How good it is to feel like a tourist in a new city, attentive to everything around and eager to experiment with passion!
Hello! As a psychologist and yogi I have received constant feedback from my clients when working on a personal development process, and I have noticed that it is difficult to keep emotions calm, a correct posture or a mind centered on the present. Session after session people find answers, they feel better, they change some mental habits, but when they go back to the fast modern world they "return" to the automatic and routine way of feeling, competing, consuming and spending. They later come back saying "I needed another session". Even this sounds familiar if I look at my personal life. Have you felt this way?
A retreat changed my life
Here is my experience: I attended several group therapies of 12 and 24 hours, spread over a few days, where in a hotel or events hall you enter a dynamic never before experienced (therapy) and with a group of people you had never seen. But a retreat changed my life. Definitely see others up close, open your heart and see how hard it can be for someone to say words like "I'm afraid to be happy," "when I was a child I suffered," or simply "it's hard for me to accept me as I am", gave you a lot to think about. But even so you returned home, to the comfort zone (notice that we can even get used to toxic environments), where there is a role to play, where you can keep your expectations hidden and the euphoric "effect" of the therapy faded little by little.
Traveling is the best way to learn... "Traveling is the best way to learn" said my meditation master, Ven. Bhante Suhita Dharma-rest in peace, or in happiness reincarnate. If the mind constantly wanders, our way of fantasizing and not accepting reality harms us, and traveling allows you to live the present and experience it fully.
What does this mean? At a yoga/meditation retreat away from home, you allow yourself to think only about what happened that day and what new experiences you will give yourself the next day. A retreat (or yoga vacation) is the perfect opportunity to create a place where strangers from different countries become family. The practice of yoga radically changes the way we connect with others, because it changes the way we connect with ourselves.
I noticed that the beginners in practice were naturally supported by those more advanced, that kind of cooperation is extraordinary to witness. Going away physically from home allows the experience of leaving behind the talking and critical consciousness, and gives the opportunity to restore the part of the mind that "demands" results and makes our life more complicated.
Giving is better than receiving! Apart from the delicious food, the surrounding nature, the fine white beach, and all the nice people I met and who gave me daily hugs, my favorite lesson of the retreat was: giving is better than receiving and patience is a way to take action. Putting aside the egocentric question of competence and achievement, letting the flow of life lead me to make better and bigger decisions that benefit more people. Returning home—and to date—I have felt like a tourist of life, my suitcase is my body and when the trip is over, I will take the experiences and the love that I could give. Thanks for your attention!