When things get hectic and we’re juggling too many things, artistic living—walking in beauty—gets harder. We need to take breaks, perhaps breaks with a friend with whom we enjoy juggling. Often simply remembering to take breaks is enough to motivate us to restore rhythm and balance.
But sometimes we find ourselves in a bottle-neck of obligations. This calls for a strategy that I call Survival Plus. We get rid of the things that we don’t really need to do, we see if we can be excused from some responsibilities that seem minor, make sure we’re sustaining ourselves with adequate nutrition, exercise, and rest; we become more efficient in getting done what we need to, and in the remaining essentials we go for it, holding our head high. We finish the marathon, not by falling across the finish line, but with our head and hands high.
Then we take the vacation. Even a significant change of pace will do. I remember volunteering with a group of about forty people and seeing several of them show spurts of growth. I noticed a pattern: preceding their growth spurt, they were working intensely for a month or more; and then their crunch time was over, and they could relax back into a normal routine. In some cases, they had a vacation. It was during that period of reduced intensity when the growth would manifest.
We all know the need of balance, but what about vacations? A research study concluded that three weeks after you have returned from your vacation, it’s as though you never went.
So how can we make our vacations last longer in their impact? We can use vacations to learn more of the art of living. The more we learn that art, the more we respond better to worldly challenges and so accumulate less stress.
My current growth goal is to attain an ideal of living which I call continuous communion. The presence of divine spirit within is constant. Even if our peak experiences don’t last very long, they reveal to us something of the truth of what is there, whether or not we are able to sustain our awareness of them: relation with God; value; meaning.
“The” goal of my philosophy of living is to help people to have times of living at their best more often, for longer durations, and improving in quality year by year.
I would be grateful if anyone might take the time to share a story of lessons learned during vacations—of whatever duration—lessons that have helped you in your normal or even intense times of activity.
You might like to take a look at the neat replies we got to my very first blogpost, “What’s it like when you’re living at your best?” http://anewphilosophyofliving.com/2014/02/
“Passing”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Passing.jpg#/media/File:Passing.jpg