Step off the treadmill

Leave everything behind you. Take time for yourself. Relax and unwind. Take a deep breath and simply live the present.

Time-outs are essential every now and then to avoid burnouts, a midlife crisis or even separations. Because there are moments in life when a retreat is the only option – away from the daily grind and hectic, creating distance from family and job, finding breathing space and discovering your own needs again. But taking some time-out does not oblige you to quit your job or travel around the world: only a few days or weeks away can work wonders.

On the path to yourself
Stress and hectic often characterise our daily lives. Walking a pilgrim trail provides the perfect balance. The expression «The journey is the goal» was never as fitting as when going on a pilgrimage. On the way you can consciously slow down and find your way back to your real self. The German comedian and presenter Hape Kerkeling made this choice several years ago. Following acute hearing loss and surgery he took time-out and went on a spiritual journey on the Camino de Santiago. Like him, hundreds of pilgrims from every confession, faith and ideology walk the path on a daily basis. They venture out on a journey that sometimes tests your physical and mental limits and nevertheless helps you to surpass yourself. A pilgrimage can be a spiritual journey, but does not have to be.

Silence is golden
Stress, traffic, communication or constant background music cause a noise level in our daily lives that can initially put a strain on our ears and later on our souls. There are only a few situations, for example in the deepest forest or at the top of the mountain, where we can really experience what the term silence means. This experience is an „insatiable“ need for a lot of people. A certain kind of silence can be found in the so-called monasteries of silence. As early as the middle ages the monk Bernhard from Trieste declared: „Only when we remove the noise, can the inner voice listen.“ Monasteries have always been places of silence. They provide time-out and spiritual respite to stress-burdened people seeking quiet. The seclusion in a monastery offers sanctuary from the hectic of everyday life, the constant flood of information and the pressure to perform. –>
–> No mobile, no small talk, no questions that have to be answered. Only oneself as conversation partner. It takes getting used to. But after a while you notice: If you don’t speak, you sensitise the five senses. True to the saying: „Talking is silver, silence is gold!“

The practice of yoga, meditation and breathing exercises quickly brings stress, suffered in the recent past, under control. A number of people travel to India with this in mind, to the birthplace of yoga and Ayurveda, to find their inner self. In 1968 The Beatles showed us how it’s done when they travelled to Rishikesh in the Ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh yogi, the creator of transcendental meditation, with an entourage of friends and followers to meditate there. Today people from all over the world still seek spiritual salvation in meditation, sacral songs, Ayurveda detoxification treatments and yoga practices. But be warned: Even if it sounds like a mini wellness break, it is no walk in the park. In particular in the Ashram you often have to walk a stony path to escape everyday life, leave stress behind you and ultimately gain new strength and find inner peace. The Beatles, who wanted to stay for three months, could not manage to maintain the strict regime of the Ashram. Ringo Star left after ten days, Paul McCartney stayed a month and John Lennon and George Harrison only managed half of the intended stay.

But whatever type of time-out you choose, the important thing is to find tranquillity. Because as soon as we begin to observe things from a distance they automatically become less important.




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