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Episode 4 -Vacation and Meditation, They Rhyme for a Good Reason

On today's show, I am going to fill you in on some tips on how to meditate on vacation and, more importantly, why vacation is an excellent time to strengthen your practice. And I am proving this because I am relaxed and productive recording while I am on vacation! The best part is that when your vacation is over, you will find that your meditation practice helps you keep that vacation feeling alive and not send you home counting the days until the next vacation.

In my first episode, "Ten Reasons Why You Can't Meditate," I mentioned how many of my students say they want to begin their practice on vacation when they have more time, and I call BS on it every time. If this doesn't apply to you, fantastic, but I think it is safe to say that for MANY, vacation is a happy but busy time. So precious that you don't want to miss a minute of it, so meditating takes a back seat. You might think, I am so happy right now that I can take some time off meditating because, well heck I am happy, I don’t need meditation.

 Join me on this mini-podcast vacation and allow me a few minutes to change that vacation meditation thought process.

As I create and record this podcast, I am actually on vacation in Port Clyde, Maine celebrating our first wedding Anniversary. We were married last year at the Marshall Point Lighthouse, which, we didn't know at the time, was where Forrest Gump finished his epic cross-country run. Thankfully my husband stayed for the “I do’s” and didn’t tap the lighthouse, turn around and start to run back to the West Coast.

 We also didn’t realize that in our cool cabin on the St George River (in Maine they call them camps, but I say if it has running water and electricity, it's a cabin) had no internet and no cell service. We weren't quite aiming for this much disconnection from the world. I totally thought at least I would have service in my Podcast Mobile, "known as the Tator Mobile," which supposedly has unlimited wifi! I am sad my internet provider appears not to have the same love of Maine as I do.

BUT it has given us lots of what we all need – total disconnect.  At least until we really need a few minutes of world contact, then we get to go to the adorable local library and use their internet. We now know that we love libraries and commit to finding ours when we get home. 

Let’s start with reasons that people have told me that they find meditating on vacation is hard:

  • You spent a fortune on this vacation and didn't want to waste time meditating
  • You are happy on vacation, so meditation isn’t needed
  • The location change has you messed up, and maybe like this tiny cabin, there is nowhere to be "alone easily."
  • Your sleep schedule is off and your too tired
  • Speaking of being tired isn’t vacation about sleeping in, why get up and meditate when you need sleep
  • You are just so busy you forgot

 Now I said I was glad that we were disconnecting, right? And here I am writing and recording two podcasts today. So that doesn't sound like a disconnection from work, right? Well first, I don't really consider my job work because I LOVE it. However, it still is work, and I do know that I need to get away from it because if I do when I get back, I am so much more invigorated and ready to take on all kinds of stuff. BUT it just so happened that after my morning meditation, I felt so amazing, rested, joyful, and clear that sitting down to flesh out a few shows felt like total fun, not work at all. AND this topic became beyond evident on day 5 of our vacation.

BUT don’t worry as soon as I am done writing I will be off for a walk and then hitting The Odd Alewives Brewery at 4 pm and continuing to hunt for more lobster roll overdose. A new blissful version of work hard, play hard.

So if my meditation can help my workflow clear and easy, then why not have my meditation make my vacation flow clear and easy? 

 My Top Ten Reasons on why to meditate on vacation:

  1. Deep rest – build those necessary sleep alpha waves (the ones we busy humans are lacking) and train yourself to sleep better on vacation and when you get home!
  2. Increase focus and attention. Looking over the cliffs yesterday, I saw tons of baby seals in the distance and a bald eagle. They were easy to miss and far away, but I am laser-focused, thanks to meditation.
  3. Organizing a day seems way easier; no FOMO needed. I swear on the first two days we did more than most people do in a week, but it flowed, and we were able to pivot and change course on the fly with ease.
  4. Overwhelm – Sometimes, there is so much to see and do that the list of fun starts to feel like an overwhelming to-do list. Meditation gets overwhelm out of the driver’s seat and into the trunk
  5. Jet lag – Meditation is so helpful with jet lag! Hit the meditation reset button
  6. Get into vacation mode faster – why wait 2-3 days to start feeling truly relaxed. Meditate day one and get into the groove pronto!
  7. Hangover Helper – sorry but I have to be a realist, if you accidentally imbibed a bit too much, meditation (and water) is way more helpful than Gatorade and trying to sweat it out.
  8. Lot's to do, but you do get tired – a nap can take a long time and leave you feeling groggy, whereas just a 10-minute meditation can give you that extra zip so you can keep on having fun.
  9. Immune System – you finally get a vacation, and you get sick, or you head home only to get a cold on your first day back. Your body is like, thank god, I finally have time to breakdown. Well meditation raises your immune system, so that's an excellent reason  before, during and after a vacation to keep up with your practice
  10. Top Reason is Alone time – Usually, no one will fight you and say, "Stop meditating and be with me" half the time, they are glad to get rid of you for a few minutes.

Come on  - you DO have 5 minutes. You do.

 Things on vacations worth noting. Refugee Camps, people in India, Monks in Thai Land – put judgment away and enjoy and learn in the present moment of your holiday.

Now that I have hopefully convinced you to not leave your practice out of your suitcase, here are a few tips to make it easy and fun:

 Meditating outside is great. Our big porch here is fantastic, but the outdoors comes with added interruptions, so remember:

    • Stay warm – you start to relax, or the sun goes in, you get chilled
    • Bug spray?
    • Added noises – even the beautiful lapping of water can be a distraction, remember noises are just thoughts, don't get attached, notice them, notice the beginning and ending of sounds and enjoy
    • Remember you are leaving the thinking mind and entering the feeling mind
  • Car – parked in the driveway great, or even as a passenger on a drive, or let the family go in and get a table and order beverages and take a few minutes to meditate before you join them.
  • Times – Don't worry about being so strict on your time. Mornings are the best way to start the day, but if you are doing a sunrise parachute lesson then heck do it after when you land
  • Bathroom – I don't recommend toilet meditating (leave those joys for another time), but tubs are great, and many times, you can sneak in a chair.
  • Talk a quick meditation stroll. AIMLESS WANDERING
  • Planes, trains, and busses. My favorite thing to do is pull out my Mala Beads (think prayer beads or rosary beads), which I don’t usually use to meditate, but I like to pull them out like I am setting up for a major ritual You won't believe how fast people leave you alone!
  • I think on my next solo plane right; I might try putting gemstones all around me and waving an unlit smudge stick. Come on that could be hilarious.

 Thanks for joining me, and I hope your next vacation journey includes daily quiet meditation time, and I hope after your vacation, you find that meditation can serve as your daily vacation break!

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Maine - Midcoast

Wedding 2018/Anniversary 2019 :)

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