There are places in this world that just seem to resonate with us in ways we may not always be able to explain. These are the places that help us “find ourselves”. We usually refer to them as our “happy places”. They are the places that often “feel like home” to us in ways that nowhere else does. Time in those places help us to refocus, to remember what’s important in life, to reconnect with ourselves, and to relax. We can’t wait to be in these places, and we absolutely hate to leave them, doing so usually while kicking and screaming (either literally or at the very least mentally). We all have such a place. It may be a physical address or building, or it may be some place more general like a tropical island or the mountains, but either way, we all have such a place. Just pause for a moment, right now, close your eyes, and picture that place in your mind. Recall how it makes you feel. Just breathe it in for a moment. Allow those feelings to come back to you in this moment of reflection. It feels so good, doesn’t it?
For me, that special place is the beach. Any beach really, so long as it is warm. The feeling of the sand between my toes, the rhythmic sound of the ocean, the relaxing feel of the breeze on my face…these are some of the things about the beach that call to me. Time there helps me to refocus my life, to remember what’s most important, to reconnect with myself and my dreams, to relax, and to re-establish that sense of calm in my life which I appreciate so much.
It is in these places and at these times when life gets a bit clearer and we start to see the areas of our life that could use a little adjustment. We can sit back, away from the normal daily chaos in our lives, and reflect on things like:
- What about my life is working right now? What about it do I really like?
- What about my life is not working right now? What about it do I not like so much?
- What am I willing to commit to in order to have more of what is working in my life/less of what is not working in my life?
- How do I keep this clarity about my life when I go back?
- What can I do differently in my daily life to maintain this feeling?
Maintaining the feelings, the clarity, and/or the calm that you experience in your special place can be accomplished after you leave that place, though a conscious effort is needed on your part. Taking the time to ask the questions listed above is a great place to start, but that is only the beginning. You have to actively work to make the changes you committed to once you return home. You have to take the steps you identified when answering the 5 questions above in order to maintain the life you identified as desirable when you did that reflection. With practice and perseverance, living that way will become your new habit, but until then you have to become aware of the times when you slip back into your old habits and then work diligently to pull yourself out of them.
Reflection for the purpose of awareness is the first step. Taking consistent action is the second step. Together you can create a life anywhere that resembles the one you have when you are in your special place.