I had one of those weeks where I felt pulled in several different directions. I have a father recovering from a leg bypass surgery that has hit some bumps in the road. I have a daughter who has an internship in a remote part of the US and she is feeling very isolated. I have signed myself up on a new committee and it has my head spinning. Oh…and I am trying to launch a business and figure out how to get the word out that Westport Bike Rentals exists and is open for business (and avoid “constructive criticism”).

 

It dawned on me one morning that I was exhausted. It’s not that I have too much on my plate; it’s my reactions to what’s on my plate. I was chasing people in an effort to make things better. I had lost my center. Time to get back on track: I knew I needed to “do” less…and “be” more.

 

But how? The first things I looked at: my eating (less sugar/caffeine/alcohol), my sleeping (earlier bedtimes), and my exercise (PLAN for the gym). That’s helpful for my body.

 

Next, and just as importantly, I needed to re-set my mind: Prioritize meditating (upon waking & before going to sleep), make a date with a good friend (one with whom I don’t have to explain myself), and, for me, GET OUTSIDE! There is something about walking in the sand, or hiking in the woods, or riding a bike along the coast, that settles the mind. Once the mind starts to quiet, the inner voice can be heard.

 

Often it’s helpful to me to do the thing that I haven’t done in awhile, but I know that I’ve enjoyed it in the past. You know what I mean…the items on the “to do this summer” list.

 

I hike in the woods every day with my dogs, so I knew I needed something different than that. Coincidentally (or maybe not- read my blog on Outrageous Openness), my roommate from college called and asked for a beach day together. My world was conspiring to get me back on track!

 

Stand Up Paddle at Downunder!
Stand Up Paddle at Downunder!

I had just worked with Downunder to create: Pedal, Paddle & Picnic. So guess what we did? We tried Stand Up Paddle on the Saugatuck River- my roomie’s first time ever and my first time in this location. Then, we hit the beach for some relaxation. We finished up at The Whelk with a couple drinks and some appetizers.

 

The whole “date” lasted 6 hours…and filled the wind in my sails again. With that lift, a whole different perspective came into focus for me. It was the exact timeout that I needed to catch my breath. My heart was filled with gratitude for the pause from my “problems”, for my long-standing friendship, and for all the resources available to me in Westport. The day filled up my emotional tank because I was able to be me: to talk, play, rest, and laugh. I guess another way of saying this would be: I stopped the worrying, fearing, chasing pattern for a few hours…and it was like getting a reboot.

 

A day later, as the family & work calls/emails/texts came pouring in…I answered from a place with a full and open heart.

 

I love the quote from Wayne Dyer, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

 

Here’s the reminder: you don’t have to go far or fast for the change in scenery or perspective. Slow down, spend a day (or a few hours) doing what makes you happy. If you can’t remember what makes you happy, get outside and do something. If you can’t figure out what to do, copy me…try the Pedal, Paddle and Picnic. Then report back…I hope it brings you back to YOU!