Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Art of RELAXATION: RETREATING

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under
trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means
a waste time." -J. Lubbuck






REST: Our bodies and mind depend on it. We seldom take advantage of it. We somehow thrive in a constant vicious cycle of work & life events. We have to schedule moments to ourselves. There is a very simple four letter word many of us do not utilize. I am a repeat offender believing that I can just go and do and be nonstop as if I’m almost a super human or machine. It's not until I get a little rusty and my magic red cape looks like the bad guys won.

Sometimes I drive and I have no clue where I’m going or that I’m even driving. I’m in constant autopilot and there are many of days when my life seems to be functioning in a constant circular motion. I’m exhausted, cranky, and unfocused. I’m sure we all get to this point every now and then.

However, I know I’m reaching a breaking point. Presently now and the past few years compounded into a mountain of trials of tribulations. Somehow at almost 32 I absolutely despise my life. Everything I’ve defined as success has not measured up. I am constantly stressed, depressed, miserable, fatigued, broke, struggling with my weight and not driven. My life seems to be in a depressing stagnant state and constantly affects just about every relationship with every single person. I’m sure most people find me to be the most miserable depressed person to be around and I’m quite sure I am. I’ve tried for the past month or so to avoid social gatherings and really focus on me. The two months spent back east with family created a sense of relief and a cocoon of comfort but I needed some serious mental & spiritual cleansing that I just could not accomplish in such a comfort zone. In addition comfort equated to comfort food and I packed on 13lbs. I decided to return back to Columbus November 7th clean out my storage unit, get back to lifetime fitness (my stability) and figure out the next step. I was still dumping over the fact I didn’t get the Reebok tour and was starting to hate the hustle and losing motivation as self employed in promotional marketing. I’ve tried to keep my schedule as free as possible and I really wanted my “ME” time at the gym or running. I was more than fortunate to have a place to stay at Anita’s (my oldest friend in Columbus) and we both just figured out the best ways to help each other and benefit.

REFOCUS: The main priority is me right now. That’s it. There are a few friends I’ve allowed in during this time of transcending. Sunday, I read the headlines at the grocery store and glanced to the cover of O. There is superpower Oprah smiling obnoxiously and writing how to be the best new you and love your life. All I can think is with a billion dollars I could buy me a new me and love my life. Or can I really? Sometimes I purposely pick the longest line in the grocery store and read the magazines. I couldn't fathom spending $3 for something I can read online anymore. I scan all the trashy gossip magazines. Headlining this week of course “All things Tiger.” I moved onto People, more Tiger and finally back to O magazine who now seems to be smiling at me. I skimmed to an article about a woman whose mission was to create a major spiritual & physical overhaul by overcoming a midlife crisis crippled with depression, debt, divorce, health issues and work related stress. She enrolled in a hot yoga program and while I didn’t read the continued story in the back I instantly became inspired and motivated to partake in my own spiritual & mental overhaul. I’ve been heavily concentrating on the physical overhaul and working my butt off at the gym but I know that all things are connected and I needed to get to the root of my many problems are interconnected and overlapping by stress.

I had to take a break. And not a break to the gym or just a walk in the park but a serious break from my so-called life. I need to clear my head because lately I feel as though I just cannot think. There’s really not a surplus in my bank account ready and waiting for a getaway via airplane. I definitely have zero money for any type of hot yoga or program with an “O” seal on it. I had to get creative. Whatever I decided to do I needed to invest my time and money wisely (especially since my week was filling up with work.) I was also pretty confident it would be cheaper than seeking out any mental health professional(speaking of which I wonder if I could possibly write any of this off my taxes?) I decided to find a cabin about 40 miles southeast of Columbus and just be myself. I hadn’t really taken a break someplace by myself. I decided that for 24 hours minimum I would create a stress free spiritual and physical retreat. My retreat would consist of a lovely cabin out in the woods. I researched an inexpensive brand new secluded cabin (courtesy of craigslist) equipped with a full size bed, kitchen and hot tub. I instantly picked up warm and positive vibes when I called to inquire and was so graciously helped by a man’s voice with a suddle rich twang who even offered me a discount. I made the reservation for the next day and decided I need not much and grabbed out my hiking trail maps, bagpack and magazines. Once the reservation was complete there was no changing of plans and anyway I couldn’t get my money back.

