the best retreat is within you

Did you have a vacation that you were excited about and got canceled? Do you look forward to weekends to escape from work-related whirlwinds and find some respite and relaxation? Or maybe you want to go on a trip once things get back in order again, or once you finish that major project, or _________. 

We all know how unpredictable and fickle life is, and how our own workaholic nature sometimes can interfere with our plans and our reserved leisure time. We put places and destinations in our wish list thinking that someday we will finally experience peace, tranquility and happiness. But how often do we actually find them? And even if we do attain them, those feelings are transient and difficult to capture once we’re in our chaotic normal life. 

Your vacations, your days off, your visits to exotic locations, your cruise trips, your outings in nature — these are not real retreats. Why seek retreats in future visits to faraway destinations, when you can find a retreat within you any time? All you have to do is tune out the world and look inward. 

Sit with your spine erect, close your eyes, and focus on your breath going in and out. Or play a guided meditation or some soothing music and detach from the outer world. Discover the calm within you by turning off the devices around you. Observe your thoughts, be a spectator to your inner cosmos. This will help you attain peace, tranquility and happiness. 

You don’t have to go anywhere, you can renew yourself right here right now. The best retreat is within you and you can access it whenever you want. 

Let your inner world be your refuge, no matter where you go or what you go through. Carve out some time every day to go within and experience the freedom and depth of your mind and your soul. Let the life force within you rejuvenate and renew you. Peace, quiet and serenity are always in your grasp.

As Marcus Aurelius wrote, “People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, or in the mountains. You are very much in the habit of yearning for those same things. But this is entirely the trait of a base person, when you can, at any moment, find such a retreat in yourself. For nowhere can you find a more peaceful and less busy retreat than in your own soul–especially if on close inspection it is filled with ease, which I say is nothing more than being well-ordered. Treat yourself often to this retreat and be renewed.”