It’s 11:30am on a Monday morning. I’ve been at my desk three hours trying to acclimate my body to the chair, the keyboard, the brightness of my screen.
“When did you get back from Hawaii?” my officemate asks.
“Our flight landed last night at 8:45pm,” my face scrunches as the words come out.
“Oh wow, you should have taken a day off to decompress!”
“More like recompress,” I think out loud.
And that’s exactly how vacation can feel sometimes - a cycle of compression and expansion and compression again. It took three days of thick Hawaii air just to start loosening up. By the end of our eight-day trip, I finally felt the Aloha steep into my bones.
I knew the transformation was complete when my husband and I went from cursing in traffic, “drive faster! Pick it up guys,” to joining my local brother-in-law hollering “slow down guys, what’s the big rush? This isn’t the H1.”
And as the cars slowed down, so did our heart rates.
Yes it’s the warm air and healing water that strips away all sense of stress, hurry, pushing. The diet of spicy ahi and brown rice does wonders for the system (and some Coronas don’t hurt). The bright wardrobe of dresses, tank tops and slippers (or flip-flops as we call them on the mainland) puts you in a state of endless summer that can’t be beat.
But it’s more than that. The true Aloha is a mindset. And that’s what I’m bringing home.
Fall has picked up quick - phones are ringing, emails are buzzing and social media is churning. There’s a fierce urgency in the city as if everyone suddenly realized they slept through the alarm. The vibe is energizing and inspiring, but it can also feel overwhelming.
It’s easy to get lost in the grind and forget the big picture. Sometimes we make promises to ourselves: if only I have 3 more networking lunches, 4 more blog posts, 10 more tweets this month. Goals start piling up faster than the “action required” messages of your inbox.
Goals are good. Busy is good. Ambition is beautiful. But losing connection to your heart? That’s no bueno. And that’s where I try to remember the Aloha just a day behind me.
It’s a deep trust that things will work out, that the business will come, the money will flow, the relationships will be there. It’s patience and generosity and openness to feeling good. It’s allowing things to unfold. It’s letting your heart take the lead.
After a week of decompressing, returning to the city can feel like descending 100 miles an hour in a tiny deep-sea submarine. It’s an adventure all right - an adventure under pressure. The movement, the noise, the energy, the stress over making ends meet. It’s all around us.
But even with the chilled wind and foggy skies, I try to close my eyes and put myself right back in that warm ocean hugging my skin like a million down feathers. Floating without effort as the sun dances on my face and saltwater supports my weight.
Part of running a business is pushing through challenges and making it happen. And part of running a business is leaning back, opening up your heart and trusting that you’re on the right track. That you’re showing up. That your talents are valuable. That good things are on the way.
And trusting that there’s a whole lot of Aloha to go around.