After visiting my family in Florida for a few days, I got on one of the last planes out of the state, on the way to Italy for my Essential Happiness Retreat.
By the time I landed in North Carolina, there was a whole lot of buzz everywhere about Irma. By the time I got to Paris, my mom and my sister were evacuated. When I got to Pisa, I found out that my daughter had not made the plane out of Miami.
At that moment, I started to live two lives: one life needed me to be very present as I met up with our group, got settled into our magnificent home overlooking the Mediterranean, started to teach classes and was just surrounded by love, beauty and so much yumminess. The other life was mostly sustained by phone late in the night and was strongly flavored with fear, pain, stress and ongoing challenges.
I barely slept at night and yet the excitement of the day kept me going. When I noticed that I was on my third Advil in a 12 hour period, I gratefully accepted an offer for a neck massage. Waking up pain-free the next day was a huge gift.
Friends across the world helped. I think that a friend's invitation for shelter for my family marked my turning point. I saw the message around 11 pm, and that night, I slept almost well.
Today, things have mostly settled. My family is tucked in somewhere in Georgia, and waiting things out. Two intense days of class back-to-back are followed by a whole day off, which we started at the village market, in the morning. There was a plan of a lovely sounding excursion by bus, train and foot, around the Cinque Terre. I was excited to spend this day off with everyone, just enjoying.
And then, I realized that as much as I wanted to be out in the world playing, what I really, really needed was to Press Pause for a bit. To go home quietly, slip into my bed for a little while, do a bit of work, breathe in the view, and then maybe go give all of this up to the beautiful blue sea down below. Maybe shed a few tears into that big salty pool that I love so much.
Pausing is a wonderful thing. Heart-moving music needs it, the seasons need it - and we need it.
May we recognize when we need to just stop and rest.
And may we do so before our bodies get louder about it.
I send you a big hug all, the way from over here.