Summer is here and with it summer fun, vacays and adventures.
The best part for some though is in the planning, as research shows that the anticipation of travel can bring you more happiness than the actual travel.
We all can remember that vacation from hell, where we or a loved one was horribly sick, where the weather was a hurricane/drought/snowstorm, where our luggage was stolen or didn’t arrive at all, the bus broke down, flights were canceled, or where expectations and reality seemed galaxies away. For all the planning in the world, life, well, can have a life of its own.
When the dung hits the fan and your yogi cool is pressed to its limits, here are 3 simple mindfulness tools to help you chill and shift your perspective from grumpy ego to engaged presence.
- Gratitude – Of the 7.3 billion humans on the planet, you are afforded the luxury to choose to travel: where and where you would like to go, and with whom you would like. You are not oppressed. You are a liberated human being on a planet rife with strife and suffering. Be grateful for the abundance to which you were born and the freedom to choose.
- Focus on what you can control – The Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
When your patience is being tested, like in the TSA line that is putting you in jeopardy of missing your flight, pause, turn your huffing and grumbling into a deep breath, soften your eyes and smile. Just a tiny smile, that’s all you need, has been shown to boost your happiness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR9lTqrkTYw). Better yet, smile at the person on the other side of the rope line and spread the love like a virus that even Thieves oil can’t defend against.
- Humor – Ask any comedian and they will tell you that pain and suffering drives most humor. So, ok, it might not be funny now that you were woefully ill prepared for the adventure you just leapt into, and at every turn a new unexpected challenge arose, like that time in Mexico when you hastily sought refuge in a porta potty from the charging bull who then rammed it on its side before being wrangle, but when the trauma wears off, imagine the story you will have lived to tell and the schadenfreude laughter it will bring to others.
As Dwight Eisenhower said, “plans are useless but planning is indispensible.” To better enjoy the process, from conception to attainment to reintegration, remember that even the most well crafted ideas must sometimes be abandoned. What you can always strive to maintain is your presence and positive Being in the world.