“Vacation was wonderful, but now it’s back to reality.”
“Lately, I just want to escape the real world and curl up with a book, in my jammies with my kitty.”
“I’m having a challenge returning to reality after the glitter and glamour of the Burlesque Experience…”
I’ve heard all three of these statements, in the last few days, in fact, from three different people. One of those people was me.
We all know this feeling, this reluctance or resistance to “return to reality”.
Life gives us those temporary shining, sparkling respites, that take us out of the mundane, out of the routines and duties and obligations, and give us transcendence, ecstasy, bliss, or just simply relaxation.
And then, ho hum, back to reality we go, sheepishly, begrudgingly.
Well, I’d like to turn that thought-process on its head, by offering a new perspective.
You aren’t escaping reality with your relaxing weekends, your transcendent experiences, your vacations and blissful days off.
You’re expanding it.
What if we stopped the polarizing thinking of “reality” as the chores, the mundane, the routine, and those transcendent, fully-engaged, joyful experiences as being outside of reality?
What if instead we chose to embrace it all as one great big, luscious, multi-faceted range of reality?
What would happen?
Something would shift.
And when it does, it’s really beautiful.
I had this experience the other day myself, driving home with my fiancé, from our weekend getaway in the country, that feeling of “returning to reality” came over me, and with it, a sadness, a reluctance, and then a quiet voice whispered from my heart, “it’s all reality.” And then, suddenly, my reality expanded.
That, too… that glorious weekend experience of rest and relaxation, connecting with nature, with myself, painting, drawing, reading, doing or not doing whatever I chose, that was reality, too.
Of course it was! I didn’t imagine it.
How insulted and offended these rich, meaningful experience and moments must be, to be left out and excluded from what we consider reality! “Wow, thanks a lot! I gave you so much! Well, it was real for me! Pffft!”
Silly to think about, I know, but do you get what I’m saying here?
What if we chose to widen reality, to include more moments and experiences of ecstasy and bliss, even within the folds and creases of everyday life, rather than escape it?
What if we widened our reality so much that in these moments and experiences, we aren’t escaping anything, but enriching it?
Reality, after all, is what we decide for it to be.
Is your reality a relentless pushing, striving and doing, loaded with obligations and duties and responsibilities and roles to fulfill?
Can what you perceive to be reality include transcendence, connection, relaxation and retreat, instead of excluding it?
Visualize it on paper. On the left is the “real world”. On the right is all that other stuff, the activities and events and moments you lose yourself in, when and where and how you get charged and refueled and realigned. Yours might include vacationing or travel, creative endeavors, relaxing activities, connection, socializing, time off.
Next, take your imagination’s pen and draw a big circle around it all, and call it reality.
What shifts with this simple expansion?
And how can you enlarge and widen and deepen your current experience of reality, every day?
Gasp… dare I say, in every moment?
My reality is wide, and deep, and rich, and includes all of it. The duties and the getaways. The challenges and the ease. The doing and the being. The scheduled routines and the loose, lazy, unstructured respites.
We can’t vacation all the time. Well, most of us can’t. But how can we create the feelings and sensations of vacationing in our day to day lives? The truth of the matter is, it’s those feelings we’re after.
What if we made these respites and retreats and moments outside of the ordinary every day a priority, committing to them with the same fervor we commit to being responsible?
We are responsible for our reality, right?
Our longing for magic and the opportunities to satisfy this longing exist at every turn, in every one of life’s pockets. Sometimes they’re obvious, a week on a beach, for example. Other times, they’re hidden, quietly present, tucked in, needing only for you to discover them, claim them, and make them a priority of your reality. A big reality, one that includes all of it.
A reality as expanded as this needs your conscious design. Your deliberate intention. With it, reality expands, just like that.
And when reality is this wide and expansive, there is no more need to escape it.
Of course, there is the mind-numbing paradox of possibility that none of this at all is reality, that it’s all a dream, but maybe that’s for another blog. For today, let’s just say, if it’s happening, it’s reality.
It’s all reality.
What will you make of yours today?