Monday, September 12, 2005

Spend a Day of Leisure Better than a Billionaire

Good morning, Happy Souls!

Are you feeling motivated this morning? I certainly hope so. I know that I am!

How does a billionaire spend a day not working? Well, it can be a lot of work. Imagine that the billionaire wants to take a brief spin on her yacht. She has to alert the captain to her plans, let her driver know to take her to the pier, be sure that her bodyguards have checked out the security of the route ahead of time and asked her personal assistants to reschedule whatever else had been planned. If she wants to take some friends along, she has to make suitable arrangements for them, discuss the menu with her chefs. You get the idea.

Being a billionaire gets in the way of her leisure. She still has to operate like a CEO . . . rather than someone simply enjoying a day of leisure.

For many people exhausted from a hard week, leisure too often simply becomes a day in bed or on the couch. For sports fans, those restful activities are done in front of a television, interspaced with trips to the fridge for snacks.

If being inert has been your usual source of leisure, let me suggest some alternatives for your consideration.

1. Go the most beautiful place you know and drink in that beauty.

On a beautiful summer day, that spot is likely to be outdoors. You can still be inert, but do it where the richness of your surroundings will warm your senses and make you feel glad to be alive. On a winter day, you may have the same sense of beauty by listening to a concert in a lovely museum such as the Isabella Stewart Gardiner in Boston.

2. Spend the day with a person you love doing something what brings you both joy.

Alternate the person you do this with and your activities. You will find your sense of love deepened and experience more refreshment.

3. Pursue an adventure you've never done before.

We all tend to be a little bit stuck in a rut. Nothing makes us feel better than to do something adventurous that turns out well. Ask friends, family and acquaintances for suggestions of things that they have found to be once-in-a-lifetime memories. I have found nature walks on beautiful estates in my area can provide such experiences. Others climb. Do what excites you into feeling like Peter Pan or Wendy.

4. Chill out where you will be lulled by near-by water.

I like both the ocean and waterfalls. Some locations like on the wet side of the big Island of Hawaii provide both. There's something about moving water and its sound that brings a deeper sense of tranquility than anything else for me.

5. Spend a Day Playing a Role as a Person You Admire

When you were a child, you loved to pretend you were someone else. You still can. Go to a place where no one knows you and be a person you would like to become. Spend as long as you can thinking, acting and speaking like such a person. Take on the role of St. Francis talking to the animals for a day. Would that be great, or what?

6. Do something creative you've never tried before.

When children are 3 years old, they almost all proclaim that they are great artists. By the time they are 10, they don't think they are any good. But the creative juices are still there. Take joy from the making rather than the results. If you would like to have a little help, sign up for a workshop for beginners. I had a fabulous time once creating a sculpture although I had never done one before and ended up with a piece that reminds me of Miro that I treasure.

7. Have a deep, unhurried conversation in pleasant surroundings.

I love to be outdoors enjoying a view from a hill to do this. There's a lovely outdoor restaurant in Salzburg, Austria that afford this opportunity. And my philosophizing is encouraged there by the helpful wait staff who simply show up to bring me more goodies from time to time as the conversation extends over the afternoon.

8. Do a good deed.

If you are like me, giving is often more rewarding than receiving . . . or not giving or receiving. Leisure days are times when good deeds that require time and attention become possible. I especially like to visit people who are elderly and don't have many visitors. Their joy becomes my joy.

9. Find a new way to be comfortable.

It's a great feeling to be comforable. Most of us know only a few ways. It's time to experiment with some others. Have you ever spent the afternoon in a hammock with your loved one? Well, what are you waiting for?

10. Spend time in silence.

You can quiet down your mind, your inner dialogue and your cares if you go somewhere you won't have to speak, listen or hear harsh noises. Just be . . . and let the silence sink deeply into your soul. There's a pool of tranquility there which you will be able to draw on more deeply the more often you visit it.

11. Be grateful.

One of the most relaxing things I do is to pray to God to thank Him for everything in my life that I'm grateful for. Within a few minutes, I feel so relaxed and at peace that it's hard to get up out of a chair. Try it. You'll like it!

Please let me know what else you would like to learn, and I'll do my best to help in future blog entries.

Thanks so much for your support of this blog. I'm delighted that so many tens of thousands of people have made this blog part of their regular reading habit!

Thank you to my many friends, students, clients and blog readers who are spreading the good word about this blog.

If you are visiting today because someone invited you, I'm delighted to meet you! Let's stay in touch.

May God bless you.

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2005 Donald W. Mitchell


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