How to Create a Peaceful, Relaxing Day

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There comes a time when you need a break. You’ve been moving at a dizzy pace for weeks, whirling through your days like a desert dervish.

Your spirit screams for R&R while your conscience feeds thoughts to your brain that go something like, there’s too much to do, just one more task and my personal favorite, time is money, so stop wasting time!

Living out of three houses –each about 25 miles apart–for the last week brought my sweetie and me to our knees over the weekend. We cried Uncle! and laid around the Manor pool most of yesterday, ignoring calls from laptops to come inside and work.

Begin the day with sunshine

Today was the first day we’ve seen morning sun since we’ve been house- and dog-sitting at the Manor.  We’ve experienced some unseasonably cool temps for north-central Texas and quite a lot of rain recently.

The weather was perfect for packing to move from our townhouse to our new home and community but not so great for our dangling carrot, a three-week stint at the oasis we call the Manor.

We’ve worked so hard for the last month, packing, cleaning, buying new appliances, selling old stuff, and yes, working.  We knew the break would come, when we could relax and chill for three weeks before settling into our new place and getting things unpacked at our leisure.

Circumstances didn’t quite work out that way.  Turns out our plan was a tad too simplistic.  Oh well.

And the blasted weather–windy and too cool for the pool–didn’t help our states of mind at all.

But yesterday, one week after our arrival at the Manor, was sunny and hot from the start.  Upon awakening, I made a beeline to the chaise lounge for my morning journal time.

B still and notice the gifts of nature

As I wrote, my attention was drawn to the swaying branches of the massive oak tree just outside the fence. I recalled a piece I read years ago about focusing on the space between tree leaves when meditating.  I believe the author called the practice right now meditation.

The more I focused on the tree, the more I let go.  That’s when I decided to surrender my intention of working.  I was called to do something way more important.

I was called to relax into the moment and to let the moment last as long as I liked. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet!)

Those moments are my lifelines, although I don’t let go often enough. I mostly hurry and scurry through life (Can you relate?)

But there’s something about the Manor that invites quietness and a loosening of the ties that bind me to my work.  The air here seems to whisper, Take a step away from your busyness, let yourself meld with the sacred spaces here.

Yesterday, I heeded the call and had a peaceful, relaxing day.  The work is still there, but I’m grateful for the respite, for allowing the wind to overtake me as I focused on the space between the leaves.

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19 Comments

  1. Love this! Focus on the space between the tree leaves. So simple and spot on. Who can’t do this?

    • Beth says:

      I know, Tess! I had actually forgotten the entire notion until Sunday morning. Here’s the thing–it’s kinda challenging to focus on the space between the tree leaves when it’s windy, but it can be done. Perseverance wins the day!

  2. Herby Bell says:

    Beth,

    Always hear the Allman’s singing in their tune, “Blue Sky”, “Early morning sunshine tells me all I need to know.”

    My God, these brains of ours interfaced with the Mind of it all will take us wherever we want to go. And it never ceases to amaze me that heartfelt and beautifully written, gentle reminders like yours get me back to sane mind maintenance.

    I love your added challenge with the wind of which I will never forget–altho I can just see me hittin’ the deck in laughter after yelling at the leaf that kept gettin’ in my space…

    Holy tweener space, I’m a mess and I wouldn’t have it any other way, including “in between the leaves places” like your blog–to just say so.

    Thanks, Beth.

    • Beth says:

      Love you, Herby, my kindred-spirit friend! Let’s keep doing the whack-a-mole thing–popping up all over the place! When we’re tired, we’ll do some leaf-space peepin’ . . .

      Have a tremendous week!

  3. Peggy says:

    Hi Beth,

    I so relate. As a recovering type A personality, the urge to go-go-go until I drop happens. Thankfully, not as frequently as it did when I was younger.

    This weekend I spent a lot of time writing. And most of yesterday designing new graphics to use. I remember checking the clock at 1PM and saying to myself, “one more hour.” And then it was 4:30.

