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Staycation (noun, informal) 

  1. a holiday spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

Today is the last day of May and the last day of my annual summer break too! This is a time when I have no major client interactions, no business travel and no pressure to be accessible. In past years, I have enjoyed complete digital silence too – no smartphone or computer use at all! This year, I even let that bit of “rule” go – I stayed connected when I wanted to do so and then not 🙂

It has been one of my most special breaks to date and the primary reason is that for the first time, in my considerably gypsy adulthood, I stayed home. Since home is both a location and my boyfriend, we stayed home! This stay-cation became a wellness retreat and a spiritual milestone.

It is incredible to be on “vacation” and still sleep in your own bed, eat yummy nourishing home-cooked food and have access to all your stuff. Instead of finding inspiration & feeling awe at new experiences and sights, I found wonder at exploring what is around me all the time – with a leisurely eye and a still heart. The natural beauty that surrounds our 6th floor apartment is incredible – a flowing river, lush green tree tops, the chirping of birds through the morning and the mountains in the near distance. Equally nourishing to my soul is the community of friends that I have in my life – this became a time to connect, have intimate meals and share music, movement & meditation with each other. And if all this did not add up to a long wellness holiday, I discovered that my neighborhood offered world-class spa treatments that I will now enjoy all year around. Only a traveler knows the bliss of receiving a super massage or therapy session combined with the despair that there can be no more because you are leaving the next day!

My mother says that I was born with wheels on my feet because I have always moved from adventure to adventure. I moved home nearly every year for 15 years in search of the new thrill, the new learning – just the new. So this month of delving deeper to find adventure in the environs of our home has been an epiphany! I discovered that there is another way to find wonder, awe, thrills and a feeling of freshness – being still! So the metaphor of “staying home” got extended for me in many dimensions. I really got that at work, I do not need to find new clients, new products or services to remain fresh and not get bored. Instead, when I focused on what is inside me that needs to overflow and be shared, it is always fresh and it always keeps me refreshed. So my focus is not on the effect – how it looks from outside to others, it’s on the inside!

In my relating with my loved ones, I got that when things get messy, complex, and intense or completely effed up, the trick is not to dismiss, disregard and move on to new connections. There is such beauty in staying the course – dropping judgments, giving time & space to each other and replacing expectations with acceptance.  For my fitness & spiritual practice, I am gratefully experiencing the joys of staying committed after a long while! A daily practice feels COMPLETELY different from a thrice a week or a sporadic routine.

In the end, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Paraphrasing Chuang Tzu:

Easy is right & Happy is good

I feel so easy & happy that I have to invite you to share my ecstasy too!  Take time off this year and please do share your insights and joys with me too.

PS One last thing…I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be possible to live like this all year around! For starters, I am already home, aren’t I? What do you think?