What’s on deck for you this weekend? Any big plans? If you’re traveling, then this week’s previous post will hopefully help you stay mindful along the way. Travel can be stressful, but sometimes it’s just a matter of expectations and perspective. You can make inconveniences a lot worse than they really are just by deciding to focus on them. Which is kind of true about life in general, right? That’s why you can do this weekend’s mindfulness challenge whether you’re on the go, or going nowhere.
If you’ve got plans that will mean packing a bag and seeing some new sights, then you know what you need to do. Take a breath, and take it all in. As we discussed on Wednesday, try to stay flexible, grateful, compassionate, and present. Changes of routine and venue, even – and sometimes especially! – when they include the unexpected can be refreshing. Even travel that is local or short-term can be exciting, invigorating, and gives us the chance to reset how we see our regular, everyday lives. Seeing what “regular” means in other places also broadens our notion of how big the center of the universe really is. Where it is for you may be strange as could be to someone who sees it as being somewhere else.
If you’re staying put this weekend, you can still take on this challenge. Truth is, we are all traveling somewhere. Some days we know where, some days we don’t. Even when you decide it’s a pj’s-all-day kinda day, you’re still a traveler – through your day, through your weekend, and through your life. The same advice I offered to those who will be hitting the road or lining up at airport check-in applies to those of us who may have to work all weekend, or will spend it running errands across town, or sharing our opinions via social media from the exotic locale of our living room couch. In a world where your voice can go anywhere from wherever you are, you are always a traveler, and always a guest.
It’s a big world, and at the same time, a smaller one every day. When you are lucky enough to be able to explore it with all your senses, do so with patience, flexibility, openness, compassion, presence and gratitude. You can’t control the flow of traffic, the emergence of summer storms, or the temperaments of the people with whom you travel. How you respond to all of these things, however, is up to you.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, even breaks your heart. But that’s ok. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart…You take something with you…Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
Photo credit: Mike Birdy