On my recent trip to Cuba I experienced many wonderful things. The magic of the incredible blue ocean… the calm of the lapping clear waters over my sun kissed sandy toes on many a walk… The hot sun on my body and my soul all at once… The wonderful Cuban locals wearing their great big smiles and authentic hearts as they made our rooms fresh and clean daily…and fed our bellies way too much.
This was my definition of “relax”.
My travel bags were filled with whatever my heart desired to visit my relax. This is one of the many definitions of relax from our American perspective along with many other cultures and countries.
Now ask any Cuban local their perspective of relax and their answer would paint a very different picture.
The ocean / pool may call their name (if only to wash the sweat off their hardworking bodies) the long hours spent earning a living would leave mere hours a week for family first.
Their “relax” paints a very different picture.
The volume and variety of food served to me would never touch their plates in their homes. The same few pesos us vacation relax seekers pass on to the locals deemed extra change in our pockets translate to life in their pockets. The variety and choices of clothing, toiletry, jewelry, etc. packed in my suitcase would leave them breathless even if they held only second-hand, Walmart or dollar store finds.
The clothes chosen for this sun soaking vacation leaves much room for the sun to visit our bodies whereas the clothes of choice for the Cubans would cover almost every inch of their body to protect against the same sun we paid for in our quest for the relax.
Feeding and providing for their families is priority and the ultimate goal as they spend many exhausting hours working to give us our ultimate relax.
The amount of money I spent on a one-week relax would support one local for 5 years….
letting that sink in right now.
I believe as wonderful as my Cuban relax was with all its luxuries…. I believe our relax can be experienced in our hearts and minds wherever in this world we may be and going through whatever life has dealt us. The ultimate relax of the heart…the ultimate vacation… given only by the One who created us.
As I continued walking through this beautiful Cuban resort… touches and sometimes slaps of Hurricane Irma were still very evident and yet the Cuban smiles seemed to make it all but disappear in the moment.
Enjoying my daily stroll, I experienced such beauty and serenity as I faced the coral blue ocean soaking in all that my eyes and mind could gather. Yet with the turn of my head I was reminded of the devastation in places it will take years to rebuild, yet the Cubans are living in “the now”…
I believe we have much to learn in “living in the now.”
Our lives can be much like this.
The storms of life can leave much devastation in some areas of our lives from mere touches to slaps to complete devastation. The rebuild takes time but in the moment we can choose to face the “ocean”, and we all have an ocean in our lives… and focus on what is still good and lovely if just for a moment.
Today I challenge myself and invite you to get on board in opening the eyes of our hearts wider and wider in our quest for an ever growing prospective… in the moment.