We are almost a week into our Jamaican Honeymoon. On a normal vacation we would likely be on our last day. Thankfully this time we have almost two weeks to let go of our normal lives. It’s an overlooked need in our Western lives. Now I’m not one that takes a while to let the shoulders drop on my time away. I let my shoulders drop as I approach the Skyway bridge at least a couple of times a month when we head to New Buffalo. To another degree I let go almost daily when I get into the studio and on to the mat. This is different though this time in Jamaica.
I can’t think of any point in my life where I’ve gone from a higher intensity stretch to a lower intensity stretch. The six months leading up to the wedding alone were perhaps the most intense six months of my life and that’s even before Christiana’s grandmother died three days before our wedding or a tornado wiped out our wedding site less than 24 hours before we said I Do. It seems that this year’s lesson in my life is to learn how to shift gears a bit more seamlessly. To let go of the plan and audible so to speak. I think I might have even referenced that when I thanked our wedding guests after dinner that night. It was sort of an out of body experience so I’ll have to wait for the video highlights to be 100 percent sure.
When we were deciding on possible destinations for our honeymoon part of me wanted to do something more dramatic. Maybe two weeks touring Italy. Possibly a drive along the South Coast of France with stops along the way wherever the spirit struck. Or the perfect finish to an Irish themed wedding with a romp across the counties of Mother Ireland. In the end the gut intuition of a return to Jamaica serves to be the perfect tonic in so many ways.
For me this is a return of a few different kinds. It’s a return for Christiana and I to the exact site of our self declared Engagementmoon of last summer. It’s a third trip together for the two of us when you include our trip to Breezes Runaway Bay in 2010. For me it’s something like my 20th trip to Jamaica and it all started with my first honeymoon to Sandals Ocho Rios over 20 years ago. These returns are wonderful mile posts in our lives and they give us measuring sticks that I’m really happy to examine.
So what do I notice the most in this comparison? I notice my ability to shift to a pace that I never fully embraced before. A pace of deeper stillness. A pace that I preach to my yoga students daily yet still struggle with and have to practice so diligently to even approach it. Back home we often joke that Jim has two speeds. Full on and full off. It has served me well in so many ways in my life accomplishments but not without cost. I remember coming on these vacations in the past and grabbing the vacation by the horns and trying to get 14 days out of the trip in a week. I remember coming home exhausted with a list full of names and addresses and less sleep than I would have even gotten at home. Not this time though. I haven’t told the wedding story even once. I’ve done my yoga and martial arts workouts on the beach at whatever time I happened to get up without setting an alarm. I’ve taken naps back in the room. Even now as I sit here writing my new bride is off getting PADI certified as a open water diver while I just sit here. While my current and former wife wouldn’t agree on much, I’m pretty sure that they would agree that something like this would have never happened on a trip in the past.
So in my gratitude journal for today I will write, “I am grateful for more than a week… I’m grateful for having been guided to this special place yet again, but with a new set of eyes. I’m grateful for five more days of doing a lot more nothing than something. I’m grateful for the adversity that makes my joy more real. I’m grateful for the six months of high intensity that makes this chill time all the more of a fulfilling experience.”
Well I think I’ll sign off now. I might have an unscheduled appointment with something to float on or maybe not…