A Family Vacation

For the past 3 years, my family and I have opted to celebrate Christmas via a vacation to Mexico using my parents time share. I am here now, on day 8 of 13. I highly cherish this time, but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows!

Have you spent 2 weeks on vacation with your closest family members lately? What words would you use to describe this experience? Two weeks with anyone in close quarters can be a lot: we do nearly everything together, our living space is 2 joined hotel rooms, and there isn’t work or household chores to distract one’s self from the interpersonal difficulties that may arise.

Part of why I cherish this time so much is that I don’t see my family for most of the year. They live in Ohio and I live in California. There are a few 1000 miles between us usually, so this time allows us to connect and spend some quality time together. I love quality time. What’s interesting though, is that my definition of quality time is not that same as someone else’s. This is an important fact to understand not only in this situation, but in all of life: there are many versions of the “internal code book” and communication, as well as knowing when not to communicate, (!) is key.

I also cherish this time with my family because it helps me confront my past as the “new” me. For the last several years, I have, and still continue to, work extensively on improving myself, my habits, my views, my mindsets, my behaviors, my faith. In Mexico, I get to apply these new skills and insights in the midst of old ways, old patterns, old familiar situations that used to so-often upset me. I also get to extend grace to myself when I realize that I have yet some more opportunities for growth. It’s very humbling and enlightening.

The other big reason I enjoy this time with my family, besides the obvious that I am on a tropical beach in the middle of winter, is that this is the time I set goals for the year. This is the time I get away to evaluate where I have been and where I am going. One of the many books I am reading here is “The Millionaire Next Door.” It clearly outlines this very reasoning: millionaires are “less price sensitive when buying services that help them control their consumptive behavior” and “when it comes to allocation of time, (millionaires) place the management of their assets before other activities.” I want to have millions of dollars and so I study the people that do. Yes, I do this at home, but this time in Mexico removes all the distractions of work and other commitments and allows me to honestly evaluate this goal, and others. I liken this study of successful business owners and millionaires, their mindsets, their habits, their life, to a school or a “service that helps me control my consumptive behavior” and this is something I need and want to improve. The immediate loss of work and income doesn’t dictate my actions. I am gaining much more by coming here. I make this choice. It’s not an easy one, but I have my eye on a bigger future, a big goal and this helps me make decisions.

So, yes, it is AMAZING that I get 2 weeks in sunny (mostly), warm (mostly), Mexico, with family, and I do so with seemingly paradoxical sacrifice. It is hard work here. I’m living out the Proverb (27:17) of “iron sharpening iron.” What’s incredible is that we all are better off because of it.

I bless you in your endeavors! Be the change you want to see! We CAN change the world. One, interpersonal interaction, communicative, and goal setting behavior at a time.

Namaste!

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The importance of goals

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Summer has ended and rain and cooler temperatures have come to Redding sooner than expected. Although I absolutely love the sunshine, the heat, and the busy-ness of summer, the slower pace that fall and winter provide help me to reflect, reevaluate, and take a step back to see how things have gone and how I want to move forward.

I haven’t always been so focused. I haven’t always set goals. In fact, I used to purposely not set them because I wanted to live “free” and take things as they came, but really, it’s only through setting goals that have I gained freedom! So counter-intuitive.

With the plethora of injuries and health problems I’ve had, because of financial hardships, because I am passionate about helping others, and because of my faith, I have begun to set goals, cast vision, and take time to stop and reflect. I used to be scared of slowing down because I didn’t like who I was, although I didn’t realize that. Hind-sight is 20-20 and I’m now using it to move forward, and get bigger, better, stronger. Like with a yoga practice or any other exercise, muscles only get stronger from momentary “pain” or discomfort and the level of sacrifice that a vision requires determines the size of the person or people who follow. I want to be great and inspire greatness in others, so goals need to be cast, revised, and celebrated!

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (KJV). Perish means to die; to pass away or disappear; to suffer destruction or ruin; to suffer spiritual death. This signifies the importance of vision: stated aims and objectives; the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be; a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation (Dictionary.com). Speaking for myself and comparing where I am now with where I was even just 2 years ago, I am so much more alive because I practice en-vision-ing, goal setting, vision casting, and because I stop to reevaluate, and celebrate how far I have come.

If we have no vision or goals for our life then what shapes or defines how we makes choices? Looking at my own life, I can see that a lot of decisions have been made based on what was easiest, what was least likely to cause pain or discomfort, I have flittered about like the wind, directionless, and I have been searching.

I know a lot of others are searching too, maybe even you. I want to encourage you to start right where you are. Set a goal. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to be debt free? Do you want to get married? How might you get there? Set some goals for the month, 6 months, the year, etc. and then set some tactics, or smaller more manageable steps to take in order to accomplish the bigger goals. The good news is that if you don’t accomplish something, you can try again. To be successful, one must fail. I pray that you know the 1John 4:18 love that casts out fear (of failure, etc.) and step forward, get back up if you fall down, and try again.

I have some large goals with yoga and I took some time today to practice and watch my “Yoga Journal Advance Your Practice” DVD. What was really cool is that I haven’t been practicing these exact poses but maybe once in the past year and I was shocked at the amount of flexibility and strength I had to get as far as I did. An amazing fact about goal setting is that sometimes, the goals get accomplished without even trying! It’s because we took the time to put them to thought, or en-vision them, that they manifest. I haven’t found all goals to be this way, but it sure is encouraging when some are! I think it’s God way of giving us fuel for the harder or more challenging ones.

May you dream big, cast your nets wide, and see your children’s children prosper because of what you did today and do tomorrow. It’s not really not even about us and when we stop and take time to set goals and make steps towards them, the world is better for it.

Namaste!