Tag: Relaxation

Making the best of holidays

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. George Bernard Shaw

For those who are wondering why this blog has not been updated, let me clarify that I was on a holiday in Mysore and Waynad (Kerala). While it was a  well planned and refreshing break, I did occasionally feel guilty that I was not updating the blogs and in rare moments of boredom, did miss the fast pace of professional life. I thought it appropriate therefore to share my views on the above quote on holidays and put matters in perspective.

With very rare exceptions, almost every human being has at some point in time yearned to take a long holiday, preferably a perennial one. The idea of a holiday is often too simplistic and is often simply interpreted as ‘doing nothing’, ‘lazing around’ just relaxing’ or ‘doing just what I want’. Some of us could possibly have undergone a forced holiday due to a job loss or having to quit a job for reasons beyond ones control or forced into taking sick leave to recoup from some major illness but the stress that accompanies such holidays makes it a psychological torture. There could also be a miniscule lot who have taken voluntary retirement with no clear plans as to what to do next. The common thread in all these holidays is that ‘Time suddenly seems to weigh heavily’ on us and the uncertainty of how to while away ones time suddenly becomes an ominous dilemma.

A good holiday therefore should be one that is discerned, earned and planned. While some holidays could be thoroughly enjoyed when they are spontaneous and sudden, the real fun of a holiday is in selecting the right time of the holiday, the type of holiday sought and in ensuring that it is something that will bring pleasure, relaxation and a lingering pleasure. This is tricky especially if it is a family holiday for each member would have different expectations and ideas about the holiday. Discernment then is all about finding the right balance and consensus. Anyone with money can afford to simply splurge on holidays and possibly have a lifelong holiday. The reality is that hardly anyone does it because the real fun of a holiday is when we are convince we truly deserve a break, a change of scene and e do not feel guilty of taking off without having complete the expected chores expected of us. Holidays should elp one unwind, enable all who are holidaying to experience a different high and most of all help one soak in the moment, the pleasure and the leisure.

The kicker in any holiday is the fun of planning it out; the thrill of exploring possibilities, fitting it all in within a time and budget constraints and ensuring that we do not miss out on anything. While the intent is right, the reality is that the planning involves a lot of stress, fortunately most of it is positive stress, and it helps us connect with our human self through varied emotions of hope, frustration, joy, regret, confusion, frustration, and ecstasy when one puts it all together. More than anything else planning provides purpose and goals which keep us focused and provides us the carrot of motivation, the pleasure of anticipation, the wonder of experience and the thrill of achievement all of which adds up to make an enjoyable holiday.

If you just take of on a holiday and if that is a long drawn one, then after the initial euphoria of being a free bird is over, the lack of goals, the absence of a sense of purpose, the monotony of trying to battle with time and frustration of not achieving anything worthwhile will make life painful, boring and tortuous; something akin to hell on earth.

Remember: Every man who possibly can, should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not. William James

Try this:

  1. Make a list of the various types of holidays you would like to ideal take. A couple of ideas are given below for your ready reference
  • Visit the wildlife
  • Explore the mountain side/ valleys
  • Go trekking
  • Explore the wonders overseas
  • Go back packing/ cycling
  • Make a religious tour
  • Spend time with tribals
  1.  Analyze the last holiday you had and list our 3 good things and 3 things that you could have planned better. Now work on a 2 week holiday plan to be executed before the end of  May 2012.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Experiencing Peace

If you do not find peace in yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. Paula A. Bendry

Amidst the chaos and challenges of daily living there are opportunities galore for every individual to find a silent space within himself/ herself. The difficulty tho is that often this space is crammed with worries, fears, anxieties and confusion and squeezing in space for peace is exceptionally tough. When the stress and the struggles become overwhelming the craving for peace keeps growing and we are tempted to search for it in the pleasures of the world.  It could be in the form of  dance, music, movies, parties or it could be in the arms of the vices of the world like smoking, drinking, philandering  or in sadistic pleasures like ragging, terrorizing or brutalizing people. Ironically the peace we seek continues to elude us like the butterfly that can’t be caught if we keep chasing it.

Strange as it may sound, peace is calmness within you and no amount of loud music, pulsating sporting victories or extraordinary success can embrace you in its bosom as peace will. To experience peace one needs to give up; give up craving, give up passions, give up power and give up anxiety. In the real world we live in we are constantly being pushed by competition, egged on to aim for the number one spot and expected to be outstanding every single time you in the spotlight. The pressure of expectations, the comparison with peers and the lure of material success are a potent mix that intoxicates even the most rational being to believe that life is a rat race. Every waking hour is then spent chasing success and every moment of sleep generates a new dream of wealth, recognition and achievement. There is  no time to find that little space for peace.

If we look around we can see the beautiful smile on the faces of the little children, the innocence that transfigures their happiness into tranquility for us who watch them and the blissful peace on their face when they are asleep and we wonder if we will ever enjoy such harmony and ecstasy. If we ponder over the matter it will dawn on us that the children are sans any worries, tensions or pressure to succeed. They have nothing to ponder over nor anything to crave for. Peace is what we are born with and till logic and reason takes over and pushes that innocence into the background life will always be peaceful. The challenge then is to regain that peace by looking inside us for it has been only suppressed by the worldly demands and self centered interests. What is hidden within us can never be found anywhere else but inside us.

Notice how hard it is for us to suppress our thoughts and focus on nothingness. Experience the tranquility that accompanies us when we are in a meditative state. Peace is shedding our inhibitions and anxieties, embracing life with equanimity and being ecstatic for the joys of LIFE. All these you find within you and if you can’t then you can be sure you will be searching for it in vain.

Remember: “Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it”

Try these:

  1. Go for a week long course on meditation. The practice it as often as you can. Alternatively read up on meditation and attempt it on your own. The key is to reduce distraction in any form and to focus on nothingness. You experience peace when there is no conflict within you in mind body and spirit.
  2. When you can, give of yourself. This means that you have to spare your time and personally participate in any form of social activity preferably for the poor, the underprivileged, the disadvantaged etc. Initially you will experience feelings of sympathy, guilt, anger at the injustice and then you will realize that there is joy in sharing when you give of yourself. Give freely and in return take home peace in abundance.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com