From Winter Boots to Flip-Flops and Back Again

February 22, 2015

There’s a saying in Ayurveda – “The mind loves change but the body needs routine.” The more I try to live an Ayurvedic lifestyle, the more I know this to be true.

I just returned from a ten day trip to Maui – a lifelong dream of mine which came true thanks to my energy healing teacher who planned a retreat there for a group of her students.

As much as I’d dreamed of Hawaii and craved being in serious Nature, my body was deep into hibernation mode here in cold, wintry Jersey City. I couldn’t believe how reluctant I was to come out of my cocoon. I didn’t dare say this to more than a few people who I knew would understand – I was already hearing enough envious comments about my trip.

But, of course, I knew how wonderful it would be. Not only would I be in paradise, but I would be in the loving company of this second family of mine who were coming from all corners of the world. So I anxiously (over)packed my bags, like only a Vata-type can do and hopped onto an 11 hour flight (the longest I’ve ever been on).

From Winter Boots to Flip-Flops and Back Again

Can I just take a moment to acknowledge how miraculous that last sentence is? For most of my adult life, I was TERRIFIED of flying. I would have lost five pounds just worrying about getting on the plane and have fortified myself with dramamine and anxiety medication.

Then I learned to meditate and one by one my anxieties and phobias melted away. I wanted to make note of this for those of you reading who might still be gripped by a fear of some sort.

It’s a whole lot easier enduring a long flight with a smorgasbord of free movies on the seat back in front of you (Thank you, United Airlines!).

I had an amazing trip. Birds and crashing ocean waves greeted me every morning after sleeping with the balcony door opened wide.

I stood under a waterfall and saw trees that took my breath away. I swam in the ocean and hiked to a hilltop where we watched wales breaching and playing in the water below.

TreeI was in photography heaven wherever I looked. This little pink beauty must be a tropical version of the fairy duster plant I saw in the Arizona desert.

Pink BeautyNo coat or boots or hat and gloves. The balmy, breezy weather was perfect.

Precious time was spent with my fellow students and teacher, learning more about myself and others as we all journey in this life together.

I laughed more than I have in a very long time. These friends with their incredible stories of pain and hardship know how to leave it all behind and be in the moment. Laughter really is the best medicine.

My Ayurvedic routine was knocked off course a bit – mostly from a food perspective. But I went with the flow and tried not to over think things. Nothing bad happened and I felt pretty darn good the whole time I was there. I was in Hawaii, after all!

That being said, there were a few basic principles that I followed that I think really helped me adjust to the time/weather changes. In short, I quickly found a new routine to stick to while I was there.

  • I got up relatively early rather than sleeping late, which always makes me feel groggy and a little lazy.
  • I kept up with my daily meditation which made a huge difference.
  • I was ever-vigilant as to the temperature – making sure I was dressed accordingly. Going from one climate to another can easily make us sick.
  • I made sure dinner was my smallest meal of the day and I tried to eat as early as possible.
  • I was in bed most nights by 9:00 or 10:00.

Of course, just as I’d not wanted to leave my cocoon, I didn’t want to leave Maui. I tend to dig in and feel at home somewhere and not want to move. But there was no question – I was headed back to Jersey City.

As everyone warned me, the jet lag is much worse coming back east. I marvel at people who can sleep sitting up on a plane. I didn’t sleep a wink and so I’m still recovering, but am quickly adjusting and slipping back into my cocoon as it’s freezing here!

I’m taking note of my list above.  Establishing a routine is one of the most challenging things for me but it has made such a difference in my daily life that it’s well worth the effort.

A little bit of Ayurvedic awareness (really, it’s just common sense) has helped make me a much better traveler. Each time I venture out things become a little easier and I get to check something/somewhere off of my bucket list. Gotta love the wisdom of this most ancient system which aptly means the knowledge of life.

Aloha! (I had to say that!)



  1. Love your article, it’s amazing, the photos are amazing, you’re amazing! Love you!

  2. wonderful article, as are they all ☺️

  3. I can so relate to all that you wrote, Barbara! I’m still trying to get over the jet lag — sleeping lots and trying to re-establish my routine! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Love your story about your trip Barbara. I enjoyed spending time with you and our fellow students. I was surprised how well I adjusted to being in Maui. Coming back home has been a different story and I find that I need more sleep since I arrived here in CT. I’m anxious for Spring to arrive.

    • Ellen, it was great spending more time with you this trip! Hope you can ease through Kapha Season this year. Strangely, I’m not yet ready for spring. I went right back into my cocoon where I will stay for another several weeks! It’s creativity time for me. xoxo

  5. Barbara, I love your wisdom here and I relate very much to your comments about the deep connections with both nature and our soul family in Maui and about it being so difficult to leave Hawaii as it holds a very special magic. Your pictures sucked me right back there, thank you.
    I really miss the daily alerts of whale sightings as I was in heaven watching their antics each day either from afar or from a boat ride.
    The highlight for me was spending quality time with you and our special group of heart based healers, warriors and all round beautiful souls. I look forward to seeing you all again in July/August where ever it may be. <3

    • Oh, Gael, it was so wonderful getting to spend so much time with you! Glad you got to come so far and spend time in Hawaii. You REALLY made the most of it! Looking forward already to our next adventure together! xoxo

  6. Another great article. Yes, wise advice, to adjust to the routine of a different environment and establish it early.
    And back to the cold East, yes, Barbara, but I must say that I find the snow makes it all so beautiful that I am really enjoying this winter! And it’s a real winter, not the fake ones we were having for a few years. Makes me feel like things are closer to normal.
    Welcome home!

  7. Loved reading about your retreat, I’m the exact same when it comes to flying and routine. I can really relate to that. Seems you have it down

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