Inspiration Archives

Staycation—A New Style of Vacation

I believe down time is as important as taking action toward your goals. It brings about a powerful balance you can’t have without both.

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I decided to try a new kind of down time—a staycation. For those of you who don’t know what a staycation is, it’s where you stay home, but you enjoy yourself in the same ways you would if you were on a trip. (Our cat especially liked the stay home part.)

We started our staycation by getting massages. Later, we had a authentic French dinner at a restaurant in our home town of Albuquerque…bringing back fun memories of our 2011 trip to France.

La Boca Santa Fe

The next day, we explored nearby Santa Fe—museum, art galleries, shopping, sherry and tapas for lunch, and good beer and mussels for dinner.

One of the advantages of taking a staycation is that we could sleep in or take long naps and not feel like we were missing sights we’d never get the chance to see again. We were able to relax even more than we typically would traveling. On our 3rd day we did just that.

On our last day, we went for a sunny winter hike. It felt so good to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful nature in our area.

Taking a staycation gave us the opportunity to enjoy those things in our area that we don’t always take the time for. Plus, it gave me a chance to see how I’d like to live my ideal life and start putting it into practice. Temporarily upleveling my life here at home was a powerful step in creating what I want in the future. I highly recommend a staycation.

A New Way of Looking at Balance

One way of looking at ourselves is that we are composed of four different aspects:

  1. Physical/Doing
  2. Emotional
  3. Thinking/Planning
  4. Intuitive/Inspiration/Spiritual

I’ve noticed that one cause of stuckness is repeatedly addressing an issue from one of these aspect at the neglect of the rest. I’ve seen people who were afraid to deal with their emotions try over and over again to address emotional and relational issues from their intellect without making much headway.

I’ve also seen myself do the opposite and get stuck in the emotional aspect. One year my husband was working 80 to 90 hours a week. I passionately oppose that lifestyle. It was tearing me up to see him live like that. I knew staying stuck in those intense emotions every day wasn’t helping me nor the situation. So I hired a Byran Katie counselor. With Byran Katie work, you take something highly emotional and work with it with your intellect. This helps you see it more clearly and have a larger perspective. I went from daily aggravation and despair to being able to detach and focus on my own life.

Sometimes, it’s one aspect that we’re neglecting. I’ve gotten all inspired, which led to great planning and emotionally excitement, but then got distracted by another inspired idea and never got around to actually doing anything about the first idea.

Some people will neglect their physical body because they think they should keep going when what they really need is a rest.

Others will try to stay emotionally positive about a situation, when what they really need is to think about what’s causing their negative emotions and do something it.

Each of these four aspects work beautifully together when balanced. If you’re currently stuck in an area of your life, here’s some question you can ask yourself to begin to return to that working balance:

  • Do I need to take better care of my body?
  • Do I need to take action on something?
  • Do I need to bite the bullet and feel difficult emotions in order to work through my current challenge?
  • Do I need to listen to what my emotions are trying to tell me?
  • Am I habitually doing the same things over and over without thinking through whether it’s still working for me?
  • Do I need inspiration?
  • Do I need to develop spiritual trust in the process of life?

It’s like a puzzle. Keep playing with balancing these aspects until you’ve hit that sweet spot and things begin to flow again.


Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut /

What’s Your Longing Trying to Tell You?

A few years ago, for a period of six months, we lived in Portland, Oregon. We knew it was temporary so we rented a small one-bedroom apartment. Our focus was to enjoy that beautiful area of the country. One of our loves is food. Portland is a major restaurant town so we decided we’d eat out 3 to 4 times a week for the whole six months. It was luxurious!

Pazzo Restaurant, Portland, OR

Recently, both my husband and I had suddenly started longing for Portland. My husband even asked if I wanted to move there. Fortunately, I knew this longing was about something different than actually moving. We both love where we live and really missed it when we were in Portland.

One day as I was deciding what to have for dinner, I realized our lives had become too much work and not enough fun. On weekends we had long lists of things to do in our yard and house. We had gradually come to a place where we were no longer taking a day to go have fun.

This life style totally snuck up on us. The first weekend we started it, we did projects the whole weekend. We felt so good about what we had accomplished. We thought we could continue at that pace and make major headway toward those things we’d been wanting to accomplish around the house.

The ironic thing is we quickly became inefficient. We were making long lists to do for the weekend but we weren’t really getting much accomplished. Part of us knew we needed a break and was slowing us down. That part was also trying to communicate through our fond memories of Portland.

When I realized what was going on, I decided to have a Portland-style dinner. I relished the gourmet foods I had and even drank a Portland beer. It felt so nourishing, not only physically, but in my whole being.

I told my husband that one day each weekend I was going to have fun. He was welcome to join me. But I was no longer going to fill my weekends with to-do’s.

I’m glad I had the discernment to know that my longing for Portland wasn’t about actually moving. It was about a small change I needed to make in my current life, much easier than making a total move. And I got instant results.

Is there there anything you’re longing for in your life? If so, what qualities about what you long for can you incorporate into your life right now?

Word of the Year—Boundaries

A couple years ago, I read about Christine Kane’s cool idea of picking one word for the year as a focus rather than a traditional New Year’s resolution.

For 2011, I picked “Blossom” because I wanted to blossom in my work and my presence in the world. For some reason, I rarely thought about the word after I picked it. Looking back, last year seemed more about boundaries than blossoming.

At the beginning of 2011, I was working at the Apple Store. I loved what I did there, but I learned something about myself. Being around people that much was draining. So I set a boundary by quitting the job. I became very conscious of how much people time worked well for me and made sure I had the alone time I needed, which was a lot at first.

After the Apple Store, I worked from home. This gave me my solitude. Except, when my husband had time off. Every seven years he gets an 8-week sabbatical. 2011 was that year. We spent the first half in Europe, which was a blast. The second half was spent mostly at home, the home I was used to having to myself all day.

I worked with my husband on having the space and time I needed while he was home. Then came out-of-town guests. I began coming up with ideas on how to get my solitude while having people in the house nearly constantly. I’m still figuring that one out.

I also created boundaries with my to-do list. In the past, I’d work on my to-do list until it was done or I ran out of time, sacrificing the things I really wanted to do and feeling like all my life was was one big to-do list. Now, I make sure that I spend no more than an hour, or two at the most, on to-do’s in a day. The rest is devoted to what I really want to do and what I think is really important.

Was I wrong in picking “Blossoming” as my word for 2011? No. It was what I wanted, but I wonder if the timing was off since I didn’t naturally revisit the word during the year.

Was it a good idea to review my year and look for a theme? Yes! Instead of being disappointed that I didn’t blossom the way I had hoped, it helped me appreciate what I actually did do.

Photo credit: Image: Tom Curtis /”>Tom Curtis /

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