Profound Thoughts From Vacation (on Technology, Food and the Spirit)

Ahhh… vacation!  It’s not only a time to relax and spend time with family and friends, it’s also an opportune time to become one with your own Spirit and commune with the Spirit World.

Sure, it wounds kinda hoaxy.  (Hey, Bob’s gone new age.  He’s been away from home for so long that he must have lost it. )

No, it’s completely true.  If you are moving too fast, whether it is physical (speeding along the interstate or whoofing down your lunch) or mental (too much time on your iPhone/Blackberry or obsessively planning) you never really get to be in touch with your own Spirit.

The best moments of this vacation were spending time laughing with friends, telling stories among family, floating along in the ocean, and for me, listening to the bullfrogs and crickets and looking up to the stars and our beautiful grandmother Moon in the sky at night.

I’ll never forget the words from our Mayan elder who married Deb and I back in May.  During the ceremony she said: “place yourself in the here and now.  Feel the earth beneath your feet and the sand beneath your toes.”

If you don’t stop, or if you’re always thinking ten steps ahead, you’ll never truly enjoy or fulfill what you are doing.  You’ll always be moving along to the next thing.

I’ve noticed that technology seems to be a significant barrier.  Yes, I’m guilty of it when it comes to using my smartphone.  Most days, usually when I’m on the government dime, I’m checking the thing 24/7.  You’ve all heard it before…  we’re more accessible than ever.  But technology didn’t make things easier for us, it just gave us a lot more work.  Work that we’re now taking home.  We even bring our work into our bedrooms at night.  When I’m not on it for work, I’m watching movies, reading books, playing games, all by the light of my magnificent Android tablet.

I really noticed it observing the children during our road trip.  Instead of talking and visiting as a family, or enjoying the stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains or the Atlantic Ocean, they’re texting, playing video games, Facebooking and on their headphones listening to music.  Our kids are being transported to Katy Perry’s vacation home or LMFAO’s back seat, instead of finding themselves a part of the world around them or a part of a great family adventure.

Although I am totally addicted, I’ll never truly understand the allure of fast food.  It must be the mindless calories, fat and deep-fried heaven that overtakes the common sense.

A couple of times during our holidays we stopped for the “quick bite”.  Through a Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s drive-thru, we occasionally picked up the odd breakfast sandwich or burgers and fries.  It comes out fast, goes in fast, then comes out fast again.  (Too much information, I know).  It tastes great, but is it truly enjoyable?  When a vacation-time family meal only lasts 10 minutes, there must be some kind of problem with that.

The answer, once again, lies in the Spirit.

The food that is provided to us by the Spirit World, through the abundance of our Mother Earth, is good and wholesome.  The food has a Spirit all to itself.  That food is sacred.

The potatoe, even though I’m not a fan, was grown in the soil within our Mother herself.  The not-so-sacred cow, although domesticated, gives up it’s life for us to live and grow.  From the cucumber that makes up the pickle, to the bright, red vine-grown tomato, to the cream and spices that make up the Big Mac sauce – at one point were wholesome, sacred foods.

When they are enjoyed in their raw, natural state these foods are decadent.  Even when they are cooked, by the hands of our wives, husbands, moms, mother-in-laws, friends and step-dads, the food is prepared with Love.

Unfortunately, nowadays, these plants and animals are grown using hormones and pesticides, then are sliced, diced and blended en masse.  The recipes are conceived in a laboratory and cooked in a factory.  The food is then re-assembled, flash-frozen, boxed and shipped.  Upon ordering, it is then fried, pressure-cooked, microwaved, and re-assembled.  Then, ultimately, passed from the fast-food window through your car window.

It’s not wonder there is little social, spiritual or nutritional value place on our food.  Endulging the quick bite is a long way from being in touch with the Spirit of sacred food.

The best anecdote of being in touch with the Spirit comes from our wedding adventure in Mexico.

One of our favorite pastimes in snorkeling.  While we were in Tulum, quite a few of our friends and family gathered at the beach and spent our time in the shallow pools snorkeling for critters.  We turned over rocks to observe the krill, shrimp, and tropical fish.  But it’s the small rock crabs are so fun to handle.

While I was skimming the surface, young Cayden joined me.  This happy-go-lucky, rambunctious 7 year-old paddled circles around me and splashed around, all the while we were looking for the elusive inch-long crustacean.  Finally, after all the sea-life abandoned our location, and without seeing anything for ten minutes or so, I took young Cayden ashore.

While cleaning our diving masks, I explained how our Spirits need to be in touch with the Spirits underwater.  We were entering their realm, and we need to silence our bodies and our minds in order to receive the gift of their presence.

When we returned, Cayden and I floated quietly and respectfully through the coral reef and rough bottom, finding the sea-life we were looking for.

When we quiet ourselves, and spend time “in the here and now”, we can truly observe this amazing world around us.

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