I have just returned from a holiday sea cruise on the Dawn Princess, travelling around New Zealand.(yes I know, it’s a tough life but somebody has to do it). The slogan for the cruise was “escape completely”. How true it was – a great way to escape from the daily pressures and responsibilities of life.
It got me thinking. The word escape hasn’t changed in its meaning but it has changed in its use. The trials and tribulations of daily life have in many ways imprisoned us into leading a life based largely on meeting the demands and expectations of others. We yearn for any opportunity to escape, at least temporarily.
Escape to what? To being the person you really are, doing what you love, expressing yourself in your preferred way and generally just enjoying what comes naturally for you. It doesn’t always mean doing something restful or quiet -passionate interests rarely are. It can be physical, mental, active or passive. When you lose yourself in an interest you love, you find yourself. The real you comes to life in mind, body and spirit.
Rarely will others let you off the hook to escape their expectations of you. You have to do it yourself. The cruise offered me an escape – a physical, emotional, even spiritual escape. But the joy was not just in getting away from the stresses of daily life. The real joy was in the opportunity it gave me to breathe emotionally.
The breath of life defines something deeper than physically staying alive. The breath of life is nature’s resource that enables you to do what comes naturally to you, enabling your natural talents to blossom. Denial of that sort of opportunity to breathe will cause you to wither and die.
Today’s society doesn't let you breathe in this fashion all the time, but it is essential to allow yourself regular opportunities to breathe. You are unique in terms of what experiences enable you to escape to breathe. You find it in any passionate use of your natural talents, expressed in ways that create experiences in which you feel you are not just escaping. You are breathing the breath that truly gives you life, growth, health and deep satisfaction.
You don't need a cruise to do this, but it did help.