"If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wish’d for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents".
Henry IV, Part One – Act I, Scene ii
To be authentic, we have to connect and be true through all our senses, physical, emotional, sensual, intellectual and environmental. Over reliance on any one centre of energy is unhealthy, results in disharmony and dis-ease. Connecting to the sacred requires a paradox of action and reflection, experience and meditation, physical exercise and stillness. It involves both zooming in and out, inside and outside our self till it no longer bears any resemblance and therefore not longer holds any power over us.
What Jim Collins and Jerry Poras in the classic book "Built to Last" beautifully refer to as "the genius of AND over the tyranny of OR".
This is why diaries and sanctuaries (such as this blog, this on-line cave I am sitting in right now) are so necessary. We need masterful moments to lift us out of our toxic states. We need sanctuaries bring us back down to earth into a terra firma, rooted in reality.
Holidays are the day we dedicate to return to being ‘whole’, to connect our mind, body, emotions and environment as one complete, connected being.
That is why vacations are often taken as a return to nature, to lie on the beach, swim in the powerful rhythms of the sea, trek in the woodland, visit the countryside or go up mountains to ski.
One of the key reasons why people do not want to go back to 'work' after a holidy is that they are stepping back into a place that is not whole, not full-filling, a space that is fragmented into inhuman, senselessly logical functions, disconnected from the sum totality of a true experience. People blame their bosses for creating unhealthy work environments, and yet we are all far more in control of our destiny that we might at first imagine.
For some people, vacations have become as much work to organize, run and complete as "the work" they are attempting to take a break from. A vacation in this sense is not a sanctuary, it is not about freedom but much more about running from the truth, burying the misery of their life at "work".
Some people use their trip to the temple, church, cinema, shopping mall, sports arena, pub, mosque, synagogue or other modern sanctuary to rediscover their wholeness. That is great, but what about making work iself an interuption?
Making work a whole-i-day does not mean spending more time at work than taking holidays, but rather that work should be something that engages people, helps them to realise their potential and find as much fulfilment as vacation time.
This does not mean work is the only thing people should live for and do, but the fact that most of us will spend more time "at work" than time with our loved ones, it is important to make that time fulfilling.
When i refer to work i don't just mean an occupation, being employed by someone to fuilfil taks and reach objectives. Work in this context includes both the work people people to do in their homes, work people do for or with an employer and the work we put into being healthy and preparing what to eat. These are all different types fo work, but the central principles of successful work apply to them all.
Holiday's are not brief snatches of 'life' pulled from the deathly fire of work, but an extension of our life in new spaces and places. Happy Christmas everyone!