I usually share tips based on my own experience and success. Today, I am actually asking for your suggestions.
Yesterday I came back from a wonderful vacation: a week in the Caribbean, sailing on a cruise ship, surrounded by the endless crystal-blue ocean, listening to the waves, relaxing on the beach. Some days we enjoyed the entertainment on the ship, other days we visited exotic places on shore. It was the ultimate vacation: a well-balanced combination of activities and relaxation. The food was great, (especially since I did not have to do any cooking for a week), and even exercising at the gym was special because I could watch the ocean through huge windows all around me and use the Jacuzzi to end my workout.
A big part of this joyful time was being away and isolated from technology. I did not use my phone except for a few text messages, couldn’t access my voice mail, and used the internet only once a day to check my emails and reply to clients. That was it! Even my 18 year old daughter who usually uses texting as her main way of communication actually enjoyed a week with no texting and no Facebook. Can you imagine?
Towards the middle of the week this question arose in my mind: how do I take this experience home with me? How do I create a stress-free space in my real life?
Should I do a technology-free day once a week? Or maybe create a physical ?vacation? space in my house? Maybe I should wear my bathing suit and put some sunscreen once a week?
I remember when one of my clients who loves vacations on the beach, created a vision board a few months ago. Using magazine pictures, her own photos and some text, she created a visual collage that depicts her ideal life. Looking at the result, she noticed a lot beach/ocean/sand and blue and green colors on her board. She realized that getting centered on the beach is almost a necessity for her. We wanted to figure out how to bring this into her daily life, where going to the beach isn’t always an option. I helped her to come up with an action plan to turn this vision into reality. One of her decisions was to paint and decorate a room in her attic with an ocean theme. She now uses this room for writing & meditation and spending alone time whenever she wants.
One evening on the ship, I asked my family for ideas of how to integrate the vacation atmosphere into daily life. During the whole week, my daughter got upset with me every time I mentioned something that reminded her of life after the cruise. My husband simply said that he is not ready to talk about integration. He is still in the moment. My son reminded me that I can follow the Jewish tradition of Shabbat and have a rest (no work or technology time) every Saturday, dedicating the day to spiritual reading and rest.
Maybe I should turn off my computer and cell phone one evening a week?! Two evenings a week?!
I would like to have a plan or at least a clear structure to having a ?Caribbean? time as a normal part of my life ? at least until I go on my next cruise.
Would love to hear your ideas and suggestions: how should I create a ?Caribbean? space in my day to day/busy life?