    • Beth says:

      Always good to hear from a fellow recovering Type A, Peggy! You are so right, age does bring the necessity of slowing down, at least a bit. I have a young friend (in her 20s) who I saw Saturday evening. She said she was really tired from working all day after getting no sleep the night before because she was driving home from another state. She told me she was going home to bed. Later that evening, I saw her on Facebook asking if anybody was up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show that night!

      Ah, the energy of youth!

      Thanks so much for writing and connecting.

  4. Elle says:

    So funny we’re on a similar page this week Beth. Love the idea of being called to do something relaxing. A voice worthy of listening to! 🙂

  5. Love this one Beth. Sounds like a break that was much needed and deserved. The manor pool sounds lovely. Hope you enjoy your break and that your move goes smoothly. It will be fun to set up a new house!! Take care.

  6. Beth says:

    It will be fun and we’re looking forward to the task, Cathy. Here’s where the practice of one-day-at-a-time really comes into play–we want to be at our new house but we’re staying at a house in paradise now. Why not just enjoy where we are?

    Hope your week is going well so far and that your 4th of July booms with enjoyment!

  7. Love, love, love this one, Beth!! OMGish could I relate. I have a placard in my bedroom, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.” but boy, oh boy is that hard to do. I had an interesting experience recently. I lost the ability to receive or send text messages and emails from my cell phone. So in all those times throughout the day – grocery store line, pumping gas, waiting at a light, at dinner when my friend goes to the bathroom – I couldn’t do a thing with my phone and it was HEAVEN after a while. It was a remarkable experience to just gain those moments of sitting and being with what is/was – gotta do that more often. Anyway, so glad you had such a beautiful day and thanks for reminding us we must take breaks and rest!

    • Beth says:

      Lisa, I can sure get a mental picture of you standing in a line or pumping gas, just looking around and noticing what’s happening. I bet that WAS heaven!

      But alas, all good things must come to an end, don’t they? It’s a mixture of relief and dread do get your phone back in working order, I would imagine. Would be for me.

      I’m doing my best to take those moments you’re describing and deliberately not multitask. Its refreshing to think that nothing is so important that I can’t take five or 10 minutes to just be while I’m waiting somewhere.

      I wonder if we’ll eventual find that just be-ing is a dying art.

      Anyway, thanks, as always, for your thoughts. I really appreciate your input!

  8. Melissa says:

    Oh you’ve hit on how I’ve been feeling these last couple of months. I just recently cried Uncle as well and have taken a step back. I kept saying I just have this one last thing… My husband called me out on it and said. “There is always one more last thing.” He’s right! It reminds me of the old saying a woman’s work is never done-lol.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Thank God for loving husbands and partners who (sometimes not so gently) point out our flaws! Glad this post resonated with you. It seems that when I write something deeply personal, and wonder if anyone will care, the feelings register with all kinds of people–and I get to connect with new people!

      Thanks so much for leaving a note; it means the world to me.

  9. Jan Johnsen says:

    I love what you said about notice the gifts of nature.
    Alan Watts called it ‘vivid awareness’.
    I just wrote a book Heaven is a Garden and I talk about the same idea. We all seem to be on the same wavelength!

    Thank You.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Jan!

      If we’re all on the same wavelength, there must be something to Alan’s idea of vivid awareness. Like that a lot. So glad you stopped by!

  10. Hiya, Beth! You know, I suck at this – always have. I remember my sweet southern grandmother sayin’ to me, “Bill, you go at everything like you’re tryin’ to kill a snake.” And she was (is) right. Don’t know what we think we’re going to miss with all of this busy-ness. Actually, we’re missing buckets of calm and perspective. Hey, your well-written piece got me thinkin’, and I’m thinkin’ that was your mission. Thanks, Beth…
    Bill

    • Beth says:

      Can’t slip anything by you, Bill, can I? Guess what? My mother used to tell me to slow down and quit trying to kill snakes. Further proof that we’re all related in some way, huh?

      Hope your holiday weekend includes some chill-axing! You definitely deserve it!

      Hugs from the South.

  11. sherill says:

    Loved your post Beth, Begin the day with a sunshine, being able to relax and listen to nature sounds really great. Thanks for sharing.

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