“Give your mind a joyous vacation,” a friend recently told me over drinks.
At that moment, I sat in a funk, unable to catch the bartender’s attention to exchange my currency for an ice cold beer.
A friend walked over, ordered my drink, and sat across from me.
“What’s going on?” He asked.
Before I could stop myself, all of my problems tumbled from my mouth. Pausing to catch a breath amidst a laundry list of grievances, he interrupted me with (and I may be off in this quote):
“Your mind is like that place down the road, what is it called? Major League Grill.
“That place has too many goddamn televisions. Your mind is like that – all those televisions on.”
I could picture the scene clearly, and the comparison fit.
My problem, he told me, was that with my mind elsewhere, I couldn’t be here. Knife to my gut, I knew he was correct. I was floating around the room, unable to fully take in what others told me. I couldn’t be happy, because I had too many goddamn televisions on.
“You are exactly where you need to be,” He told me.
I squirmed. Anytime someone tells me I’m in Beaumont for a reason, it feels like a joke. Home is somewhere to me, but I never thought it would be Beaumont. But there I was, thinking again, and so he said:
“Repeat after me, I’m going to give my mind a joyous vacation.”
“I’m going to give my mind a joyous vacation-but I have so much to do!” I breathed. “Ok. I’m going to give my mind a joyous vacation.”
“You feel better already, don’t you? I can see it.”
To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel that much better. Yet.
He made me right it down, and I promised to use the phrase as my intention in yoga the next day.
For the rest of the evening, I dedicated myself to being in the moment. How can I be productive if I’m only worrying about what I have to do? One step at a time. Didn’t I commit myself to being productive this year, instead of being busy?
But it’s easy to let your dedication to the moment slip, especially with people surrounding you, giving you advice on everything, from how to conduct your relationships, to what you should do in business, to how to brush your teeth at night. That’s a topic for another day.
So I took my mind on a joyous vacation today in yoga. You know what? It was the quickest class I’ve ever taken. I’m not saying certain positions didn’t feel icky or stretchy or uncomfortable. I didn’t hit every pose correctly and I certainly didn’t take every pose to its full extension.
Still, I felt my mind slipping away, and by the time we hit corpse pose, I could finally relax my mind and let go of my other thoughts. I used to try to force those thoughts out and now realize how futile that was. Like my yoga instructor says, “Acknowledge the thoughts, and then let them go.” Until today, I never understood what that meant.
Today. I gave my mind a joyous vacation, and by documenting it here, I hope to commit myself to letting it hit the beach more often.