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Even during time away, there are ways to nurture your heart.

FlagEvery year over the 4th of July, my extended family comes together at an aunt's lakeside cabin. I look forward to relaxing and having fun with cousins, aunts and uncs and my sister, who has come to hot-and-humid Minnesota from dry-and-blazing Colorado.

This year, as I try to stay cool and hydrated, I've made a short to-do list for my little getaway. Whether or not you celebrate Independence Day, I invite you try this strategy during this U.S. holiday week, during your next vacation or during any week.

Notice your gratitude.
Closely watch what's going on around you: Beautiful flowers wobbling in the breeze, children having a blast playing together, the sun shining "just so" through the leaves, the kindness of another person.

Pay attention to your heart.
Notice when you find yourself feeling pure happiness or truly laughing, and make note: What is it about this moment right now that is making your heart glow?

Make time for a few personal moments.
Carve out some quiet time during which you can reflect on what your heart is telling you: Record your gratitude with words or images. Write a few notes about what has made your happy during this time.

By consciously planning this short to-do list, I hope to sow the seeds for a deeper awareness of the simple joys I experience throughout my family’s time together. After all, just as quickly as this moment arrives, it is already past.

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you
so quickly you hardly catch it going.

Tennessee Williams

 

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