Fortified

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There is something seriously fantastic about vacation that is so centering for me. It is like my nerves are reset and my brain is purged of all of the chatter that normally takes place in my head. I can focus. I can relax. I can breath. I am reminded not to wait for moments that are special to live in the moment. I soak up simple pleasures like a restaurant on the beach where birds land on the tables and the air smells like flowers.

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Obviously this isn't unique to me- that's what vacations are for! I don't think that there is anything magical about the place either (other than the natural beauty of Hawaii, where we were on this most recent trip). Mostly I think that this kind of break takes away all of the have-to and hurry-up that feverishly plague my daily mind. It is a chill pill. A break from my to-do list, forced by distance and circumstance and welcomed with open arms.

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I went for a run on Ka'anapali beach one quiet morning. It was interesting to me that the same beaches that lend themselves to family frolicking and sunset walks at different times of the day are the same places where people seem to prefer solitude in the early hours. The morning on the beach is a private time. Those hours are for running and walking and painting and reading and journaling and yoga. I love to see people nurturing themselves in those ways.

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My running footprints had an organic swagger created by sneaky waves and my curious interest in beach creatures (there were little crabs running to hide as I passed by them)! This is a sunset photo, but the same is true of my footprints here!

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Taking this kind of break together is also so important for us as a family. We bond, laugh, and experience first-times together. My kids' only jobs at this point in their lives are to grow and learn. We nurture them so that they might do this laughing and with good manners. Traveling as a family, I believe, is immeasurably valuable for little growing brains and for family bonds.

A nighttime hunt for bugs, frogs and lizards:

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Now that I've been home for a couple of weeks, I'm trying hard to let go of the small naggy stuff and, instead, stay connected to the goodness.

Of course it isn't possible for us to jump on a plane every time we need a break. I actually wrote myself a list (don't laugh, I'm serious!) of little restorative things that I can do to kindle the warm-fuzzies when I need it. It is a long list! Here are some things that are resonating with me right now:
  • Get some sleep.
  • Find a really good yoga class.
  • Get lost in a great book.
  • Go outside. Especially in the morning.
  • Follow my bliss ever day, wherever that leads me.
  • Find some music that I love so much that it makes me want to sing along. Loudly.
  • Go full moon kayaking.
  • Gather, in small groups, with people that I love and who make me laugh.
  • Meditate.
  • Have a stargazing picnic with homemade cookies and thermoses of warm milk.
What would be on your list?

A nurturing read: I read a few books on my trip and I really enjoyed this one:

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