I’ve been on a working vacation in California this past week, spending time in Los Angeles and San Diego. My intention was to hide out in coffee shops between training sessions at the Original Muscle Beach.
Well I never made it to the beach. That plan experienced some major interruptions but I did get just what I needed from the trip. Funny how that happens. So while I really wanted this post to feature some Tarzan action on the Santa Monica rings, I had to improvise. The video is not as visually impressive but the message is deeper.
I know there’s no "right" way to travel, but I am just not one for posh vacations. Sitting on a beach and doing nothing might appeal to many people, to me it sounds terrible. The last thing a passionate entrepreneur wants to be away from "work”. The last thing an introvert wants is to be on someone else’s schedule. So my perfect vacation means staying in my groove, soaking up culture, exploring hidden corners, and doing whatever the fuck I want, whenever I want to do it. That's perfection, in a vacuum.
Now, there are no expectations of this perfection. Actually, when I travel I expect situations that challenge my attachment to the work I love, the routines that ground me, and my pattern of being completely self-reliant. And these expectations were certainly met. Thanks Universe for giving me just what I needed, even if it’s not what I wanted.
So my challenge was confinement. A new set of temporary parameters for my existence. I found myself contained on planes, trains, and in AirBnB rooms. I was subject to house rules and restricted access to the amenities that add convenience to my life. I was on a timetable just about everywhere where I went. In short, my introverted ways were seriously interrupted.
And through this restriction, I was able to grow. Even in the smallest of spaces we can find enough a wiggle room to expand. And that's powerful enough to break the most rigid mold. The video here parallels such an expansion. Within the smallest space on a patio in Escondido, CA I found a solid flow and just what I needed. There was no need for a giant playground or fully equipped gym, not even a mat. This is simplicity at it's best, an understated honest expression.
Just for context, I had spent the entire day up until this point traveling. I just needed some practice to bring me back to life. Just to generate some energy so I could bring my everything for a presentation the following day. A four-piece flow with some variations - downward dog, crawl kick thrus, knee bends, and a forward fold. As always there are some variations along the way.
The sensation and sound of my skin skimming across the tile was the inspiration. The feeling of hands and feet pressing into the cool tile and the outer edge of a foot scraping across surface like the sound of a sword cutting stone. Maybe that’s weird but sometimes that tactile stimulation is the defining why and nothing more is necessary. The body is always collecting proprioceptive information but the brain doesn’t always have to solve some problem with that information. There doesn’t need to be a corresponding goal or adjustment; it can just feel good. Like marveling at a sunset, the movement can simply be appreciated on all levels.
This idea of expansion is yours to flesh out. I'd argue that to bathe in our experiences is as valid a means as achieving defined goals. In either case, it's in theses small spaces where we expand towards self-mastery.