Haven't even left C.R. yet and I'm already thinking about how to preserve the blissed and totally chilled out feeling I have, going back to Canada.
I think that inherently, Canada is a kind of... "store and stash your nuts like a squirrel preparing for winter" kind of place.
Let's face it... it takes a bit to survive in Canada in the winter.
I think this need to "squirrel" away and prep for winter survival mentality sort of infuses our whole culture with a go, go, go mentality, which is sort of inherently stressful, isn't it?
If you let it be.
I think what we need... the antithesis to that is to have some kind of "anchor", something that we can use to bring ourselves back to those places where we have felt total peace and relaxation in our lives, so that we don't start finding ourselves living our lives in some level of what is essentially "fight or flight". It might be a slight tension, or an extreme one, but I feel, and I can not speak for you, only myself, that I start to get more and more wound up, tight mentally and physically over time, if I don't practice getting completely back to the baseline of the total essence of relaxation and letting go in between the bouts of having to be "on".
Phew! That's a lot to say.
So this anchor... can be anything. It can be music that takes you back, or a visualization or meditation that takes you back.
Here is the music I use to take me back to the palm lined beach and the seabreeze...
During the week of our retreat at Blue Spirit. I barely slept. Not because I didn't want to or couldn't, but simply because I was "on" from early in the a.m. until often late at night. I found it didn't take a lot of energy from me though, because I was in service.
Facilitating retreats is such a gift, to be allowed to be at the feet of the participants and at their service 200% is such a gift and it GIVES you energy. Which is why I was able to go through the week, feeling pretty good, despite a reduced amount of sleep. It's just another way of running energy. Sometimes our need for sleep is an illusion or a story we tell ourselves.
When we are doing what we love, it nourishes us, rather than depletes us.
After the retreat, I did a retreat of my own, as most of you already know, alone at a remote lodge near the Corcovado Reserve on the Osa.
There, I napped, epic-ly. I had such epic naps, drifting in and out of consciousness, floating. When conscious, feeling exactly how deep the relaxation was going into my brain and body.
And you would think with all that napping, that one wouldn't sleep at night. But actually... the converse was true. When I did nothing all day and was so established in deep rest... when I laid down at night to go to sleep, I fell asleep immediately. That feeling of deep relaxation was right there, so close to me, I just slipped into its familiar embrace, sleeping for another 8 hours effortlessly and waking up so refreshed.
So near the end of the week, my routine changed a bit. I went on a VERY stimulating solo kayak adventure that had me vibrating with adrenaline and also a couple of nights I splurged on watching movies on my tablet instead of reading a book at night. It was THOSE days that I had trouble falling asleep! The days that I had a high level of excitement and/or stimulus before bed. My mind was still alert and stimulated and swirling, my body a little tense.
Anyhow, the point of this post being... when you do take the time to unwind, whether it is a vacation or at home... and I hope you DO, take time to unwind, to down shift. It is such an essential part of us operating well as human beings.
So when you do take that time... be sure to anchor that feeling with something afterwards that can take you back in. Train up that ability to "let go" on command.
Be it your yoga practice, your breath, yoga nidra, music, meditation, a hot bath... create an anchor, for greater health, wellbeing and relaxation.
Anchoring it, creates a "groove", a neural pathway that gets stronger and stronger every time you access that anchor. It's just neuroscience really.