I’m currently traveling in what many consider to be one of the most exquisite vacation destinations in the United States. The land of mai tais and palm trees, white sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. My partner is originally from Hawai’i and that is where we are right now.
I’ve spent the last three days butting up against my own expectations and assumptions about life and vacations. Because I imagined myself and Sarah walking along the beaches, going running, sightseeing, whatever it is people do when they’re here.
Only, for the past three days, it’s been raining. A fine mist that sometimes turns to downpours. But, the sun has been playing hide and go seek, with a mix of grey and white clouds along the horizon. You’d think that I would be disappointed.
Surprisingly, the universe has turned this into a chance for me to check my assumptions at the door, to see them as they come out, and to sit with them. Look at how they arise and how they are challenged by the every day living I am doing.
Because while we have gone for one misty run and spent a lot of time indoors, we have also seen at least one rainbow every day that we have been here. As the plane was descending, we came through a rainbow. It feels auspicious, as though it’s a chance for me to see what is available, right here in front of me, despite what I thought it should be like.
So I’m seeing the red clay dirt turned to brownish red puddles. I’m seeing geckos highlighted against the window, shiny from rain. The rain drips down from the patio’s overhang, splashing into the concrete. There is a humidity that the small hairs framing my face pick up, as they stand at attention and remind me that I have curly curly hair that responds crazily to moisture.
It seems that my body and heart are in cahoots with the universe’s message to slow down and check my expectations, because I’m having to listen carefully to what’s going on. Travel does that to me; in very concrete and self-imposed ways, any semblance of rhythm or balance I thought I had are gone. Instead, I have to find what I truly make time for (or, as was the case of three days without sitting, what I truly need to make time for because otherwise, it’s not pretty). Instead, I have to see how my practices help inspire me and help me to deal with the uncertainties that are inherent in travel. I see how off kilter I can be thrown when I’m not practicing.
And, traveling gives me the opportunity to be thrust somewhere else for a bit, to see what I can see, and try to get it down, try to get it both into my cells and into my lines of writing. It’s a chance to get out of my head for a while, out of routine, so I can see what may surprise me. It is the chance to slow down, again and again.
It seems this is a message the universe is trying to constantly send me.
I have to laugh. The universe has a wicked sense of humor sometimes. I had spent the last half hour working on this post on my smartphone. Typed it up, tagged it, and then was previewing it. And the entirety of the text was *gone.* What is even funnier? I’ve been thinking about this post a lot, what I would say, and I was really happy with the post I had. The punch line of this all? The post was about how the universe has been finding ways to remind me to slow down, chill out, and check my expectations at the door.
Yet another way that the universe is telling me to slow down, reach deeper, and explore more. (It seems that I need it a lot.)