Spring is certainly in the air and with this season, comes so much beauty and a great deal of opportunity for mindfulness in every moment. I have mentioned before, that meditation has all different forms and faces. You can be meditative while walking, driving, exercising, sleeping, singing, dancing, eating, or simply being still. This past weekend, I think I had the joy of experiencing mindfulness in all of these capacities. For this reason, I had a truly magical few days.
In making my best effort to refrain from being too personal or too cheesy, I’ll share with you a few of the details that made these few days so full of magic, while also filling my soul with the rest and joy it was needing. My honey, planned a lovely little trek north of the city for us. While I love the buzz and the energy that city life brings, I equally relish in the offerings of nature and the countryside and its surrounding calm and serenity. Life is about balance and my soul seems to know when it is craving a change of scenery (clearly he knows too 😉
Our mindfulness journey began with meditations of driving and singing. The car is a wonderful place to nourish your soul, especially on long trips. We take a lot of long trips and so it is important for us to find purpose and joy in these hours spent in this small space together (particularly on boring stretches of the 401!). It would be easy to sleep away the time, get caught up in digital distractions, or engage in meaningless road rage; however, we take this time to talk, connect, take notice of newness in routes we have taken a million times before and appreciate whatever beauty presents itself. When we find ourselves getting really restless, we engage in bouts of silly car dancing and singing (no photos or video footage will be shared in this blog) – all that matters is that we think we look and sound good and we have a good laugh too. Bringing out your inner child is always meditative and healing!
We arrived up north, and to our surprise, we had been upgraded to the hotel’s best suite. We must have been mindful in our positive intentions for the weekend as this is what the universe responded with! After relaying our gratitude and taking a sneak peek of the digs (which was probably larger than our Toronto condo), we set off for the next stretch of our ‘mindfulness journey’.
This stretch of our journey contained meditations of eating and drinking. I have to say, this is one of my favourite ways to meditate. We had a reservation for one of our most treasured little spots, tucked away in a little town up north. The restaurant has a beautiful history from the 1800’s, rooted in its transformations from a farm, to a general store, to a residence and then to an inn and restaurant. Today, it serves some of the most delectable foods, truly made with love ♥ (and I do believe that you can taste the love infused into food). There is no way to not experience a powerful meditation when enjoying fine wine, delicious food and wonderful company. When present in this experience, it is easy to savour each bite, each sip and each lingering conversation. Add to this experience, a friendly staff and a cozy environment, I was in bliss! Following up dinner with dessert (being mindful of not feeling guilty) and an après drink with more great service at the snug cellar below, it was impossible for me to refrain from being fully present in my body, mind and soul.
As luck would have it, the town neighboring our fancy feast and our hotel, was hosting a jazz and blues festival during our stay. As you might have been able to tell from meditations of a car ride, music and dance also feed my soul (and maybe get me moving after being so full too!). So, off we went to the festival to experience new places, new bands and form some new friendships. This was one of those nights where I laughed until my cheeks hurt. It-was-so-much-fun. Period.
A busy night of eating, drinking, dancing, singing and laughing, made it necessary to engage in meditations of SLEEP; perhaps being one of the most important and underrated methods of mindfulness. I have come to realize just how essential sleep is to my own well-being. A good night’s rest is truly the contributing factor to vibrancy, creativity, health and happiness.
While we meditated upon the indulgences of good food and fun the night before, the next day brought a different type of indulgence in, mediations of exercise and stillness. There really wasn’t a set plan for the weekend beyond going for dinner and staying over up north. This is the beauty of road trips; they always bring about the unexpected if you’re open to and aware of the possibilities. Just north of where we were staying, there happened to be a stunning conservation area with a pristine lake and walking trails. Quietly and in somewhat solitude, we found ourselves exploring the trails on a 5K hike through the forest (jeans and flip flops galore – sometimes you just have to go with the flow when you’re not prepared). Mindfulness was practiced so easily when I sipped in deep breaths of fresh air while overlooking the water, captured the beauty of nature like a snapshot in my mind and listened for all of the new sounds that surrounded me by little creatures lurking in their habitats. Nature is truly meditation in itself. Nature helps me to slow down, to clear the chaos surrounding me and within me and notice the beauty that exists everywhere.
That was just the start to our exploration of the north that day. We went on to take a peaceful drive throughout other little quaint towns and indulged in more food, dancing, singing and relaxing along the way. One little town we stopped in, brought forth one of the most magical moments of the weekend, but that is to be explored in next week’s post 🙂
Although this weekend was planned with purpose and sweetness, I don’t think he intended for the mindfulness journey that we embarked on. But for me, it really was a journey of mindfulness. I’m telling him at the same time as I’m telling you, that I accidently left out the most important meditation of all – the meditation of love. Thanks honey for the wonderful journey this weekend and for all the meditations it brought about.