Cindering in the triple-digit heat are those realized dreams of summer vacation. Kids are out of school, weddings are rolling out, and those pasty winter legs are eager to stretch out at the beach.
Vacation’s all we ever wanted especially during those busy office days leading to tax season, end-of-school and the end of winter. We invest time researching for the flight and hotel deals, making reservations, paying more for the luxury experience or maybe we feel adventurous and wing it.
Summer vacations have long been part of the iconic American experience. Whether it’s the old fashion road trip or boarding a plane packed for the shores, we work and yearn for our summer vacations. Yet, so many of us end up feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation by the time we get home.
Ironically, vacations are times when we most self-sabotage being present, finding freedom and releasing. We seem to get in the way of all that relaxation we anticipated.
Instead, we get to our destination and start posting on Facebook. We check work emails, we can’t stop reading news, texting, and rather than relaxing we scroll through Instagram comparing ourselves to an over-tanned celebrity on a yacht.
Vacations are a lot like normal life and they come with those “Wally World moments” with the unexpected, the unwanted, and the discomfort. Something we planned may not turn out the way we wanted and we’re so distracted that we are caught off guard when crap happens.
We believe we’re in control when the plane departs on time when the bus ride is smooth when a nap followed a delicious lunch. But even in the most perfect vacation, there’s a coup d’état, a hurricane, or some horrific and very embarrassing incident that will make you never want to leave your house. And if you’re traveling with kids, you’re guaranteed at least one tantrum. (Minimum.)
In life, misfortune is worse like when you hear a cancer diagnosis, when you suddenly lose a loved one, when your partner says, “we need to talk.”
Whether on vacation or not, when hardships appear we feel out of control. We’ve been so distracted that we’ve actually convinced ourselves that we’ve been in control and now we’re spiraling!
We pray for the first time in months. We may lash out. We may wallow in grief, dread, frustration, and fear. It takes emotional intelligence to traverse through these times.
Productive Learning trainers have seen many clients caught in the throes of these moments. They’re scared, frustrated, they feel life is against them.
We kindly remind clients this is when conscious disruption can save you. You are in more control than you realize and you can design a life—and vacation—where your control remains untouchable and you don’t self-sabotage meaningful moments.
One way we do this is through our workshop, Life By Design, we train clients to tap into their higher consciousness as a way to direct their emotions and behaviors to desired outcomes regardless of external circumstances.
We develop a toolkit through knowing our default assumptions and developing the vision of our life so that in stressful moments we know which tool to use; like knowing the difference between when to use a hammer or a drill.
Using the clarity of your vision to inform your choices helps you to control your reactions to all circumstances instead of trying to control outcomes. By detaching importance from the outcome you design the life you want rather than living by default. In other words, your happiness is no longer pegged to a condition like a flawless vacation, perfectly behaved children, a partner that meets your every whim.
Imagine designing a life where you can be happy anytime, anywhere, any mishap.
In the path of self-love and personal development, we can transform problems into opportunities. We must approach our thinking with the circumspection of our assumptions, expectations, and our time frames… You can stop self-sabotage by releasing the need to control how you think things should happen and by when.
Rather than focusing on outcomes – which are out of our control- we learn to focus on ourselves and how we are responding to what is in front of us, all while trusting we will respond in a way that will bring the outcome we have clearly outlined in our vision.
Through developing our self-understanding we learn to manage ourselves no matter the situation and ultimately detach from the outcome without losing sight of our vision. Detachment means you automatically take full responsibility and control over your emotions, thinking, beliefs, actions, and responses to the life events that are out of your control.
Control of our mind keeps us alert. We no longer need to constantly distract ourselves with things that keep us from being present and honing our vision.
This is freedom.
Whatever may happen you can still create extraordinary experiences, relationships, and careers. It can mean being present as you enjoy the beach, as you connect with your kids on long plane rides, and showing up for yourself when your resources are exhausted.
Next time you find yourself in an emotional meltdown in front of Space Mountain, ask yourself “what do I need?” Re-connect with yourself and what matters to you most. Get curious about what is really bothering you… trust us, the answer may surprise you. Take a few deep breaths- maybe you need to say a calming mantra, walk on your own for a bit, or talk to your spouse. There is a space between stimulus and response, with practice you can find it.
Summer vacations are a mid-year dream realized but they’re also a microcosm of our broader dreams. As we play them out we must balance ourselves by gaging where our emotions are and what we need to self-soothe. Balance is never static it’s always moving, trying to find equilibrium. One minute we need to meditate and another minute we need to blast Mötley Crüe.
As you embark on a vacation, find your balance. Productive Learning wishes you safe travels this summer of freedom. Put down the phone, tune in and allow yourself to really be present and relax. You’ll soon discover the happiest place on Earth is right between your ears and there’s no entrance fee or reservation required.