I could have slept in longer. I could have started breakfast or picked up my phone to see what was happening in the world. I could have waited for someone to join me or someone to give permission, but I didn’t.
I grabbed my suit, hat, and sunscreen & headed down to the dock to feel the sun, hear the sounds & breathe deep. I needed this. Time on my own. Time unplugged. Time outside.
As I slipped off my shorts & pushed the paddleboard into the water, doubt gave a little shout, “Are you sure you can do this?” And fear added, “Be careful!” I heard them both, but the beauty & serenity were too tempting. I listened to courage, stepped onto the board & began to balance & glide. I dipped my paddle into the calm water & was off.
The morning was serene.
I felt a freedom as I moved along the dark water. Freedom to steer my board wherever I chose. Freedom from the need to capture each moment on my camera to share with others. Freedom to let go of the day’s agenda.
This was my time. No restrictions.
Gratitude came as I witnessed the beauty of the calm water, blue skies, & tall trees lining the lake. Gratitude that I could be a part of the early morning routine of the lake. The slow time. The stretch & yawn time. The time when plans aren’t made yet & all is still fresh- preparing for what the day has in store.
Wonder followed. I watched the lilypad vines tangle & twist down to the deep water & contemplated the mysteries of the life out-of-view. What was I floating over at this exact moment? How was my journey affecting that life?
This time on my own, unplugged & unrestricted was what I needed. This is what keeps me going. This is what brings me back to center & calms my core. This hour on the lake in freedom, gratitude & wonder is what feeds my creativity & loosens the grip of expectations.
I could have stayed in bed, made breakfast, or got lost in email. I could have missed out on a chance to reconnect, be slow, feel free. But, I didn’t. And that hour is one of the best things I could do for myself all summer.
Each day we are faced with so many decisions around how to spend out our energy. Activities that deplete & ones that restore. We might have a long list of to-do’s, but know that what we really need is time to rest with a good book, journal, or take a walk.
Making the decision to do the thing that you know will restore energy can be hard if it means letting someone else down or letting go of the expectation that you had for yourself. Work to quiet those voices & begin to practice making choices that restore instead of deplete energy.
And remember, little steps count!
Take a moment to write down 5 things that restore your energy. Is there a way that you can carve out time do one of them this week? Can you let go of a could or should & push yourself to make a decision based on the want or need that is calling?
When you declutter your list of expectations everything feels lighter! Give it a try & tell me what you find!