This past week I had the pleasure of vacationing in the British Virgin Islands, a place so dramatically beautiful it sort of stuns the senses.
While there I felt as though it was my time at the buffet line, that I needed to soak up as much of the place as I possibly could because when else is your backyard a panorama of seemingly prehistoric natural beauty? The waters were the tiny blue-hued swatches in photoshop normally devoid of context come to life.
I looked at screens minimally. I left my phone in rooms I couldn’t remember leaving them, rather than carrying it with me like some heart monitor.
I read a lot. I sat and looked out at the view and thought about things and nothings.
Mostly I set down the need to keep up, produce, be in the proverbial loop. Doing so, I was reminded of the toll our modern day life takes on us, how it spreads our energy constantly amongst so many outlets that we’re left barely investing fully in any moment. And I was reminded of how good it feels to be truly present, to let all that noise and activity and communication elsewhere go on without you–since this is always the case, anyhow.
I know lots of us don’t have the luxury of checking out like that on a daily basis.
And isn’t that the greatest irony of all? That what was once considered living in the lap of luxury–having access to myriad technological outlets that ping and alert and communicate 24/7–is now considered the norm? And what instead feels like a luxury is being able to escape it all, to revert back to a slower, quieter, more peaceful way of being?
We of the first world have recognized the possibilities, made our determinations, and become masters at the art of relentlessness of pursuit.
And there is still nothing as fulfilling or centering as when we carve out even a few moments to remind ourselves that rest is an essential component to striving, that unless we can return ourselves to a place of being happy with now, casting our nets for later is a losing game.