I just returned home to Arizona from a beautiful trip to my home state of Maine. It was a trip booked for the sole reason of filling my soul. A week of pine trees, gardens, mountains, salty air, rural roads, family and friends was what my heart was craving, and boldly asking for. So, I listened to it. I allowed it to talk over all the reasons my head could come up with to not travel to Maine this year: vacation time, finances, work schedules, the potential for bigger trips in the future, practicality, lack of planning, etc. I put all of my limitations, excuses, and reasoning aside and booked the trip anyway.
Is it hard to hear your heart over thoughts running through your head?
Does intuition or reason guide your life?
Is it scary to listen to your heart, despite what your head tells you?
Has your heart ever let you down?
Has your head ever let you down?
Once I booked the trip, I had zero regrets, zero worries, and 100% peace of mind.
Heart for the win, again.
Along with beautiful memories, stunning photos, a Ziplock bag full of blueberries and a few scattered bug bites, I brought back with me a few reminders of what being a Mainer has taught me:
1. Enjoy the simple things in life.
Like filling up on wild blueberries on a mountain top, hearing rain drops on the roof, dipping your feet in ice cold water after a hike, and taking an evening walk on a quiet road. Pleasures in life don’t need to be complicated or extravagant. Recognize the little things that make you smile and give them space in your life.
2. Carry on traditions.
Maine is a state that has been around for a while, and the same goes for the people who live there. They take pride in the traditions that have been passed on through generations. Traditions carry a bit of the past into the present, they bring back memories, they are shared with love, and they remind us of where we came from. Traditions use the past to inspire the future.
3. Move slowly.
There is no need to rush or be hasty. Nothing is made better by multitasking. Focus on and enjoy the task at hand with purpose and presence whether it be reading, doing the dishes, or checking your email.
4. Real life is better than phone-filtered life.
The thing about most of Maine is that the cell service is pretty bad. Which means it’s challenging to check email or Facebook twenty-gazillion times a day. There is no point in sharing every second of your life in an artfully-arranged and filtered Instagram photo. You’re stuck experiencing life through the senses you were born with, which trust me, is SO much more satisfying than seeing it happen on a screen!
5. Be curious about and enjoy nature.
Mainers, the ones I know anyway, have a deep appreciation of the natural world that surrounds them. They talk about the weather (pretty much constantly), know not only the names of plants but whether or not they are edible, move with the seasons, and appreciate what surrounds them locally. You’d be hard pressed to find a yard without a vegetable garden, a family without a few hunters, and a child who hasn’t known the satisfaction of dirty bare feet. Even in urban areas, you’ll find locally grown produce and seasonal products. Mother nature is the world we live in, explore everything she has to offer!
6. Footwear can be cute AND practical.
Can I get a little more love for the Birkenstocks, please?! Changes in seasons and unpredictable weather mean flimsy footwear is unacceptable. Bring on the Bean Boots, Danskos, patterned wool socks, Merrils, Chacos, Timberlands, and the like… I think we’d all be a little happier with more comfortable feet.
7. Appreciate quality.
Realize and appreciate quality over quantity in your life. Be that relationships, time, love, people, or possessions, seek what stands the tests of time and of life.
Put as simply as Maine’s state slogan, “It’s the way life should be.”
Now, go listen to your heart and have a wicked good week.