How do we get the most out of our “transformational” trips and vacations? Use a conducive state of mind that naturally arises with a change of scenery, contact with nature or unique experiences. How do we combine the enjoyment of a great vacation and a long-term impact of internal changes it can help achieve, make them really stick?
The window of a long-term opportunity
Organic emotional relief provided by travels is usually temporary, — it quickly wears off as soon as we return to our normal lives. The reason is causes of our undesired states of mind are still there, just dormant — until retriggered when we are back home. Unless we make the trip an integral part of an effective emotional education system.
An integral part of an effective system
Sporadic mindfulness, meditation or ayahuasca retreats rarely do miracles to our real-life emotional regulation abilities, sustainable happiness or “spirituality“. The effort is to be consistent with a holistic and well-understood transformation system. Applicable personal effectiveness of the system goes without saying (and usually correlates negatively with the exoticism of the instrument ).
A reference state of mind
Even without any targeted effort, in the absence of our ordinary life stressors, a peaceful and balanced state of mind arises. Maybe slightly skewed towards a positive/euphoric side, but still much less emotionally obscured. We can remember this state and revert to it later. The feeling of harmony, contentment (if not happiness), resourcefulness, joy, and peace of mind. A helpful future benchmark to match our usual mental states against, and do something about them.
Improved effectiveness of emotional regulation instruments
The period of time when we have space we normally lack to address undesired emotional reactions and their causes. We are free (at least partially) from the generic emotional background skewing our normal perception. We are supported by a conducive location and time availability. We can make use of improved awareness, clarity of reasoning, ability to discern actual causes of our daily frustrations and deal with them. Make the most out of prescribed or selected practices: meditation, reflection, mindfulness, prayer, etc. Make positive changes stick.