This weekend turned out to be one of those life lessons that when we let go of resisting something, anything and everything is possible. My husband has wanted to go camping for the longest time with our family and I had been resisting the idea. Yes, I am a city girl and my idea of a weekend getaway is staying in a beautiful resort overlooking the ocean. I had not been open to this type of vacation, but finally, I gave in because it was so important to my husband.
There were at least 25 of us including my daughter, my husband, my husband’s siblings and our nieces and nephews and their significant others. I was able to first-hand experience the joy of simplicity. I noticed how present I became as I walked the camp grounds overlooking the lake, the other campers, and through the trees observing all my senses come alive. I had resisted camping at first because it was something new and change for people in recovery can be a daunting task. I wasn’t sure what to expect and to my surprise, I experienced complete and utter peacefulness and contentment.
I realized that camping doesn’t require a lot of decision making. When you go to a hotel getaway you have to figure out what sights you are going to see or what restaurants you are going to eat at, but camping has its own rhythm and routines. It allows for a sense of community and sharing with the simplest of tasks like heating a tortilla over the open fire. One person would heat them and the other one would stack them. So mundane and yet I felt so mindfully engaged in the process. Sitting around the camp fire going around making our funniest faces seemed absurd and yet, so simple and fun. Our bellies ached from so much laughter.
Focus on the simple things that still exist in our world today. We have trees we can stand under, flowers we can see and smell, and air we can breathe in deeply. I learned this weekend once again to be open and willing to new experiences especially when I am resisting it. I realized that much of my life lately has been isolative working endlessly to get my book out. Perhaps I have been neglecting the simple joys of nature for the computer, cell phone, and fax machine. I am grateful to my husband for allowing me to experience the essence of camping and renewing my body, mind, and spirit.
Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach in private practice and on Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is a frequent contributor to anthologies, blogs, and newsletters, and sought out speaker. Visit Sherry at www.sgabatherapy.com for information about life-coaching programs, teleseminars, and webinars, and read her other blog at Counsellor Magazine and HCI.