"Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet." ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh was a Zen Master, global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize, calling him "an Apostle of peace and nonviolence." I first heard of him 22 years ago while visiting friends in San Francisco; I sought out the famous City Lights Bookstore, determined to buy a book that called out to me, knowing I'd imbue it with special meaning, coming from this literary landmark. The book that found me was The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh, who I'd never heard of before. It changed my life. It changed me. It's the book others have pulled from my bookshelf the most. It seems to find people who need it. On Friday, our Thay ("teacher" in Vietnamese) died, and millions feel strongly connected as we honor him, breathe deeply and mindfully, and realize his kindness and compassion lives on through all of us.
The reason I chose that quote of Thay's is because today is National Plan for Vacation Day! Traveling is the ultimate appreciation of living in the present moment, when each day can be a walking meditation, awash in fresh, new surroundings and fully aware of everything around you. (Maybe one day I'll write my own book - on Zen Travel!)
Taking a holiday is so important to avoid burnout. When I went to Tuscany in October, that trip was a bliss bomb reverberating through my soul; I needed that break so much. According to Destination Analysts (2021), more than four days (29% of their paid time off) was left on the table by Americans last year, and more than two-thirds (68%) of American workers feel burned out - with 13% reporting being extremely burned out. Yet 79% believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being. So why are so many people not using their vacation days? By the way, this is not just a pandemic type of statistic. The numbers always show Americans don't use all their vacation days each year, which is CRAZY to me.
If you're one of the people who don't use all your days off, PLEASE let me help you - especially on National Plan for Vacation Day!
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