Lessons in a bikini

I packed my weekend bag with lightness.

Three pairs of shorts, including the pair I had on, a pair of leggings and a workout top for the gym, a summer dress, a few tank tops–at least I thought a few tank tops but really ONE tank top–and my bikini top with two bottoms for variety. 

I packed with a minimalist mind.

A sweater for the chilly mornings. Shoes: Two pairs of Birkenstocks, gladiator sandals that go with my dress, and my workout shoes of choice.

I packed my weekend bag with intention.

I planed for the the no-makeup makeup glow: mascara, a single palette from TheBalm, sunscreens, moisturizer, and my special shampoo to maintain my purple highlights.

I packed my getaway bag with a plan.

I tucked my writer’s notebooks and special writing pens into the front pocket; every getaway, long or short, ignites ideas.

I overpacked my weekend getaway bag.

I wore the same pair of shorts for a spell on all three days, but really spent all day, every day, poolside in my bikini. I wore my dress for one dinner at the resort restaurant. I took the no-makeup makeup to the extreme and only used mascara, once.

I joked on an Instagram post that I have a new measure of weekend getaway success: I need to be in my bikini 95% of the time. Here’s the thing: my new measure of nirvana has nothing to do with what I wear.

It’s what I do.

On this particular getaway? What I did was nothing.

Okay, fine. That’s not entirely true. I was lying on a chaise lounge poolside, overlooking the Napa Valley. I spent hours and hours staring into the distance, napping, people watching, and enjoying the simple pleasure of being still.

Aside from sleep or undergoing surgery, it was the first time I was motionless for longer than 20 minutes. I’m not kidding.

This is indulgent, I told myself at first, it’s excessive. But after a few hours, after my body relaxed and I stopped thinking, I turned to my husband and whispered, “I am living my very best life right now.”

I practice candlelit restorative yoga every Friday night . The goal is simple: to allow the body to rest for one hour through a small series of long-held poses where you focuses on your breath. The ambient music is low but pulsates with sounds my body can feel. Smells of freshly burned Palo Santo waft through studio. After an hour of calm, I leave class with a clear mind, ready to embrace my weekend.

It wasn’t until my first restorative class that I realized how much my mind and body needed a designated moment of nothingness.

It wasn’t until I spent two days in a bikini, more or less, that I realized how much my mind and body needed more than one hour of nothingness.

The simple pleasure of being still.

I returned home from our weekend getaway with lightness.

I had little laundry to wash.

I returned home from our weekend getaway with a minimalist mind.

I can pack far less of everything whenever we travel.

I returned home from our weekend getaway with intention.

I will create more space for my mind and body to rest.

I returned home from our weekend getaway with a plan.

I will designate one day at the end of each month as my Restorative Day. At home, at the beach, a community pool? I don’t care. It’s just my time to be still.

And I will not overpack.

Do you crave stillness? How can you carve out time during your day/week/month to make it happen?

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