Post vacation blues are a real thing. I just got back from a three night, epic houseboating vacation with twenty-one other soulful and loving humans.
As I settled in back home, I felt anxiety and sadness. It felt like a fear and disappointment of going back to the “real world”.
I missed the bonds that were created and the abundant laughter that was shared.
I missed being in flow and doing whatever my heart felt most nourishing in the moment. Whether that was a nap and meditation, lake chillin’ on a giant swan floaty, or dancing my face off in the sunshine on the deck.
I’m sure most people can relate. We miss the freedom that vacation offers us; the detachment from our daily stresses.
I decided to get curious about this feeling to move through it.
I asked myself what lessons can I bring back from this experience to stop living in the past and start being grateful for the present?
So here we go… here are some of the biggest highlights of my trip and the lessons that can be integrated into our everyday lives.
1. SET THE INTENTION TO LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
People might think I’m crazy for suggesting it, but I’m actually highly introverted. You most likely won’t see me being super outgoing and talkative unless I feel comfortable in my settings.
Which means that last year on the same trip when didn’t know anyone, it actually took me a couple days to open up, and by then it was time to go home. I felt a bit disappointed in myself for how I chose to show up.
This year I felt I knew more people from last year and the ones that I didn’t know, I wanted to open up to by being my true self.
My affirmations on the first day became:
- I belong.
- I am kind.
- I am open and loving.
- It is safe to be me.
And because I consciously chose my intention for the weekend from day one, I found that new friends were opening up to me and expressing their gratitude for my light. It became easier to see the light in others, and my body felt relaxed and safe for the whole trip.
And although I’m introverted, I found that I never felt over socialized or depleted from my interactions because they were coming from a place of love and acceptance for myself, and in turn others.
2. YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION TO CELEBRATE
Once I was able to fully embody this feeling of openness, I was able to fully let loose.
When we had a dance party the second night I was told my energy was magnetic and lit up the whole room. I was told that people felt safe to dance freely and wildly with me leading the way.
I was told I looked “in my element” and I felt fully self-expressed.
What this showed me is that often people are just waiting for someone to go first. People want to know it’s safe to be excited, to be playful and to be free.
We want to know that we won’t be judged for our silly dance moves, or for our loud obnoxious singing voice when we barely know the lyrics.
When you give yourself the permission you seek, you give others permission to open up to joy and celebration too.
3. WHAT YOU SEEK YOU ALREADY HAVE
After dancing on our boat, we collectively decided to walk down the beach to find another dance party.
There were boats that had cooler light shows, louder sound systems and way more people. We went on a search to find something better to do.
But we realized that our crew and our dance party felt the most enlivening to us.
We were already surrounded by all that we needed. Good friends. Tight and bright costumes. Our favourite songs. And a positive attitude.
It was a fresh reminder— where else in life do we go chasing for something more exciting, only to realize that we already have what we seek? Something bigger is not always better.
4. THE POWER OF ASKING “WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?”
I saw the power of this question unfold in two ways over the weekend.
The first time was when someone asked me this as an ice breaker. What came of it was what felt like a timeless-in-the-zone conversation about the divine masculine and feminine, creative flow states (which we were soooo in at that moment!), life transitions, letting go of attachment to our ego identity, and trusting the process.
What’s more important is that an instant friendship bloomed that I feel will only grow more with time. That question highlighted our souls and vulnerability and in turn connected two human beings.
The second time I saw the power of this question was at a bonfire by our neighbor’s boat. I witnessed a friend ask a stranger this when he sat down beside her.
His reaction to it was pure fear, anger, and suffering. He instantly shut down, got defensive about why the fuck she would ask such a stupid deep question, and stood up muttered something about “this is gay” and then stormed away from the fire.
Later on when someone had the chance to uncover more about what was going on within him. We found out that he was feeling lost, directionless and had just got out of jail with a family of two kids. Because of his vulnerability to open up, we were able to connect to his humanness in his reaction and pain and send him love and well wishes.
You can’t hide from this question. It has the power to break people open and give them a starting point of turning inward and connecting.
5. THE IMPORTANCE OF GRATITUDE
There was a moment sitting by that fire where I felt a surge of deep, deep gratitude for life.
I looked up at the clear night sky, sprinkled with stars that I can barely see in the city.
To feel the heat and crackle of the flames in front of me. To look to my left and right and see a tribe of humans sharing love by hugging, massaging and talking to one another. I heard the water lap up against the shore and the wind cool my wet eyes holding back tears of gratitude.
As I connected my bare feet into the Earth and pressed cold stones into my palms, I felt overwhelmed with such a perfect moment.
I was grounded yet elevated at the same time, and I know that all it took was presence and gratitude. Peace was found by releasing my thoughts of the day, and tapping into my surroundings and sensations.
And those steps are possible at every moment. Every moment has the capacity to be seen as perfect once we relax into the miracle of being alive.
MOVING PAST POST VACATION BLUES
When we go on vacation mode, it can be so hard to come back to reality, but when I reflect back on my trip I realize that these experiences aren’t limited to my time on that lake.
We all have the power to show up every day in this way.
We are able to set the intention to shine our light freely in any and all situations.
We get to choose to give ourselves permission to play and celebrate daily.
We have what we seek and chasing what we think we “should” want will not bring us happiness or more excitement.
We can choose to either open or close when connection is offered to us through our vulnerability, and that sharing our passions in life is what makes that possible.
And there will always be something to be grateful for if we take a moment to center ourselves and be present with the divine perfection of every moment.
I hope my lessons show you that there is something within you more powerful than any souvenir or picture that you get to take home.
Photos by Unsplash