Beneath a huge sky in the backseat of “Cream Puff”, our silver sedan, and sitting with no where to go, my body slowly began to relax. The only available movement was exercising my eyesight to look out the window. With each breath every muscle in my body seemed to slacken. My lungs repeatedly exhaled involuntarily, expunging stress from the last many Covid months. A new rhythm was slowly taking hold, wholesome, organic, unhurried with a knowing that we’re right where we’re suppose to be.
Road Trips naturally create a Forced Pause. You drive along, beholden to the scenery, choice of pitstops and the thoughts popping into your head. There’s nothing to do but drive, focused on a single objective of safely arriving at your destination. Within the span of five days my husband and I drove eighteen hours, nine on two different days. Each time the experience was the same, one of complete relaxation. The Forced Pause allowed us to transition to a different way of being.
It was a surprise to strongly feel the unwinding, the loosening of a tightness that had blanketed my senses for a long time. How hadn’t I noticed the quiet stress in my body? During 2020 most of us have experienced stress but not necessarily paid attention to its negative affect on our bodies and well being. Our mind, body and spirit are more connected than we realize.
More often than not the best trips, whether traveling by car, train, bus or plane, are those that let you completely relax. Find your center. Be fully in your mind, body and spirit and off the daily beaten-track of “Must Do’s” and demands. Creating more intentional pauses has the benefit of increasing gratitude, appreciation and the understanding that every person, place, thing and moment is sacred.
Normally, like a fast car on a highway, our lives speed by without noticing all there is to celebrate. Since travel isn’t yet ubiquitous how do we create pauses as travelers in our daily lives? How do we transition to a slower, more aware, A Traveling Time pace? Here are a few ideas to lighten the daily journey:
Wherever you are, notice. Take a look outside. Observe your desk. Study a picture on the wall. Truly see what’s in the refrigerator. We don’t have to go anywhere to pause. We just have to stop for a moment or two or many minutes and notice.
What makes you happy? Spend some time with your happy activity, fully immersed. For me it’s been picking up a paintbrush and or diving into a new book while resting on the couch. Sometimes even if only for fifteen minutes the tenure of the day and your well being will change for the better when focusing on Happy.
Keep your dreams alive. Grab a piece of paper (or download a free “ The World Within Reach” grid from my website)
or make a table of thirty boxes. Start filling in the travel experiences you’re dreaming about. Or check out this free App and share with list your travel companions…it’s super fun (I promise there are no gimmicks here)!
Maybe your dreams aren’t about travel. That’s ok! Be deliberate and imagine the future in a positive way.
Honestly it’s been said before and is worth repeating here: Take three breaths often. When? In between tasks, when feeling anxious, transitioning from work to home life, ahead of a phone call so you’ll be super present. When we intentionally take a few breaths our mind settles and we can better discern emotions and thoughts, differentiating between what truly is a concern and what we can release.
May all your journeys, near and far, inside and out, included Pause!