In between the cake and festivities, birthdays remind us that the true blessing is creating a life we don’t need escaping from
So, even though I’m back to wearing my hat, gloves and winter attire (hopefully, for not too much longer) — this was my morning view in Miami Beach a few days ago…and I languished in it. My days began with long, early morning strolls, warm sea breezes, sand between my toes, coffee in hand, and lots of exhales walking side-by-side with my guy. Stunning, and much needed.
When I’m near the sea, I feel like a kid on the night before Christmas — nothing is going to stand between me and my excitement, no blackout curtains to defray the morning light…nothing. I can’t help it, no matter how little sleep…she whispers to me and I leap from the bed, thrust open the curtains and respond to the call. With a quick splash of the face and some rapid-fire tooth brushing, I’m in the sand within moments. And over the course of the next few days, I literally walked until I had small blisters on my toes (yes, it was time to take those winter, albeit happy feet home).
There is something so incredibly restorative about the beach, especially after enduring a long winter — your body, mind and soul knows it. You can melt right into its embrace.
In between all the daydreaming, chatting and strategizing on those morning strolls — I couldn’t help but feel a little envious of those lucky enough to live in a climate where they get to do this every day. I know, that’s a bit of wasted air time, but it’s a default setting we can all fall prey to. We can’t help it. We look around. We assess. And sometimes we either dream about what is possible for ourselves or we feel less than or unworthy.
Life isn’t meant to be about measurement.
The ironic part of this little story that I’m sharing with you is that, after 3 ½ days away (which actually felt like a long time) — I was ready to go home.
Sure, I appreciated it all: the lovely hotel, the crisp clean modern expansive room with a balcony overlooking the ocean, housekeeping, the cocktails by the pool, the restaurants, the energetic vacation vibe, etc. But truth be told, when I checked in on how I was really feeling…I was missing home. I was ready to get back to work. I was ready to be back in our small farmhouse in the mountains with all of its quirks. I was ready for our routines — our green juices, our brisk morning walks bundled in clothes, our meditation, clean eating, nightly healthy hot elixir, work — all of it.
So, what does this have to do with anything, least of all my birthday?
It’s a reminder to pause, take stock and look around — not in measurement of others, of what you don’t have — but rather what you do have.
Blowing out birthday candles doesn’t have to be all about making wishes and looking at where you want to go with your life goals. And look, I’m no different than anyone else. I make the same kinds of promises to myself: I’m going to lose weight, drink less, workout and meditate more, write my book, meet certain benchmarks personally and professionally, etc. But it’s not all about striving, building, manifesting, envisioning, creating and changing. It can also be about sinking into deep gratitude for what is, refraining from all the what can be’s — and pulling off to the side of the road and putting a pause on the future-tripping.
This world we are living in is fast-paced and we fall into sync with it like it’s the most normal thing in the world. But what if the new ‘normal’ became something that didn’t tell us to jump from thing to thing or feeling to feeling — and instead, allowed us to ‘feel’ and truly experience it all?
It’s not about changing anything. Though I’m not going to deny that a little warm reprieve from the harshness of a cold winter isn’t a dose of soul medicine — I recognize how it’s really about all the things you build around your every day. It’s about the cumulative impact that those acts create that matter. And those things don’t have to cost anything. They are ritual and routine that soothe your soul.
They say a goal is to create a life you don’t need to escape from — that’s what I sank into after a few days of walking on the beach. I was grateful for it all; grateful to exhale and restore with some warm sunshine kissing my shoulders — and equally grateful to be ready to go home.
No, life isn’t perfect at home and all the things I left behind that perhaps I had avoided and sidestepped, were still there to greet me. But I belong to it and it belongs to me.
I like the life I’ve created in all of its messiness. And as a matter of fact, when we sit in gratitude for what is, what can be arrives naturally because you are ready to see and embrace it.
The next time you feel yourself slipping into measurement, push the pause button. Stop assessing. Start experiencing. Take a deep breath and look around.
- What are the little things you can celebrate and acknowledge?
- How are you feeding yourself in all aspects?
- What are the things you will miss no matter where you travel to?
Focus on that and create some more of them. Make that the new normal. #goals.
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy traveled to magical lands, but at the end of the day, all she wanted to do was click her ruby red slippers while repeating, there’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.
I’m probably feeling a bit sentimental about it all right now because TODAY is my birthday. And I love birthdays and all that got me here. Bring on the party hats and sparklers. Birthdays are our true new year demarcations — a great moment of celebration and reflection.
So, Happy Birthday to me! And so much love to you, my friends, for taking another spin around the sun with me and for being along for this crazy, beautiful best self ride. You are part of what I missed when I was away. I don’t take you for granted and hold you amongst my blessings. We are building something important together…and I thank you for that. Now let’s eat cake!
As always, I love hearing from you and sharing our collective experiences. Where does your busyness and self-defeating comparison skill get in your way? And most importantly, what are you doing to create a life you don’t need escaping from? Let’s talk in the comments below!