Since many of you take breaks from your everyday activities on vacation, I would like to explore the differences between a vacation and a retreat.
Vacations generally cater to our physical pleasure senses. Many people go on them for the purposes of sightseeing, dancing, drinking, sunbathing, swimming, shopping and— packing as much as we can into a short period of time. How many times have you returned from a vacation and said: “I need a vacation from my vacation”?
It’s so easy to get caught up in the material world, but occasionally it’s important to step back and give yourself a chance to pause, reflect, and heal.
Retreats and vacations have such different purposes and outcomes. When I refer to a retreat, I think of a place where you can spend time stepping back from the pressures and distractions of everyday life.
Retreats enable you to be quiet, unplug, relish the solitude, journal your thoughts, and most important, give you the chance to be in communion with yourself. By devoting time to strengthening the connection between your body, mind, and spirit, you’ll have a clearer perspective on how you live, as well as a more positive focus on the direction for the future.
As we all enjoy the barbeques and parties this summer, give yourself and your soul a few moments of your undivided attention. Stop and reflect on the individuals and situations in your life and how you feel about them. It’s a way of dealing with, releasing, and purging the things that have been consuming your vital soul energy and holding you back from living the life you want.
Even if you’re on vacation with the entire family, try to find a quiet, private place – somewhere you can start to strengthen your connection with your soul. Sit for a few minutes by yourself or take a walk by yourself on the beach or in the woods. Break away from the noise and confusion for as long as you’re able.
On your summer vacation or break, make an effort to also enjoy it as a mini-retreat. Give yourself a chance to be with your soul, nature, and to be in the now. It’s a great way of releasing those stored up tensions and irritations you may have been holding onto. More and more people are seeking answers and are looking for the tools to find their own inner self, but with our busy lifestyles and schedules, rarely do we take the time to notice the outer beauty that surrounds us.
When you stop for a moment without all the distractions, it can be quite cathartic as you filter out what’s working and what’s not. Just as we clear our physical spaces of clutter, the energetic fields that are a vital part of our well-being must be cleansed of disruptive energies and emotions. It’s a way of restoring the connection with yourself and your divine inner-wisdom.
John Holland is an internationally renowned psychic medium and teacher who lectures, demonstrates, and reads for private clients; and who has spent more than 20 years developing his abilities.