A life you don’t need a vacation from. That is the ultimate goal, isn’t? By that, we mean a life so fun you don’t need to escape from. Which leaves me wonder: really, is there such a thing?
You know me, type A all the way. I like to push, Saturn in Capricorn style. I thrive when I work hard, play harder. I don’t know half-measures. I give my best at everything I do, and if my best is not the best, I struggle. I’m in the love with that moment just right before bed, when I finally exhale, physically and mentally tired, but good tired. Like a kid who biked all day under the sun and deserve a good night of sleep.
But I’m human. And like all of us, I get sometimes a bit (okay, a lot) tired. The days get longer, I’m getting thinner, and there is little juice left in the tank. I need to recharge and refuel. So even though I love my life, I do need a vacation from it from time to time.
Except there is no escape from that desire to strive. The reason why I feel so good on a daily basis is because all the things I’ve put in place in my very full life make me feel accomplish at the end of the day. Hustling is a form of leisure time.
Then what is left to do on vacation? Every year I struggle. I dread time off. My body is begging me for rest, but my head can’t find peace without constant activity to quiet the banter of the mind who keeps asking if we are good enough yet. Therefore this year I’m turning to a third party, my heart, to guide me.
Heart is telling me to trust and surrender. To breathe whenever I get anxious, to remember that I am free.
I am realizing these days how traumatic my experience was of being treated for my eating disorder in my teens. The imposed structure, the forced feeding, when this disease is exactly about that : wanting to be in control when you feel at loss. It took me years to rediscover myself and learn to listen to and answer my needs, without fearing someone would intervene and constrain me. Therefore this strong fear of letting go, not knowing what to expect as soon as I leave the comfort of my surroundings.
My habitual strategy is to replicate as much as possible my routine wherever I go. That’s what I have been starting to plan for my next trip : looking for yoga studios, making sure I can walk, and think about ways to train. I could make it work easily. LA is the wellness sanctuary, there is no doubt I won’t be able to attend a class or even two if I want on a daily basis. I could plan my days around my disorder.
Except I don’t want to anymore. I’m not only physically drained, my head is overtaxed. Vacation plans can be so fun, while mine always have been about preserving a sense of safety and security that keeps me from feeling the anguish of being not enough.
I want real vaca. I’m almost ready to surrender. The Universe is comforting me in my decision, showing me the way, placing friends on my route to urge me to do so. Breathe coming on top, my BFF for this next adventure.
This is my new vacation plan: no plan. One day at a time. Exploring how I feel, coming back to that inner sense of peace that arises when I press reset. Releasing all the little traumas that engrained themselves into my body, all the constrictions that keeps me contracted and scared. Finding my freedom in the midst of a constant yet much more subtle movement, the sacred prana that flows ceaselessly in and out of the matter I get so attached to the form of.
No doubt I will do yoga, but for once I will also let yoga do me. I will allow the practice that I used to punish myself heal me. As they say, the dose makes the poison.
Now I am getting all pumped up. I can’t wait to dive deep into my practice. That sounds like the dreamy vacation I’ve always desired. Not work, all play, as peace of mind is the only true freedom that will allow you to make this life a life you don’t need a vacation from, a life where your mind is so relax that there is nothing to espace anymore, nowhere to go.