It’s winter. What do you do? Go somewhere! You plan weeks in advance what you are going to do on your week-long vacation. Planning is fun, but it can feel like a chore. What if you could vacation without having to do as much planning and preparation?
Last year, one of my best friends moved to California. Even though I was in school, I decided to look at flights to visit her. She and I are so close- mainly because we can be a little impulsive. So, the first time I brought up that I wanted to visit her, we face-timed and- just like that- I booked a flight to see her two weeks after, but just for the weekend because.. I had school lol.
Mind you, this was my first ever “weekend vacation”. We didn’t plan too much beyond eating good food and going to the beach. It ended up being one of the best weekends of my life.
And since this trip, I’ve taken four other “weekend vacations”.
You might think “um why” well.. I will tell you!
First, it’s cheaper.
I eat a few good meals, do a little bit of shopping, order a few Lyfts, and I don’t break my (entire) bank.
Second, I don’t need to do much planning.
It’s fun to be spontaneous and in two/three days there’s plenty to do, so I’m guaranteed to be entertained throughout the entire trip.
Third, short trips allow me to go on more trips.
There is so much to learn from people, new places, and new experiences- and knowing my trip is short pushes me to do more in the time that I’m there. The less time and money I spend in one place-the more I have for the next place.
It’s so easy to get so caught up in our busy schedules that we forget to take a moment to ourselves. Like Oprah says, “the greatest gift you can give yourself is time”. There are many ways to interpret this quote and they all make sense. You should give yourself time to heal, improve yourself, and time to reflect. Today, I want to focus on the reflection piece. I think we all know that reflection is good for the soul, yet we rarely make it a daily practice.
Reflecting can have a number of benefits. When we are so consumed in small details and daily tasks, we often forget the bigger picture. This can result in a loss of motivation, satisfaction, and can cause us great amounts of stress.
So today, I want to prompt a brief reflection. Grab a notebook or just think about the answers to these questions:
What do I hold sacred and how do I express it?
Is it your relationships? Your profession? Pets? Spirituality? It can be anything and it doesn’t have to be just one thing. Make a list.
What do I like about my character?
Don’t be modest! Truly, what values do you hold that you are proud of?
What can I do for myself today?
Your greatest investment is yourself! What will you do/ have you done today that shows yourself love. It can be going to the gym-investing in your health, it can be taking a long bath, learning something new, going to bed early, etc.
How can I make a difference in someone else’s day today?
Doing things for others makes us happy! Are you going to bring a coffee to a coworker who helped you out yesterday? Will you compliment someone? Little things like this go a long way. Start noticing the positivity that surrounds you and return that energy back onto others. And remember that you don’t have to bend yourself backwards to do something nice.
Happy reflecting! Today is your day.
Change your routine: same routine = same thoughts.
– take a different way to work
– sit somewhere different for lunch
– listen to different music
Go somewhere new: New places stimulate new thoughts.
– go to a new coffee shop
– attend a random event
– go to the park
Exercise: Get that body and mind flowing!
– got for a run
– workout videos
Give yourself space and time: No you cannot multi-task, it’s impossible.
– turn off your phone
– remove all distractions
– give yourself time to just write
You got this!
Have you ever done something for someone else without expecting something in return? How did you feel after? Doing for others makes us feel happy and fulfilled. Weird right?
Are there other things that you do that give you a similar feeling afterwards?
I believe that there are several signs that you found your true purpose or passion that can be unique to you, but here are three that stand out to me:
It gives you endless energy
Do you ever work on a project or spend time with someone and strangely you have even more energy afterwards? You feel excitement about life and positive thoughts take over your mind. This is definitely a sign.
Everything leading up to it makes sense now
Why did the other things not work out? You begin to understand because it wasn’t for you. All of the experiences led you to where you are meant to be.
Everything else in your life starts to feel right
You have a weird feeling of alignment. Things start to connect and you have some sense of peace and understanding.
Is there anything in your life that makes you feel like this?
Don’t ignore the signs!
Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to be going your way?
You wake up and your vibe is just ugh. You’re late to class/work, it’s a bad hair day, and you’re juggling the one million things on your mind. It almost feels like the world is setting out to frustrate you and is planning to give you any possible obstacle. And to top it off the person in front of you is driving 2 miles an hour.. FOR NO REASON! Then you come into work and meh- you would rather just be in bed. You begin to question how you’re going to get through it today.
You have two paths: Push through and ride out the day or throw it all up in the air and give up.
For me, today began as “one of those days”. I couldn’t seem to focus or be present in the moment. I sat at my desk and began to feel sorry for myself because it was 3pm and I still had a long to-do list. Commuting from one place to the another, I contemplated skipping all of my other obligations. I deserved it right? I had a rough day and did I forget to mention it started pouring rain outside? “Yup- it’s a sign, I’m going home” I thought to myself.
So, I got into my car and sat there watching the rain hit my dashboard- feeling all the emotions and then…. I took a deep breath and just drove. I went to the meeting, I finished the assignment, I checked off my to-do list. I did it. A dark cloud lifted.
Walking back to my car as the rain slowed, I felt renewed.
I looked up- a rainbow
& then I remembered:
no rainbows without rain.