Perfect Getaway

Perfect Getaway

Today is the third day I’ve spent in Santa Cruz, enjoying the perfect getaway. A 3 hour drive from home brings me to a place of beauty, peace and restoration. After the last four months of increasing busyness, high stress and endless things to do, I truly needed time to relax, decompress and restore my soul.

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There’s no Netflix streaming on my IPAD. No phones ringing. No household chores awaiting completion. Just quiet serenity. Silence for the most part, except for natural sounds like birds chirping, faraway laughter of someone down the street, and the slight rustle of a sea breeze.

In this tiny cottage, there isn’t much to do. There’s an old TV, but no cable. No WIFI. Just a cozy place to be.  You can cook a simple meal in the small kitchen or sit out in the courtyard and read a good book. Last night, I enjoyed a hot bubble bath in the most petite bathtub ever made. As someone an inch under 5 feet, I barely fit in this tub, yet I thoroughly relaxed into the warm lavender scented bubbles and let my mind drift away.

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My favorite part of this getaway is the proximity of the ocean. The cottage I rent is only .7 miles from a lovely beach.  I can take a leisurely stroll through the most adorable neighborhood of charming houses and blooming gardens before arriving at the place that feeds my soul. Sitting on the beach, staring at the waves rolling in and out is my kind of heaven. I usually bring a book with me, but often forget to read it as I’m transfixed by the steady rhythm of the sea and the giant magnitude of the hovering sky.  It’s a form of meditation for me to sit on the sand watching the ocean. I lose track of time. My mind goes blank and peaceful. I breathe deeply.

In between my sojourns to the beach, I take luxurious mid-day naps.  I read good books.  I explore the area near-by and try out the local cafes. I smile at strangers I pass as I walk.  I marvel at the beauty of the coast. I am quiet. No talking. Pure unadulterated alone time. This brings me back to my center, recalibrates my brain and ignites my creativity.  This type of getaway is essential to the care and feeding of my soul.

Perfection.

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Practicing creativity

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert

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Last month I had the absolute pleasure to attend a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about her new book “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”.  My dear friend and I traveled to Santa Cruz (one of my top 10 happy places) just to see and LISTEN to Liz. She’s one of our favorite authors. If you don’t already know her from “Eat Pray Love” hysteria, you should get to know her through Big Magic and her incredibly inspiring and insightful Facebook posts.

My favorite part of the evening was the very end. Liz had the audience stand up and google the lyrics to a song on their cell phones. With lyrics in hand, the entire audience and Liz sang John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads” with all our hearts. It was a few minutes of pure joy and magic with an immediate community of kindred spirits.

But, the greater take away was that I am obligated to practice my creativity. To make it a priority. Really and truly. Not think about it or dream about it.

But to do it. That is all.

This newly created blog is the tangible result of Liz’s loving and creative ass-kicking in Santa Cruz.

“…I am going to spend as much time as I can creating delightful things out of my existence, because that’s what brings me awake and that’s what brings me alive.” – Elizabeth Gilbert