If the slow pace of Hawaii wasn’t enough to slow me down, the absolute lack of not only WiFi but any decent connect to Internet ensured that I unplugged. These forced brakes always cause moments of panic for me, but the bliss I experience during them and the residual calm inevitably result in a solemn resolution to purposefully take these breaks on a regular basis. Then life happens.
Two of the most amazing experiences I had in Hawaii happened underwater: snorkeling and swimming with dolphins. There I was enveloped by warm, tropical water and fully emerged in a water that was entirely unlike my own. It’s an entirely new visual and audio sensory experience than I’ve ever had. I swore I heard the dolphins clicking underwater as they swirled around me.
To top off the amazing experiences, I reflected afterward on just how peaceful I felt. I wasn’t thinking about paying bills or what to make for dinner or how to kill of my antagonist. I was simply being in the moment and experiencing it without trying to interpret, gauge or direct my thoughts, feelings or those of others. It was the a gem of meditation time and I hadn’t even sat down on my mat.
Earlier this evening while out running, I felt the same euphoria. Now, I was breathing so hard I could power a hot air balloon because the hill I was powering up was just that. dang. steep. It wasn’t that I wasn’t anywhere new– I’v been trying to tackle the same hill for moths. But instead of dreading the hill, I was just running it. Running and breathing, with an empty mind.
Afterward, I was able to return to a problem I was trying to figure out before my run and had instant clarity. I can still imagine scuba diving and the gorgeous underwater world and feel a sense of calm, which instantly uplifts me. During difficult scenes or chapters, I sometimes switch gears completely and move to another project or bake cookies and when I return, it’s usually a lot easier for me to find the right words.
In yoga, I often remind my students that just as important as the asanas (poses) are the transitions and pauses between poses and breaths. I invite you to join. Me to breathe into the spaces in between, to revel in the transitions, and let them signal the end of one thing and beginning of another.