Don’t hate me, but I recently got back from an AWESOME vacation in Jamaica. Bill and I stayed at a small resort on the cliffs in Negril called Tensing Pen, which has created a Zen meets the Caribbean atmosphere where anyone would be hard pressed to not relax.
I’ve become really good at completely disconnecting from work and all the cares of the real world (thank you Strategic Coach and The Entrepreneurial Time System™!) to get recharged. And here’s why I make sure I schedule and take time to relax, rejuvenate, and return to myself.
First of all, I am committed to having fun, enjoying life and being engaged in new experiences. I believe life is meant to be lived fully.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my work and the activities that keep my life busy. And I also know that life is too short to shove the fun stuff to the back of the line, hoping there will be time in the future to enjoy.
On this trip, we decided we wanted to experience Jamaica in a more authentic fashion. We mingled with locals and ate some amazing food that we would have missed by staying at some of the larger, all-inclusive resorts. Most days, I walked across the road to have lunch at Ras Rady, a restaurant (really a shed on the side of the road with a bench) run by a Rastafarian family. Each day they cooked vegan meals from whatever they brought from the farm. While we ate, we had some insightful conversations about cooking, life in Jamaica, and the Rasta movement. It was so fun, and delicious!
One of the other exceptional experiences we had was a visit to an organic, self sustaining farm in the mountains. We toured the farm, had a terrific meal prepared from food produced on site, and got to know Mark, the owner and visionary behind Zimbali Retreats. Mark was a commodities trader on the Chicago Mercantile who cashed in his chips ten years ago, bought some property in the mountains with a vision of bringing technology, health, spirituality, and Jamaica together to create a very special experience. He has succeeded!
While it may appear that taking time to relax is all about food and the benefits are solely for me, the other people I spend time with see upsides too. I return in a state of peace, no worries or stress, where everything is irie mon. I am a more pleasant person to be around and that makes everyone else much happier! Also, when I get away, I am able to return to my responsibilities more fully, creatively, and joyfully. My clients experience my rested brain working on solutions to their challenges, applying more clarity and efficiency to their needs.
And one of the most important reasons I take time to relax and rejuvenate with Bill is we get to focus on us and our relationship without distractions from kids, family, business, and the million other things that make up our daily lives. What a treat to spend time with the person I love, only doing things we want, together. It makes my heart go pitter patter just thinking about it!
Taking time to relax is one of the skills that is essential to live a full, successful, and joyful life. For busy people (I think that’s all of us!) block relaxation time in your calendar. Included in this are the bigger chunks of time like vacations, and the smaller events or practices like meditation, massages, spending time hanging out with friends. Find the things that you find relaxing, and make time in your schedule. No one else will do it for you! And be sure to include time to relax with the ones you love the most. That will be the richest time of all.