I took some much-needed time to rest and rejuvenate this weekend. I left NYC for Lenox, Massachusetts, home of Tanglewood and wonderful summer concerts. But I wasn't going for that. I attended a women's conference about self-love instead. Since I teach that, I figured it would be good to be a student for a change. I was also looking forward to getting a massage and facial during the breaks.
On Saturday, I rose early, and was up at 5:30. I looked out my window and saw a mist on the lake. I decided not to go back to sleep. I love to swim and was looking forward to an early morning splash in the water. In order to get to the lake, I would have to take a path in the woods and walk for about a quarter of a mile.
Like Little Red Riding Hood, I was a little frightened of walking in the woods alone. My New Yorker instinct for survival kicked in. So, I asked the person at the reception desk how safe she thought it was and she advised it wouldn't be a problem.
I started out, walking briskly, crossed the road to the trail, but my fear accompanied me. I couldn't shake it. I practiced "mindful walking" to open my senses and focused on what was before me. I heard the sounds of the crow and smelled the aroma of the trees and fresh moss.
As I started to relax more, there seemed to be the sound of a flute in the distance. I thought I was dreaming. Who else would be up at 6 a.m. and at the lake? I kept walking and as I approached the small beach area, I felt like I was transported into another dimension. You could not see the lake -- it was totally engulfed in mist. Four people were getting into canoes. They took the paddles and, a few minutes later, they could not be seen. The music of the flute was their beacon. The man playing it looked like he was straight out of a Bruce Springsteen concert -- beard, long jacket and boots. There was another man doing Tai-Chi next to him. Who knew this would be going on at 6 a.m.? I happened into something extraordinary.
I walked into the water -- it was brisk, so I swam quickly to warm up. The sun began to rise and so did my spirit. My time there was extraordinary. If I had listened to my fear, I would have probably been in my bed having an internal conversation on what I "should be" doing. Can you relate? Instead, I experienced a magical moment.
The moral of my story (I am saying this as much for me as for you) is slow down and be open to the unexpected. We all need to recharge our batteries. Great things can happen when we give to ourselves.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.