August 3, 2018

A breath of perspective

I love Seth Godin’s mind. When I read his admonition to “create a life you don’t need a vacation from,” something inside me lit up. YES, I thought. THAT! I’ve considered the notion many times and it continues to haunt me. I like the sound of it. As I’ve considered it further, I decided that Seth was right in one way but there is a big piece missing. SETH MISSED SOMETHING?! Read on. And Seth, if you’re reading this, yes I still love you. We can debate this later.

If you read my last blog post, you know I have some little, teeny, tiny stress and work guilt issues around taking vacations. But recently I took a deep breath and actually went to Cost Rica with my family for a week. Yes, you read that right. I went away and lived to tell the tale.

And it will probably come as no surprise to you that while I was there, something magical happened.

I climbed out of the cockpit of my daily life and found myself taking stock of things. Things like my health, my direction, my relationships, the way I spend my time, what I value. Small things, right?

I love to go on retreats with my interior design mastermind group. It forces me out of my desk chair and for a couple of days I work on my business, not in my business. It brings me a clarity that I simply cannot get when I am in my office or even at home, trying to strategize. It changes things up in a way that refreshes me, surprises me and it opens my mind, my ears and my heart. I always come away with great ideas, new insights and fresh inspiration.

But I have to be compelled to do it. I have strategy days to work on my business when I’m at home, but they are never as effective as when I travel.

Vacation did the same thing for my overall life. Do you see the sparkle of magic starting here?

Admission: I read those articles that circulate online about the importance of unplugging and disconnecting from our devices, our social media, our daily grind. It engages us with life again, it brings increased peace of mind, it enhances our creativity. Yes, I’ve read many of them. But I admit that I skim the words and part of it falls on my ears like Charlie Brown’s teacher: blah, blah, blah. Unpluggity blah.

But being away from my nest, (with limited phone service and zero WiFi) I was forced to change my routine, which in turn, changed my thought patterns. And this eventually changed my perspective. I looked at my life from the outside. I realized that to have any healthy perspective on my life at all, I need the experience of getting away to force me into it.

Why can’t I do this at home? I have no idea. Staycations are, for me, a cop out that I use when I’m feeling too guilty to leave my kids, my office, my team. I need to get away, out of town, because it makes me reconsider everything. I am not knocking staycations, just to be clear. There is most decidedly a time and place for them.

But I’ll bet I’m not alone in this. We all have a built-in need for room to think, to seek perspective, and reflect upon the trajectory of our lives. And getting away gives us a chance to do just that. I do love Seth’s idea of designing a life that we don’t need to escape from. But I am finding that choosing to step outside of our lives for a few days, for a breath of fresh air and perspective, is a choice that enriches the entirety of who we are.

And as it turns out, my sanctuary tool kit will travel and it certainly served me well on this last trip.

Love to hear how YOU cope with perspective, keeping it all going in the right direction and rediscovering your center. Share your thoughts with me below.

With gratitude,

Lisa

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2 responses to “A breath of perspective”

  1. Deborah Main says:

    Hi Lisa. As always, I love reading your blog. Its one of my “save for later” emails I can really savor. Plus I dont have much I read, beside novels, that take me away from work, so thank you.

    I am on a 5 week vacation. 1st week was 8 straight days of NYC with our son. Fantastic to see him, but NYC is go, go, go. Then a week in upstate NY, which was supposed to be a break. But I worked.

    Now we’re finally up in Deer Isle, Maine and Im taking August off to enjoy time with my cousin, husband, a family wedding, and seeing my best friend in Vermont.

    For me to find my sanctuary, it is essential that all work and personal deadlines be over. I cannot relax knowing something needs to be done. So Im happy to say all decisions have been made, blog posted, and the month of August is free for me to enjoy!

    Being away is also esssntial, but my husband and I are working on this next chapter of our lives, he in his 70s, me in my 60s, of creating the less-stressed life we want. Its a work in progress, but taking 5 week vacay (1st in 29 years w/out kids) has been our 1st important decision in this new, more relaxed life we want. And it was THE best decision! Now, once my husband gets over a nasty cold, we can spend our days relaxing and having thoughtful conversations together.

    Wishing you a beautiful summer and so glad to hear you enjoyed your vacation! (And yes, I did have some guilt going away for 5 weeks, but I got over it quickly.). xoxo ❤

    • Lisa Kahn says:

      I love this entire concept so much! Deborah what a fabulous way to start this new chapter in your life. I am toasting your bravery and your wisdom. My very best to you. And thank you, as always, for taking the time to read and let me know what’s happening over there. You are a treasure. <3

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