I need to put time into doing the things I love and overcome resistance…
A few months ago a friend gave me “the WAR of ART” by Steven Pressfield to read. The first go-around, it was the kick in the pants I needed to put myself to work on writing. But then I let my work/play life overwhelm me, and Call Me a Food Lover was neglected again. It wasn’t the right time to heed the message, I had too much “noise” in my life.
In the last few weeks, I’ve realized that there was too much in my life that I don’t enjoy and I was falling into a pit of stress and unhappiness. After a weekend of paddling at Nationals, I took a much-needed break from it all in Whistler. I knew that coming out of the week I had to make some big decisions in terms of a potential promotion into a job I didn’t think I wanted and I knew that some time away would give me the opportunity to reflect on my life’s priorities. I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to lie around, relax my mind and find happiness.
Summer rates in Whistler are great, but I was lucky to have a friend offer up his place at the Pan Pacific for a couple of nights. Comfy loungers, flickering fireplaces, a fully equipped kitchen, and a heavenly bed, all in a picturesque mountain setting. It was the perfect easy escape from reality.
I’m not a skier (anymore) so although I get up to Whistler once a year, it’s always in the summer. I’ve developed a roster of places I usually go to, but on this trip I wanted to find some new places to relax and unwind. What better way to force myself into “slow and easy” than some happy hour drinks and food at the Champagne Bar at Bearfoot Bistro.
The bar advertises a Happy Hour special of a dozen oysters for $9.95, but I was informed that due to the season, they weren’t able to offer that. Instead, I ordered them at their regular price of 6 for $9.95. I have to admit that even at regular price, it’s still a good deal.
Sufficiently satiated, I returned to my suite to rest. After my glass of bubbly, I found it easy to ease myself into the state of zen that I’ve been longing for.
Over the years, I’ve never found a restaurant in Whistler that I’ve longed to go back to. It’s probably the reason why, more often than not, I end up at a restaurant from a name in Vancouver that I know I’ll have a good (not great) meal at. Not wanting to do any work on this trip, I almost visited one of these places, until I discovered a bistro serving local, naturally raised food and excellent cocktails that was getting high praise.
After a good night’s sleep I was treated to a morning of slow and easy relaxation with only luxury on the schedule. I felt like I should have been using the time to catch up on posts, but there was too much resistance in myself to do that. My mind was refusing to allow myself to be productive in something I enjoyed doing until I faced up to the hard truth that I needed to make some big changes in my life.
Not being able to be productive and wanting to gain some perspective, I went for a walk through the village. It was nice to see all the people scurrying about engaged in different activities. It felt good for once to be an observer rather than a participant.
When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Whistler to relax, they suggested that what I needed was a day at the Scandinave spa. The spa has a series of baths and hydrotherapy aimed at relaxing and energizing at the same time. Seemed like a contradiction to me, but I was ready to buy in. I appreciated the feeling of regimented relaxation where you were encouraged to spend silent time rotating through a circuit with 10 minutes in hot bath/sauna/steam, 10 seconds in a cold pool/waterfall and then 20 minutes in basking in warmth.
Left with nothing but quiet time and a still mind, I felt that even when I tried to relax, I was anxious on the inside because I knew I wasn’t being true to myself. I realized that in the past year I had become unhappy, critical and filled with self-doubt. I knew that I couldn’t blame it all on a job I was trying out for, but that it was a huge contributing factor. I also believed that I could shift the pendulum quickly and reset things to a happier life if I admitted that I needed to not pursue this promotion. It’s a hard thing to admit that you don’t want a career advancement, but when I think that without it, I can have career satisfaction and have the time and energy to chase after the things in life that fulfill me, it’s an easier sell not only to others, but myself as well.
Leaving the spa, I was surprised to find myself relaxed and energized at the same time and ready to start moving forward. I wanted to cocoon my energy and new-found direction with an evening in, so I did take-out from Pasta Lupino and ate my dinner in front of the fire.
I got out of the few days in Whistler, exactly what I needed. A reset, a plan to move forward. I’m not one to have life epiphany’s. More honestly, I’m not one to declare them, because I’m too afraid of verbalizing things, only to not follow through on them. But it’s time for me to turn pro in all things I’m passionate about and to continue to live above the things that get me down. I have faith in myself that I will follow through.