“Wherever you go, there you are.”- Jon Kabat-Zinn (Quote taken from Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic)
Currently, (as I write this post in my journal), it is 4AM, and I am on a business trip to Puerto Rico. Though I am here for business and do not have much time for beach, sunshine and play, it is a retreat for me nonetheless. However, it is not a retreat due to location but rather my waking alone in my hotel room, reflecting in my journal, being present in this time of solace.
One then comes to question, “What does make a vacation a ‘retreat’ to most?” Perhaps we perceive a vacation to be somewhere where we have the opportunity to take a moment to reflect on our surroundings and appreciate the silence away from our ordinary every day. Well, the additional perk, at least for me right now, is being able to enjoy the view of the beach from my window and the heat of the sun, while my family in New Jersey has frigid weather and snow (Sorry, Mom).
But, then you come to realize, if that feeling is what truly makes a vacation a “retreat” from everyday life, we can create this every single day!
I never thought of my (ideal) 4AM wake-ups as a vacation, per se, but it is in a sense! It is a time away from the world, a time before the world can disrupt the flow of thought, a time where you can enjoy silence and appreciate the moment. In a bit, I will be taking a walk to the beach to sit and watch the sunrise.
Ahhhh. Although my current retreat in my hotel room is wonderful, meditating on the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand, and the warmth of the air is riveting. Sunrise is at 6:21AM, so I have about 2 hours.
I encourage you to find just a moment, even if it is those 5 minutes on the toilet, alone in the stall, to become present and embrace this as your 5 minute retreat. A vacation to the bathroom? Never thought the bathroom could be so glorious, right? Take a moment. For you. Enjoy.
UPDATE: 6AM Sunrise in Puerto Rico: (Follow @the4amhour on Instagram)