Over the weekend, I watched a recent T.V. interview of Matthew McConaughy on the David Feherty show. I've never been the star-stuck kind of person, reading People magazine or catching the latest online clips of Hollywood gossip, so I really don't know much about this actor.
I learned that he's great at golf, and got started in acting as a result of getting kicked out of a bar due to a dramatic conversation about golf. What stood out to me the most was McConaughy's love for camping and the outdoors.
In preparation for this upcoming summer, I've been putting together a bucket list of camping destinations. This includes a return, after almost a decade, to Silver Falls, Oregon. This incredible spot is surrounded by Christmas tree farms, has quiet camping grounds, and contains a 9-mile hiking loop with ten amazing waterfalls along the way.
I know that I choose to immerse myself in nature when I want to get grounded and connect with the most important things in my life.
Turns out McConaughy did—and still does—the same thing. He spoke about the joy of being anonymous on his various walkabouts. He laughed about hosting numerous meetings on the road, with his airstream trailer in tow. Even right after his interview with Feherty, he was about to take his family camping for the weekend.
While I don't quite have the van packed for these my upcoming summer adventures today, I can strongly relate to McConaughy's desire to get off the grid.
I feel that's much of what I've been doing here in Sarasota.
This cultural hub and vacation destination is quite the opposite of pitching a tent in the Sierra Nevada mountains. But, the idea of taking time away to reflect feels the same.
While McConaughy sought out solitude to hide from the limelight, we all live a very public life due to the growth of social media. Just think, for a second, how many times a day you consider sharing aspects of your personal life online. Do you filter what you upload based on how you think others will perceive you? Do you wonder how many likes, or comments, you'll receive on a recent post? Do you check your social sites numerous times a day for updates?
I heard a recent stat that says the average person checks their Facebook page 14 times per day! While I’m not online quite that much, I do notice times where the influence of others can affect my actions and distract me from the focused intent I have for my life.
When I allow this outside energy to interfere too much, I just want to retreat and live a quieter life (and I'm not even a celebrity!) I just want to be present with the people in my immediate company. I want to fully engage my senses in my current surroundings. I want to allow the quiet of the moment to put me in a mode where I can receive fresh ideas, insights, and plans for my future.
I’m about to enter another big transitional time of the year, as Steve and I prepare to head back to Northern California for the summer months. While this is mostly a positive endeavor, subconscious stress is appearing in the form of sleepless nights. Instead of coloring to soothe my unrest like I did a few nights ago, I chose to work on my website. As I tweaked the format of my blog posts to accommodate this new website format from 1 - 4 a.m., I realized a few things:
- Sleepless nights are not something new to me. Over the past few years, each time a new step in life was required, I often found myself writing in wee hours of the morning. Perhaps it's the silence of these dark hours that clarify the approach I want to take into the future. In any case, I’m learning not to fight this insomnia. Instead, I choose to embrace it and learn from the messages that are being reveled in the stillness.
- I so appreciate my life! It feels great to look at the photos, recipes, and insights I have shared online over the past few years, and I know that they reflect my growth as a person. I find endless amounts of joy creating in the kitchen, and this passion continues to swell. I love to read, and find it fun to pass on some book suggestions your way. And, my joy in travel is still expanding. I’m thrilled to get to share stories and tips as I hit the trails this summer. I know we are evolving beings, and the momentum of my incredible past sets a great foundation for more goodness to come. I hope you are just as curious about your future as I am about mine!
- Taking time away from public blogging over the past few months has allowed an entire new book idea to unfold. I’ve taken time and energy each day to work on this new project instead of sharing about the smaller insights of daily living. Many notes and drawings have been scribbled in my journal to channel these innovative ideas (yes, I’ve always kept a physical journal, and I take it with me everywhere. You just never know when a clever thought is going to reveal itself!) While more about my book will be revealed in the coming weeks, I have greatly enjoyed this time of creativity and look forward to how it will take shape in the next steps of my life.
- I’m ready to find a new balance with writing more regularly, while continuing to work on my projects. Stay tuned to see what ideas spring forth.
Getting immersed in nature, and reducing my online presence for a brief time, are just two powerful ways in which I hit the reset button for my own personal balance. What might you do today to refresh the connection with your soul?