It’s so strange coming home after spending nearly two weeks in a different country. Life feels a bit wobbly and strange. Rhythms and schedules turned upside down. Meaningful memories mixed with present day reality. Reentering an old life with new eyes.
Our trip to Ireland turned out to be beyond what I could have imagined. Every day was filled with beauty – rolling green hills speckled with sheep and cattle, misty mountains rising from the sea, hedge-lined roads and ancient stonewalls leading to the most extraordinary abbeys and cathedrals. The food was delicious in nearly every village pub we visited, and the people were warm and welcoming. We felt right at home.
I can’t recommend a visit to Ireland enough. Several friends told me I’d want to go back and they were absolutely right. Not only do Michael and I plan to visit again, I’d love to host a retreat or workshop there as well. If you live in Ireland and have a place to recommend, please let me know!
There’s a great advantage to getting away from the habits and daily rituals that define our lives. Whether you visit another country or go camping in your own city, these breaks are an important reset for the mind and body.
I didn’t realize how much I needed a change in scenery since losing our cat, Poupon. So much of our home reminds me of him and being away gave me a rest from the habitual thoughts and places that keep me steeped in sadness.
I also appreciated being released from the pull to take care of the tasks that a home or office evokes. Sometimes I wonder if we gals have a special gene that causes us to constantly see things that need to be handled or fixed.
I loved taking time out from work, too. While I brought my laptop with me, I never opened it once. Instead, I used my phone to take photos to share our adventure with you, but only when I felt moved and inspired to do so. Which happened often .
One afternoon, while hiking in Connemara National Park, I stopped along the trail and looked out over the vista before me. I thought about my dad and how much of his life was devoted to hard work, struggling to make ends meet in support of our family. I so wished he could have been with me to marvel at the beauty of the land that held his history.
Beauty. It reflects the biggest lesson I learned while in Ireland. Beauty is a potent healing force that feeds the soul like few things can. We need to elevate the experience of beauty in our daily lives in order to feel inspired, restored, healed, and at peace.
Sit by a tree.
Stare at the birds.
Take the scenic route to work.
Or marvel at a storefront window designed to delight.
I intend to give myself this gift more often and I hope you will, too .
P.S. – Our retreat is now half full and if you’d like to enjoy a weekend of fun, transformation, and self-exploration, come join us in October! You can register here.
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