Have you ever had a vacation, a time-out, which really changed everything for you?  Have you, so far in your life, experienced a dramatic change?  I am referring to a deep change, not a change in your favorite color or wardrobe style or painting your living areas different colors.  (-though colors can be highly transformative.)  Perhaps this title is a bit more than I intend to write about in a short article such as this. But I do intend to discuss, “all of the above,” however briefly here. 


Going on a vacation is usually a very necessary thing, here in the U.S.A., where “hard work” is often considered a life requirement for those not considered “bums” or “slackers.”  And hard work itself can indeed be transforming, that is if the work is something that your whole being wants and loves.  But with even those jobs, those vocations one truly loves, there are always those mundane tasks, also known as “chop wood, carry water,” in that wonderful book about it.  In our “modern western society” perhaps we of the middle class might want to refer to that as “do the dishes and vacuum the main living areas.”  And I am sure that can be altered to fit the lifestyle of our various different models here such as if you are married/in relationship, single, have children at home or all grown up, etc.  We all have our own versions of “chop wood, carry water,” or just a pattern we want to get away from and to stay in a lovely location, like the beach, the woods, etc. 


I can recall many inexpensive and not so inexpensive vacations that were a nice change in routine, at a lovely location such as beach, mountains, forest, etc.  And they were many times a nice restful change from the usual routines.  But that is pretty much the sum of it.  They were nothing more than that.


What about a vacation that changes your life?  (And I am referring to a change for the better here.)  This is of course is a holistic change: a body, mind and spirit change of transformation that stays with you so that you don’t go back to your old patterns of negativity.  Of course, as the famous and wonderful book has explained, we will always have some of the “chop wood, carry water,” as long as we remain in body.  (And perhaps it happens after we leave our bodies?)  Some of these “old patterns” I refer to are the patterns we would do well to leave behind and we can actually do that.  If they are patterns we have developed since our early childhoods, it will usually take quite an effort to change them, to transform them into a new way. 


It has been discovered that it is easier and more successfully accomplished to transform ingrained behaviors (such as bad patterns we want to stop doing as quit smoking, eating too much or the wrong kinds of foods, being negative, being mean to others, etc.) than to try to just stop doing them. (“Just say no” approach does not work for hardcore addictive patterns.)  We are indeed in body, and by our own choice according to many great mystics, in order to transform ourselves into a better self.  We have reincarnated just to do this. (Many religions and mystical people think we have a spirit or soul which are immortal, a body which is mortal, and have a choice to return or reincarnate into body to change ourselves and/or to do good things in the material world. There is of course, much more to this.) 


And thus by transforming an unwanted behavior such as overeating into a behavior of only wanting to eat to nourish the body, takes some work initially.  Yet it is possible.  A “transformative vacation” can accomplish just such a thing.  This “vacation” can mean anything.  It can mean going to the Rothbury Music Festival (as Vince and I just did), going to a special beautiful vacation, or just staying home, staying right where you are and accomplishing the whole thing! (-even if you live in a small apartment.)   Is it all in your mind?  No it is all in your body, mind and soul!  That is what I say.  You do this by learning to listen to the yearnings of your soul.  Denial of fun and the things you want, create yearnings which can turn into deep cravings in your soul.   When it is time to do necessary, daily work, you must do it but tell yourself, your “whole” self that you will make time to do the things your whole self wants to do after the work is completed.  But then you must take that time to do it and allow yourself to do those things.  If you don’t, you lose integrity with yourself. 


And when you do those things, you take that transformation– vacation, the journey of transformation, which is truly the journey of life you have come into your body to do.  You will feel then what true happiness is. This is the true feeling of bliss we all crave.


And so what is it that you must change?  Is it a body that needs to lose weight?  Do you want to stop being so negative?  Are you negative with just yourself?  Or are you mean to others as well?  When you learn to be kind to yourself and others, you will begin to learn what happiness is. 



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