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My Summer Vacation: Head vs. Heart

September 9, 2009

It was the last week of August and my summer vacation had finally arrived; I could hardly wait.  On a recommendation of a friend, I decided to take my summer vacation at the Omega Institute in NY State.  It was exactly the kind of experience I was looking for – a summer camp atmosphere with personal development courses.

However when I arrived, I was disappointed.  I knew my room wasn’t air conditioned, and I thought I was okay with that, but when I walked into the tiny, sparse humid room my heart sank.  The dining room was rustic to say the least.  In fact it was an exact replica of one from summer camp left virtually untouched since the 70‘s.  The good news was that I was in culinary nirvana with the delicious vegetarian fare.  In terms of the people they seemed nice enough but looked a little too crunchy granola meets zen hippie for me.   I mean I saw more dreadlocks and Birkenstocks in one day there than in 5 years in Toronto. Needless to say, I was outside my comfort zone.  I guess my idea of camp and theirs was a little different. Was it too late to zip over to an air conditioned spa where they would treat me like the sophisticated urbanite that I am (okay if only in my own mind).    I was starting to think that I wasn’t really ready for this type of experience after all.

When my intuition class started the next day, it allowed me to focus on something more positive.  The instructor, Elizabeth Harper, was really warm and funny and had a sparkling personality.  She filled the day with great activities that allowed us to develop and trust our intuition.


One to two days into my stay, while sitting under a canopy of trees, I realized I wasn’t embracing this experience.  Something was missing and I thought it was something external.  I started to panic. I only take two short vacations a year so I wanted and needed this vacation to be great.

When I started to think about why I wasn’t embracing this, I realized the problem was internal as I was spending a lot of time in my head.  I was being very analytical and judgmental and looking at everything around me with a critical eye and comparing it to Toronto or my erroneous version of the world. As I sat surrounded by natural beauty, the answer finally struck me.  I needed to get out of my head and into my heart. Coming from a place of compassion, openness, and acceptance would allow me to enjoy my Omega experience much more.  It didn’t guarantee a great vacation; it just meant that I would be more open to the gifts and lessons of this adventure.

Once I shifted from my head to my heart, the most amazing thing happened. I started to really connect with the people in my class.  I discovered that they were warm, kind souls with very interesting backgrounds.  They were all incredibly supportive and generous with their time and knowledge.  As our bond grew and our laughter increased, my vacation went from ordinary to extraordinary.

Ask yourself when would shifting from your head to your heart create an opportunity for an extraordinary experience.

An old boss of mine, and now friend, shared with me this wonderful Lakota quote perfect for this post: “The longest walk you can ever take in this life is the sacred journey from the head to the heart.” Thank you Terence Buie.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2009 10:30 am

    Jack and I just read this and we loved it!! It was the perfect timing for me to read it and to remember to get into my heart. Love, M

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