It’s about changing your pace, your mindset, raising your eyes from your screen, stretching your neck, your back, your legs, breathing … and being.
It can be a place fifteen minutes away from your home, a place that is just simple enough that you (I!) won’t feel compelled to take 1364 photos and feel the overwhelming need to sort, edit, post and share urgently. Sometimes, disconnecting becomes urgent, and the only way to truly stop doing is by going.
Sometimes, the closest and simplest places can do a whole world of good for the body, mind and soul.
My to-do lists have been exceedingly long and complex this month, with tasks for vastly different projects bleeding into one another. A new collection, a new product line, a new season for events and buyers, new ideas for my content calendar, co-organizing and co-hosting a huge event (this one, if you’re curious), scientific deadlines, creative writing, health advocacy volunteer work and thoughts of a brand new project bubbling behind the scenes. Too many tabs open on my computer, too many thoughts competing for brain space. Colored post-it notes have been trying to rescue my ideas before they disappear like muted fireflies into the night, trying to catch them like an open palm tries to catch confetti.
What’s to be stressed about?
It had been a few days in a row where I felt my mind’s wheels grinding while turning, and kept catching negative words fleeing my mouth when nothing was actually going all that wrong. By the tenth or so time that I opened the fridge doors and stared at the shelves, saying aloud, “What did I come here for?”, I let out a frustrated sigh.
On the canoe, I let myself feel the waves of other bigger boats. I appreciated the infinite ripples on the water’s surface when the breeze picked up. I took notice of the scraggly sea plants under the clear water reaching up to grab hold of us, and let the sun warm my face and my arms as my paddle sliced through the river again and again.
If there is one thing I have learned over the last two years - in life, academia and business - it is to listen to the needs of your body and mind, and to recognize the need for a shift in mindset and pace when it comes.
And if there is one thing I have always known, it is that places call, and that we feel whole when we listen.
From my heart to yours.