A commentary by Susan Harrison, EXIT Realty’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
I recently accepted a challenge issued by EXIT Realty’s Founder and Chairman, Steve Morris, to travel to St. Lucia to unplug for four days at a hotel where the rooms are open to the elements. I had trepidations about both spending quiet time in my own mind and being outside, something that I don’t enjoy.
Surprisingly being exposed to the elements was the greater challenge for a reason I didn’t anticipate. During the evening of my first day I became covered in mosquito bites (more than 30 on my lower legs alone) and I was miserable for the rest of the trip as a result. The hotel staff did everything in its power to mitigate but it was difficult to control with my room being open to the outdoors.
Steve’s purpose for the challenge was to create an atmosphere where my mind could rest by removing distractions such as television, internet and telephones. The only technology I missed was the internet. I couldn’t have cheated even if I’d wanted to, however, since there was no connection available. By contrast, when I visited Dubai in March – a country where the internet is censored – my time online was drastically reduced but I was still able share my experiences by posting pictures on Facebook and checking my email (home and work). Staying connected for a few minutes each day didn’t detract from the experience, rather enhanced it. In St. Lucia I felt cut off.
People asked why I accepted the challenge and I replied that I knew Steve issued it with my best interest at heart and I also believed there were lessons to be learned. Those lessons appear to involve balance. Writing more and surfing less. Time of quiet introspection rather than continually squirreling from one thought to the next. Grounding with the things that are truly important to me.
I’m a writer and one of the things I write is a journal. I brought my journals dating all the way back to 2002 to St. Lucia and I found this entry from Friday, July 6, 2012, a time when my life was very different. Apparently the woman who wrote it was searching for much the same things and she seemed to be on the right track. I think it’s time to listen to her. Thank you, Steve, for the reminder.
Maybe it’s an opportunity for me to get closer to the Universe. Maybe instead of going over and over things in my mind ad nauseam I should let the Universe sort it out and tell me what I need to learn; goodness knows, I don’t know the answers. Maybe if I concentrate more on being a better person, everyone, including me, will be better off. My mind needs to be a calm port in the storm, not the cause of the storm. Every day, take a deep breath and remember to simply:
Act with the best of intentions.
Tell the truth.
Be true to yourself.
And finally, live separate from the chaos content in the energy of the Universe.