I realize this title may offer a hint of salaciousness — yet really, it’s anything but…
After having a wild year, a shocking diagnosis and a long healing process, I decided to venture South with family and friends. The idea of warm beaches and being in the sunshine after months, weeks, days, hours & minutes of doing everything I was medically supposed to was really the best prescription of all. We went during school vacation week to Florida, an easy-enough trip to get to from the cold, snowy Northeast.
Travel has become a comedy of errors — a horrendous mix of long security lines, inefficient systems, stressful hours, delays, packed airplanes & overpriced items that, at the last minute, you believe you must have to endure this awfulness.
I traveled for business for years. It’s such a degraded experience now that anyone who implements an entire overhaul of daily travel will be a hero. I’m talking about a wholesale change in stepping into any airport and actually having a great experience from start to finish — by that I’m not referring to private planes that are helping to destroy the environment.
But I digress…
We finally got to our destination after delays for de-icing — and entering the warm Florida temps was balm on my soul. This past year for me has been a storm of its own. I’ve found myself saying I’m over this intense focus on decisions, unknowns, surgery, physical therapy, the before, the after and everything in between. And yet, lucky am I. I’m walking, running, skiing — two times already this season. Every day I wake up and feel gratitude.
Miami Beach is a combination of odd techno-disco music, art deco, color, city life, palm trees, and of course, a big beach. We chose a spot right on the beach and it was the best few days I’ve spent in a long while. I spent hours in a beach chair, under an umbrella, with friends & family, and one day, mostly by myself. That one day by myself, I remember wanting to capture the moment forever. It was the most relaxed I felt in a long time, watching the water, walking close to the shoreline, and reading books to refresh my thoughts & mind.
We never give ourselves enough time to do this. To just be. Be in the moment, in the sunshine, in the warmth, with our thoughts, when we’re healing.
In that moment, I vowed I needed to carve out more time to just be. I’ve spent a lifetime, like many of you, doing. Checking off the endless lists, doing the juggle, the sacrifices, the hustle — not being.
When I received a diagnosis that I had to tackle immediately last year, a gift out of this heavy experience is another lesson I’m still learning — we all need to find a way to evolve our being. The world we’re living in can mimic a clown show on a bad day, an apocalypse on another. As Americans, we’re working ourselves to the detriment of our health and we’re silently or not so silently burning out.
Burning out of what?
Careers, relationships, parenting, commuting, health, cable news, politics & more. We numb ourselves to transformations staring us in the face right now requiring us to wake up and listen, to act locally, nationally and globally, that we do the exact opposite of what we should do, we keep doing what we always do. We numb.
To grow is to experience and acknowledge pain. To grow is to experience loss and find empathy. To grow is to be accountable, first to ourselves, then to one another, and to the world in which we live.
After that fantastic day where I sat almost all day on mid-Miami beach, I had the strangest thing happen when I left the beach. I returned to my room to find a Harry Potter wand on the bed. It seemed so out of context that I found myself staring at it for a few minutes and laughed. Aside from one Halloween where my daughter dressed up as Hermione Granger, accompanied by a friend who dressed as Harry Potter, and the delight they shared when they bumped into a Ron Weasley with real red hair, I hadn’t thought about Wingardium Leviosa for years.
Housekeeping at the hotel found a Harry Potter wand somewhere in the corner of the room, under the bed perhaps, and thought it might be ours. After all, this was Florida; not Orlando, but close enough.
And then it hit me. Not literally, but figuratively.
What if this moment in time was about recreating my life story? What if picking up a magic wand right now and changing my narrative would be a catalyst to my next step, whatever that next step would be? If I had a real magic wand that could lift me higher, what would I manifest, what would I ask for, what would I change?
For me this magic wand represented many things — a change happening, a canvas in front of me to paint new and bright colors. This wand represented my next creative chapter as it’s unfolding.
But what if we all had a magic wand right now? How would we change the world? How would we lift ourselves higher? What next chapter would be yours, what would be ours?
The call to action, any call to action, starts with an idea. Any growth starts with a single step. If we’re going to make a dent in solving any of the intractable problems facing us as humans and our planet right now, we need to figure out how we’re each responsible in our own way to act.
We don’t need magic wands to help us to act.
We just need ourselves — all we have to do is grow, pick one thing and go.