I have a habit of getting very stressed when I’m about to go out of town. I get overwhelmed by the idea of what to pack, how much to take or not take, how will it all fit in the car, or can I pack light enough for a carry on. It doesn’t much matter: as much as I love to travel and get away, the time before I go can be exciting and stressful all at the same time.

So we’re going to the beach next week. I love the beach, even more than snow! And if you know me, you know I love snow. We are driving and we have a lot of stuff to pack in two cars. I have piles of towels and groceries and supplies and bottles of wine and champagne – we are celebrating several birthdays. And I will be with my entire family, small as we are. The seven of us have never gotten together like this, so it is indeed a joyous and special time that I’m very much looking forward to. And I have time to get the house ready for our cat sitter, and pack and we won’t be isolated, we can buy whatever we forget. So no reason for the stress, right?

Well in a perfect world, maybe. But we are in a human, imperfect world. We feel stressed, pressured, overwhelmed. At least, I do. So today, as I was not getting done all that I wanted to accomplish this before the trip, I thought, wait a minute. I can look at this differently. I want to enjoy the whole process of the preparation and getting ready and not ruin my enjoyment of this wonderful event. I want to feel the joy in both the run-up and the week itself.

In that moment of surrendering the old pattern, the familiar habit, in willing to be kind to my human self who feels tight and anxious, I let go. I let go into spaciousness. I felt the openness of possibilities and the unknown. I didn’t know what I would or wouldn’t get done, but I did know each day would pass, I would pack the cars, we would drive to the beach. I would drink in the feel and smell and sight of the ocean and enjoy my family and our time together.

In that moment, I felt my natural state of Love. And once again, all was well. I just needed to remember.