With a mindful attempt at focusing on my heart-mind connection, I set off on my own version of Eat, Pray, Love except mine was more Spa, Solace, Family. Along the way, I got a chance to settle into a few versions of myself that I normally don’t get to enjoy. At home, “me time” normally lasts a few hours at most and is spent in the aisles of the grocery store or meeting a friend for coffee. The luxury of unwinding and relaxing into myself was a welcomed gift. I was hoping to mindfully direct attention toward some of my less attended to “parts” that had been neglected for far too long. I needed to find balance, I needed to find harmony. I was lacking the sense of wholeness that yields happiness and like the tin man waiting impatiently rusting in the field, my parts needed to be oiled. During three recent and varied journeys, I was able to enjoy and reflect on how variation and taking a break can help you reflect and achieve balance.
My first journey took me to Mii Amo Spa in Sedona, Arizona where I was able to enjoy a bit of pampering and spiritual growth along side two wonderful girlfriends and a few other amazing ladies we met along the way. It was an inspirational few days spent among the red rocks enjoying hiking, massages, chakra balancing, meditation, and even a bath of milk and honey. I had time to do some beneficial spiritual reflection and left feeling light and energized, ready to get back to my life with a sense of desire to apply what I had discovered to my daily life. Interesting that some time away from my life brought me a keener sense of reality.
The next leg of my journey took me out of the red rocks and into Phoenix where I dropped off my traveling companions and checked myself into a beautiful hotel in Scottsdale to spend some time alone. I got to catch up with a few close friends, but this time was about going inside and staying within myself for a change. I didn’t know how much I had needed this time alone until I took it and the balance it gave me was both welcomed and surprising. Sometimes it’s not clear where the balance will come from or where the pieces will fit until you gently let them fall at you and find their place. Letting go and following the flow has it’s own quiet calm, like watching water rise and fill crevices and trusting and knowing that it knows just where to go.
A week later I was off on yet another vacation to relax as a family and let my daughters spend some quality time with their grandparents in Florida. A different type of trip completely where I was reminded that having us all together is what life is all about. Family is love and love is family.
From these three experiences, I felt balance. I see the need for all of these kinds of escapes to recharge and gain momentum in different ways. Finding this kind of balance has been a missing part of my self-care, and I plan to explore more ways to get out of my comfort zone and take a little more time for myself. I’ve been shown that a bit of true “me time” is good for my balanced soul. There is a fine line between self-care and being selfish and the debate continues over where that line exists. The truth is that it looks different for everyone and getting to know yourself and your needs make that line clear as day. It’s possible to find solace and pockets of time to recharge and reflect reasonably within your own life, but getting out of your life and having new experiences always presents the opportunity for added perspective. And, though the true definition of balance may literally mean ‘even distribution’, sometimes just a bit of divergence can lead to a major shift and provide the balance you need.
photo taken at Mii Amo Spa in Sedona, Arizona