Entries in rest (2)

Wednesday
Dec222010

Thankful reflections

notebook doodle

I am just finishing packing my suitcase for a holiday trip to see my family in the Midwest and received today's Reverb 10 prompt, travel.  A bridal shower and Mom's birthday in July, my youngest sister's wedding in September and my middle sister's Christmas wedding tomorrow, I have been lucky enough to be able to go home three times this year. Each visit has been packed full of festive activities, really good food and lots of love. Although my family is half way across the country, we are emotionally close and I feel so lucky that my flexible schedule allows for me to travel whenever I wish ( I wish my finances did too!). I know not everyone has a job that allows this and today I find myself full of thanks.

There were a lot of small, overnight trips this past year as well. I really enjoyed visiting these Pacific coastal towns, shopping their one street downtowns and going to bed early as the restaurant and bars shut down by ten . These short trips with a friend allowed for lots of good reading, welcomed bad phone reception, good conversations and new explorations. After years finding myself a "big city girl," I realized the quaintness of these small towns had a place in my life too. I hope for more of these Pacific coast trips in 2011.

My most recent trip was a trip of solitude and rest in Sayulita, Mexico. I couldn't have picked a better place and was reacquainted with the idea of a "real vacation." Wow, how sweet it is! The trip was transformative. I know you can never recreate the same thing twice. However, now knowing that I can appreciate endless days in the sun, hours of reading with a margarita in hand and not freaking out about how much work will meet me as I return home, there will be another beachy vacation soon. Maybe with a friend or two as long as they keep their hands off my umbrella cocktail!

As I reflect back on this year of travel, I am glowing with thanks. Thanks that I have the time, a supportive family and an insatiable yearning for discovery. I think I'll find some time on my flight tonight to begin my list of great places to go in 2011.

Happy holidays and safe travels!

Wednesday
Nov242010

A little space

I just returned from five days of absolute bliss! I took a  much needed short vacation by myself to the small fishing village, Sayulita, Mexico. For all you that haven't been there yet, it might be one of the most charming places I have traveled to. I stayed in a secluded resort away from town where I soaked up the sun all day, took naps when I wanted, ate well and met new and interesting people. I actually read four books in four days (my only goal) and just let myself be. I talk about this a lot but my main reason for going was to "unplug"; no computer, no phone, no television and no news.  Being someone who didn't have own a computer or cell-phone for what now seems like forever,  I struggle a lot with  my new dependence on this immediate access to information. Don't get me wrong, I often appreciate it more than most but I also love how clear and unscattered my head feels with a little detox.

Probably not too surprising to you but the human brain actually isn't the most productive when it is overloaded with information. I was happy to see one of my new gurus Lori McGee recently post the following:

"Recent research shows that our brains need downtime from technology. In fact, technology is known to increase levels of stress which makes it difficult to concentrate. Too much technology blocks creativity.Downtime is important and necessary, because it allows our minds to process information and remember it. When the brain was constantly stimulated, “you prevent this learning process” if your brain is constantly plugged in, assistant professor Loren Frank of the department of physiology at the University of California in San Francisco told The Times."

I personally believe overloading the brain simply has a reverse effect, it simply prevents important, personal information from being recognized and absorbed.

On this trip, I found myself writing in a journal again and actually enjoying it. My approach to writing was stream of consciousness, just allowing the words to almost spit out as needed. I was amazed how good this felt and how relaxed and alive I became. I think the detox and the beauty of a new and exciting place stimulated something so much deeper inside that needed to be released.

Half way through the trip while I was enjoying a quiet dinner by myself my sweet (and handsome I might add) server, Sergio sat down with me. He noticed my journal and asked what I was writing. I explained a little about my journey and my exploration of stream of consciousness writing. He said to me "It sounds like me that you are creating some new space in your life. Isn't it amazing when you let something go you open up yourself to something new and exciting?" Sergio, you couldn't be more right.