Vacation Wonders!

This picture only begins to touch the breathtaking views and amazingness of the Colorado mountains that I witnessed recently while on vacation.

Last week I had the unique privilege of visiting Crested Butte, Colorado and mountain biking on world class trails over 12,000 feet in elevation! It was one of those experiences that gives you a fresh perspective on life!

On the way there, I also had the privilege of meeting a very nice lady in the airport. I assumed she was 60 to 65 years old by her young looks, her high energy, and the fact that she was texting on her phone. I mean really…how old could she be?  You can imagine my surprise when she told me that she was 75 years old! A bit too old for me…darn.

Wouldn’t we all like to be fit, young looking, full of passion and energy for life at the age of 75?! I know I would! So I asked her, “How do you look so good and have so much energy at 75 years old?” She responded right away, “Well, I drink beer”. Of course, I thought, how has this secret avoided me so long? But then she became serious and gave me the answer I was looking for: “I love life! I enjoy what I do every day! I still can’t wait to get up in the morning to work with the children in my practice. Stress is what kills people today.”

A 75 year old women who has this much passion and love for life?!?! It was right then and there I decided that I wanted to be like her when I grow up.

I couldn’t get the words out of my mind: “Stress is what kills people today!”

How true this is. How many of us are stressed out of our minds? How many of us can’t focus on what’s really important because little things keep getting in the way? Why is stress so prevalent in our fast-paced, push-button, “have-it-now” society and how can we deal with it?

Maybe the answer is the same as to why we feel so refreshed after a great vacation? Or why we feel as if everything comes back into balance and perspective after a walk by ourselves in the woods, spending an hour in silence, or doing something just for me.

Maybe what we are missing in our everyday routines is time for ourselves. Isn’t our life full of constant demands on our time, energy, love, and attention. We manage to keep our business, school, or home appointments, but have we scheduled and kept a consistent appointment with ourselves? When was the last time you took the time to love yourself, to remind yourself of what truly matters in life, or to do something that refreshes you at the deepest level? What works for you? Is it reading a book, having Bible time, taking a walk, getting a pedicure, or enjoying a meal at a nice restaurant?

The Good Book says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Doesn’t this assume that you must love yourself a lot before being able to love another fully?

My challenge for you this week is to drop your story as to why you can’t take time to love and de-stress yourself. I know you hear the excuses all the time…maybe even from your own mouth? “I have too much to do?” or “My life is just way to busy” or “My life is just about serving others” or “It would be too stressful for me to leave.”

But can you really love someone else fully, if you don’t love yourself? Can you really give to others if you are empty inside? Can you truly inspire others if you aren’t inspired? Can you truly help and serve others in outstanding ways when you are over-stressed?

For a higher quality of life, take time for yourself, and make this week great!