Breathe Deeply

Breathe Deeply
Sometimes it is during our quietest moments we are able to reflect and learn the most about life and ourselves. When in our normal routines, the weeks and months seem to race by. Last week reminded me that when our pace of living slows down and we get away from our normal schedules, we are able to breathe deeply. Time seems to slow down allowing us to appreciate everything on a grander scale.

“Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along.” – Anonymous

Celebrating life & love

My husband, Noah, and I spent eight glorious days in Maui with his mom, Pam, and her best friend. We celebrated life and love in honor of Pam’s 60th birthday and the three-year wedding anniversary for me and Noah. The past two years have been quite challenging with my health issues. Our routine and desire to live adventurously has been altered. However, our love and determination to reach improved health for me and a lifestyle like we had in the beginning of 2013 has remained strong. Our bodies and souls needed this escape to “Paradise.”

Each day was gifted with rest, relaxation, time to reflect, and much needed rejuvenation. We could feel our inner batteries recharging as we watched the awe-inspiring sunsets, shooting stars, listened to the waves crashing and feeling the breeze in our hair. The magic and serenity of Maui is indescribable. I believe the aloha of the island touches each person in a different light. As my mind drifted off with each passing wave, I felt as though the ocean took back with it stress that my body has endured. I loved seeing sea turtles and stingrays on the shore where we stayed. We enjoyed a luau, submarine adventure, the aquarium, a lavender field, and learning about the culture of Hawaii and eating the delicious food. This was our second trip to Maui. It was a slower pace vacation due to my continual recovery from my back surgery, but it was perfect. Although I had to ice my back a lot, the view helped take my mind off of my pain.


“I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman

I strive to live the width of my life. I delight in and sincerely appreciate the simple pleasures of each day. It is easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we miss the messages and signs that are right in front of us. I found the following advice printed on bookmarks in Maui by Ilan Shamir that I felt compelled to share.

Advice from a SEA TURTLE
-Swim with the current.
-Be a good navigator.
-Stay calm under pressure.
-Be well traveled.
-Think long term.
-Age gracefully.
-Spend time at the beach.

Advice from the SUN
-Keep it light.
-Rise to the occasion.
-Look on the bright side.
-Set your sights high.
-Renew your energy.
-Keep a sunny disposition.
-Be brilliant.

Advice from a RAINBOW
-Live a colorful life.
-Be an inspiration.
-Bring unexpected joy.
-See beauty in life’s curves.
-Be someone to look up to.
-Live in the moment.
-Reflect your true nature.

Advice from the EARTH
-Be well rounded.
-Keep a positive atmosphere.
-Have a magnetic personality.
-Celebrate diversity.
-Think globally.
-Be good to your mother.
-There’s no place like home.

Arrival at Maui
Our hearts, minds and souls were re-energized by Maui’s beauty. Whether it is on vacation, a quiet place in our home, when we go to bed at night, or whenever compelled, we all need our own quiet time. No matter how busy your day is, I encourage you to take time to reflect and recharge your inner battery. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. You deserve it!



  1. Amy Dixon-Eggebroten

    The good times in life are sweeter! ‘Love the bookmark philosophies on life. 😉

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Amy,
      So glad you enjoyed the philosophies as well. They made me smile! 🙂

  2. Susan Adcock

    Dear Valen,

    So glad to hear about your time of reflection. It’s so rejuvenating to slow it down and just be in the moment. And how special to be surrounded by those you love and who love you.


    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you very much. It was wonderful. Amazing how once you return to your normal routine, that it feels like it has been awhile since you were away. I am so grateful for that time and the memories will live on forever. I hope you are doing well!


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