THE ART OF RETREATING IN 24 HOURS
Today, I packed up a small bag of clothes and Wednesday’s evening gym gear, some food destined for Hocking Hills.. As I left Columbus and the scenery transitioned into more rural view I started to instantly relax. A few times I caught myself driving almost 70 after bypassing quite a few police cars and had to remind myself I am in no hurry! Quick pit stop to walmart as I knew once I arrived I wasn’t going back into town. Much to my delight upon arrival I found the cutest cabin in the woods. As I entered I suddenly felt like a young excited child. I simply had to touch everything! There was a flat screen tv and movies and a brand new big comfy couch! Although I already came prepared with 3 dollar box movies I was delighted to have a selection of adult and children movies to select from as well. Everything was soo neat and comfy. A few waves of disappointment hit me as I was all alone in this ridiculously cute cabin and no one to share it with but I quickly let that pass as I settled nicely onto the big comfy couch.

I have about 24 hours NOT to follow a schedule. I do plan though to watch movies, eat dinner, drink hot cocco, soak in the hot tub, read through a years worth of magazines I’ve neglected and journal thoughts pushed to the back of my head. Tomorrow’s agenda will be an early morning run followed by an afternoon nature hike.

I am ALONE. I have no one to talk to. I have no one to listen to. I have no one to answer to. I have no emails. I have no internet. I have no phone reception. I have no text. There is no facebook. In fact I locked the phone in glovebox in the car. If a bear comes to get me so be it. I hope he enjoys me as a meal. I wonder if I would taste like chicken, lol. Everything will simply be put on hold for 24 hours. I’ve taken trips with friends and tried or somewhat relaxed but end up more frustrated and vice versa. There has to be the right place, time and chemistry for all parties to exist in a state of relaxation. There is no room for compromising right about now. I will and simply divulge in selfishness. All I need to do is focus on breathing and everything will become clearer.

RELAXATION: It’s been a few hours and I can breathe. I mean everyday yes we breathe because it’s simple and natural. But I constantly have anxiety lingering on my chest sometimes resulting in overwhelming sense of fear and panic. I’ve watched two movies so far. The first one was the Ugly Truth with Kathryn Heigel. A perfect comedy about relationships and balancing out your representative & being yourself during dating. I learned men definitely do not want to hear about your problems. Note taken! Next was Four Christmas’ with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. Another great pick for a comedy highlighting relationship issues and self discovery. After dinner and the first two movies I decided it was time for some water therapy.

RELATIONSHIPS: Water therapy aka “hot tub” was an instrumental part of this entire process. I’m naturally drawn to water and love anything water related so it was of utmost importance I had a hot tub outside to soak in under the stars in 30 degree weather. I hopped in yes butt naked with the exception of a small knit hat. Within minutes I started thinking about relationships as I gazed upon the starlit sky. I really needed to improve the relationship with myself before I could possibly develop a serious relationship with a man. Over and over again lately in my ear “what you put out there is what you attract” echoing over and over. And yes how true that the universe finds a way to balance the law of attraction.
So first and foremost, I truly needed to find my own inner balance before I could expect anyone to truly care and love me.

I return to the cozy couch and watch the last movie called "Julie & Julia." Another fabulous movie that had me emotionally enthralled and in tears. After spending an evening relaxed on the couch with endless swiss miss hot chocolate I called it a night and rested up for my run & hike the next day. All is peaceful and well. I have no fears, no stress and I'm more than ready to allow myself to be apart of the must needed process relaxation and retreating. It's been long overdue since I've had time to clear my head and begin to soothe my soul.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

Nothing on but a knit cap! Hilarious! You are a work in progress, girl. Hell, I have been married for 6 years, and I STILL am. Whoever came up with that "you need to be complete before you're married" stuff must've been single.Just LIVE. Do want you want, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone (or deplete the ozone layer ;) ) That's the awesome thing about life.