Lesson 50: Down time is not a luxury.

Chillin' the the Ritz Beachfront
Chillin’ the the Ritz Beachfront

I spent about an hour today doing nothing but breathing and watching people and sailboats drift by.

I could have worked out.
I could have walked along the beach.
I could have gone shopping. Or gotten a massage. Or worked on my tan…

Instead, I chose a quiet spot across from the beach, and just… chilled.

It made me realize how incredibly rare it is that I do this. I’m almost always productive, from the moment my eyes reluctantly open in the morning to the moment I pass out at night. I multitask, I make use of every spare minute. I watch the weather while I put on my jewelry, meditate on the subway, check my email while waiting in line, run to the gym between meeting or before dinner. I honestly cannot remember the last timeI just sat and did absolutely nothing. In fact I felt guilty when I did it today. I’m on VACATION, and I spent about 15 minutes debating with myself before I finally just walked into this beautiful patio and just sat down.

No wonder I’m having health issues.

And barely have time to write.

I’ve been working full tilt, even sick from bed. I had to postpone my flight down here and had a frustrating first day here yesterday fraught with transportation and hotel issues. Even with a lingering cough and still feeling a tad “off,” I was determined to go, go, go.

So it’s really no big surprise that something amazing happened as soon as I stopped. I could feel my body sort of sigh and say, “Thank you.”

Seriously.

This is the first of what’s bound to be many realizations on this trip: I need to schedule an hour “off” every day. An hour where I give myself permission to do absolutely nothing. And just watch the world go by. Ideally in a beautiful spot like this with swanky, lounge music playing. Cause that just helps.

I bet I’m not the only one who needs permission to do this, so in case you feel the same – I’m hereby ordering you: take an hour to yourself. Today!

Your heart, health and soul will immediately thank you.

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