My sister just returned from Costa Rica and came back a new woman. She had an inner glow and a feeling of being much more grounded than I usually experience her to be.

This was interesting because usually travel involves so much vata imbalance. The irregular routine, new people, new places, not staying at home, and even flying in the air are all powerful vata inputs.

This is why it’s not uncommon for people to come away with constipation, insomnia, dry skin, and other signs of vata imbalance after travel.

We had a long talk about the vacation and the essence of her experience was one of shedding all of her usual ways of approaching things and listening to her inner voice.

She let go of control and went with the flow. Their all-inclusive stay meant she didn’t have any pressure to make decisions (where do we eat, can I afford another mojito, etc). Once free from her natural tendency to control and calculate and evaluate everything, she was able to hear her spirit more clearly.

In other words, she started making decisions more based on her heart than her mind. “Go sit by the pool to watch the sunrise, ” it said. And she did. “Stop worrying about your friend talking with a random guy.” And she did, focusing instead on just enjoying herself.

When you are listening and acting based on your intuition, or inner guidance–this is one of the most powerful ways to stay connected, grounded, and in joy (increase kapha, decrease vata and decrease pitta). Your inner voice will always  lead you to choices that are energetically balancing for you (and then you don’t even have to calculate the VPK of choices).

One of the most powerful ways to decrease the mental noise and “tune in” to your inner GPS, is to go on vacation and free yourself up from your usual patterns of approaching, processing and responding to life.  But you have to do this consciously, as it’s easy to bring your usual way of approaching life on vacation with you.

When I say “the way you approach life,” I’m not talking about what you eat and whether you exercise. I’m talking about the way you make choices in life. The perspective you chose to make those decisions.

For example, if you are usually making choices from a fear or scarcity-based perspective, try to actively let that go and make decisions from a place of “I am well and well-supported.”  If you are used to being uber efficient and goal-oriented in your approach to life, try instead to just be, and take time to intentionally do nothing or slow down. If you are all over the place and pulled in many different directions in the course of a day, try focusing on one thing and cultivating a healthy routine while on vacation (that could be to wake up, give thanks, and walk on the beach).

Most importantly, create space. Space where nothing is planned or expected of you; where your decisions can ONLY be based on what you FEEL is best for you in that moment. This is what I believe was originally the healing magic of a restful vacation.

Guess what, you can do that without going anywhere.

Can you create a day of “vacation” in your life in the next two weeks?

…a day to just listen to what your being wants and to give it that.

Photo: Unsplash.com