Written By: Dan Salcius | Glen Oaks Big Sur

Life Design With a Trip to Big Sur

A couple of months ago, we found ourselves cruising along California’s iconic highway 1 — just north of San Simeon and a tad south of Carmel, in the heart of “God’s Country.” Yes, we were in Big Sur.

With rolling pastures on one side of us and the seemingly endless Pacific Ocean glistening on the other, we didn’t do much talking. We didn’t have to. The words to describe how we were feeling; what our eyes were recording; what our brains were synthesizing; we couldn’t find them. They didn’t exist.

You see, our hearts were beating to a different tune, and our minds, well, our minds were lost. And boy did it feel good to be lost.

Carmel — the road into Big Sur

The three-day journey we embarked on after arriving in this land of endless tranquility provided more clarity than any answer a person had ever given us. It was the ultimate clinic on mindfulness.

Big Sur had transformed us into true designers. Not the ones you might see in a fashion magazine or HGTV show, but the ones out there exploring what it means to live well — With purpose, passion, and clarity — life designers.
McWay Falls — bike access only on this day

Big Sur helped open our minds and our hearts to the world, starting with the natural world. It helped us become true listeners. All of the problems that had been causing tension for the past year were being washed away like driftwood heading back to sea.

It was this special place that taught us how to design solutions to the problems harassing us as humans. The ones our digital devices reminded us of daily. It shed new meaning on the phrase: “No service, no problem.” This trip was everything we needed to put us back on our tracks. Somehow, it was everything we needed and the only thing we needed all in one.

Life design begins with “wayfinding”

What we learned was this: when life gets tough and you become stuck, you have to design yourself a way out. In other words, you need to begin crafting solutions to your problem(s).

Most often your environment is the catalyst for this type of thinking. It’s a mindset shift that’s needed in order to continue on. Nobody else can do it for you and no rabbit is going to pull a carrot out of a hat. It’s 100% in your hands. But once you find a way to solve one, the rest become second nature and you begin to understand something that not every person will come to terms with in life.

That is, the universe really does have your back — it’s setup that way. And more specifically, you set it up that way.

Big Sur is more of a mindset than it is a location.

McWay Falls lookut

A person can experience so many positive, surreal moments in Big Sur that they suddenly breakthrough the barriers confining them up until that very moment.

They enter a ‘flow’ that wasn’t attainable before, a mental state of operation where immersion, energy, and focus converge on the mind and body.

The immense beauty of the environment, the peace and quiet, the comfortable seclusion and the wild living things that roam free are all part of the transformational experience that Big Sur offers. It’s the most ‘real’ reality that a person can hope for. And when you discover it to be true, life changes forever. You become a designer. Now, go design something. Anything. Be the solution to your own problems.

Sunset over Big Sur, CA

So if you’re currently looking for answers and feel as though your dreams are too great to exist within the confines of reality, we insist that you consider a visit to this one-of-a-kind place. And when you do, we hope that you will think back to these images and say, “ Aha! I know that feeling.” Then go share it with someone else. Think of the effect you could create if they went on to do the same…

The Big Sur Life Design Model:

A limitless number of tools exists that can be used to design your life. And often, the discovery of new tools doesn’t happen until you step out of comfort zones and away from the norm, into the unknown. Big Sur is just the place for this.

Explore → Discover → Experience → Reflect

Big Sur life-design model

For more on this mindset or to share your life-design ideas, please respond to this post. We look forward to hearing from you.