the peace of mind, the lower stress. Many of us go on vacation, have a great and even memorable time, but within a week or so, its as if we never went on vacation. We get sucked right back into the daily grind of schedules, busyness, car pools, and the “list”. Wouldn’t it be something if we could figure out a way to bring those feelings of relaxation and anticipation to our everyday lives?

Maybe its a pipe dream. But, instead of shrugging our shoulders, it might be worth figuring this one out.  So, here’s one suggestion to expand those relaxed vaca feelings into the everyday: take your most insignificant daily reactions, that is, the most mundane aspects of your life, and begin there.

For example, waking up. When you wake up on a vacation, do you do it with a little more joyful anticipation, excitement, or enthusiasm? How might your typical day shift if you bring even some small percentage of this attitude into it? Anticipating simple things, like a good latte, a vibrant yoga practice, the way the autumn sun sparkles on the leaves. Maybe even a nod of gratitude for another day to begin again. A deeper breath in and a longer exhale out.

As we sit on the eve of a new September, and a new school year, we don’t have to tuck these vacation feelings away along with our beach towels. We can weave the threads of all that excitement and energy into our “real” lives: the feeling that “something” good is going to happen this day, savoring this moment, enjoying the people around us, the sense that no matter what happens, we’ll be okay. Sounds like vacation to me.

My hope is that by expanding our vacation feelings to our regular day, we can ignite an inner shift that releases stress and cultivates more relaxation and unapologetic joy smack-dab in the middle of the daily grind. I’m not saying to put another item on the to-do-list, but if you want a vacation from the ordinary, giving this a try doesn’t require a passport.

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