I just took a week off, with no plans. I ate too much and slept in—usual vacation-y things… I sat on a big rock on the beach and watched geese paddle by in a single-file line, watched a movie I love (“Midnight in Paris”), watched sunsets, watched plants grow in my garden, watched my dogs play (and joined in many times)… Watching is a great activity (and listening, and accessing any senses to be in the present moment). I had a feeling of timelessness when doing these things.

I also watched my own breath. Sometimes I just mainly focused on where I felt my breath, how long or deep it was, or any other qualities I could sense. Other times I would go back and forth between, say, noticing the sunset, and noticing my breath. That helped connect internal and external sensations so I felt more present.

I am trying to carry this way of being into times when life is busier, with more activity and schedule concerns. Regularly connecting with nature helps me. My deck is full of beautiful plants, and occasional animal visitors (hummingbirds, blue jays, squirrels, bees)—so I can easily take a moment and watch nature there. Connecting with my body is a great resource, too, because bodily sensations are always in the present. They may be related to thoughts and feelings about the past or future, but the actual sensations are in the present. And of course my dogs are great reminders to live in the now. What else is there, really?

What are your ways to savor that feeling of vacation a little longer, or have ultra-mini daily vacations?

Bringing a Little Vacation into Daily Life