One of the things I appreciate most is silence, stillness. One that I normally find at 4.30-5am of my daily routine. Now ,wrapping up the last week of my holidays in Greece, I wake at a lazy 9.30-10am. There is a relative silence and stillness due to our current location and I take it. We are not on an Island this time, but down at the very south of Greece, right on the water, and the loudest noise is the water hitting the shore and the autumn wind that is already showing up. Perfect set up for a morning swim, although we have been here for a few days now, I cannot seem to rise with the sun. For me it’s a true sign of relaxation. The early sun is for the energy you need for the rest of a busy day, but this days we are lingering after a late sunset, the warm and pleasant evenings in the hustle of another stretch of amazing local restaurants, tavernas as they are called here.
Late slow and delicious dinners call for a sleep in, although I’m trying to get my body to adjust back to my usual clock, it is enjoying the slooooow lazy rhythm of Greece. I am so glad and so fortunate that we managed to treat ourselves for a week of peace before the hustle of getting back home to Australia. After three weeks in Israel, I regret to say, it wasn’t the most relaxing time. I know that family time can be intense on many aspects, but nothing prepared me for what I have just experience. First of all I would like to take full responsibility for my part in that experienced, as I know that I created it and I was hoping and expecting for something different. You know, the times of creating amazing memories of a family that gets together. We’ve even gone on a short vacation together and we have all those great moments that we shared and enjoyed. Well, I was utterly wrong!!
What I experienced was a huge culture shock, by Israel(Jerusalem) and by my own family. Not everyone, of course, and so that means it was I who set the expectations so high, that they just had to be met by everyone. Have you ever turned up into an event, that in your mind imagined it to be epic, I mean nothing short of spectacular, filled with happy people, music, food, activities, stories, conversations, laughters and lots of tears of joy. I know we brought a lot of that joy with us, after our short visit in Greece. Our hearts were filled with gratitude and (as it turns out) hope and expectations that no one can take it away.
To conclude our stay, we both caught a bug that almost debilitated us at the end. I think, it was just an expression of our bodies saying “we are sick of this shit!” Instead of energy lifting party we had an energy depleting one. That just makes me more grateful for being here right now. At the very south side of the Peloponnese on the water, opposite a small Island called Proti. And yes, you guessed it…I am taking it all in!!
The blue waters in front of me sparkle and give a true sense of peace. You know that because I can just sit here for hours and stare at it, or jump right in it and enjoy the cool and clear gentle flow of the water, swim in it, float in it, how ever you experience this, you cannot deny the healing and calming effect it has on you immediately. In fact, I think I might take a quick break and jump in for a refreshing dip.
On reflection, one must adjust their expectations, or better yet, have non at all. Expectations lead to disappointments. Especially when a certain dynamic is known to be so in the past, and when you set your expectations to see or experience anything different, well…that’s the definition of insanity, isn’t it?? Don’t dim your light because others can’t handle it, don’t expect others to grow with you as they might do it on their own rhythm with their own story and circumstances. Happiness exists in abundance and it is everywhere, be mindful when others around you choose the other direction, sometimes it is easier to let them go by simply putting your needs first. I truly think my Israeli visit has opened up some old wounds and I should have been more self caring. It was a true lesson of what can happen when not putting yourself first. God knows I talk about it endlessly, but this time it pulled me in like a bad storm.
I cannot wait to head back home to my bed, my dog, my morning routine, my work, my friends, my food, my gym. That’s a lot of attachments right there (might leave that to another blog, heh?). Feeling blessed to spend the last week of this holidays with my beloved husband. Swimming, dining, resting and lots of loving. At times this path seems isolating but in the end it is about how I feel when it is all balanced out. Actually it is all about how I feel, simple as that! How I feel is purely controlled by my choices. There is no doubt in my mind that happiness is a choice, no matter your situation the alternative is always there at any point in time. If you are stuck in a place where you cannot see what I’m talking about, try changing the music, try changing your narrative, you only need a small change in perspective, a new lens perhaps.
I have seen people changing their life around, simply by making a decision to do so. Work out all your non negotiable, re evaluate your beliefs and your values, understand that you can choose to change them, let them go, re create them, especially the ones that are not serving the life you want. It is up to you, always. I know I’ve let my happiness guard down because eventually I fell ill and felt depleted. I don’t know if part of me was hoping(naively) that somehow things will be different. I got stuck on my wish for a whole family vacation, that for a few days, everyone can park their crap and just enjoy the new experiences and simply be present. I realise now that I was really forcing it back then, and not being truly present myself. Big lesson in self love and self care, experiencing the contrast of that and what comes when you abandon your own self, abandon the present moment.
I seem to go back in a loop, don’t I?
There is no surprise there. The plan now is to commit to some meditation every day, and heal from what seemed to be shock and shame. Focusing back on me, my body and my my mind, and do what I do best when I am true and honest with who I am and who I am becoming. No judgement, no anger. Just acceptance and love. Lots and lots of love.
One last thing about expectations and sunsets. Actually that could be sunrise too. Whichever one you prefer, I personally love the sunset, the ease, the softness, the many colors, the romantic side of it, the conclusion of a day, the gift that comes with sitting and watching the sun goes to bed, the peace that it leaves behind, the knowing it will be here again tomorrow with a different look and feel, the permission it gives to rest and slow down. Mostly I love the sun because it will never let you down. It will always be back the next day. It will always rise.
Thanks again for being here.
Thank you for sharing, it’s exactly what I needed to read today. 🙏🏼💝
Do not let your family ruin how you feel and the woman that you have become, you are a blessing to many. You and your husband Bill are only wished the best in your adventure. Keep being the person that you are! Much love Christine 💜