Bucks County Herald

Patricia Walsh-Collins: Shared Teachings


Meandering along the Wild Atlantic Way of the Irish coast, a sense of belonging arises within me. At ease in this spirited landscape, I invite myself into conversations within the village pubs, shops and filling stations that have become the cairns of my ancestral excursion.

With its Latin root of vacātiō, the word “vacation” is defined as “freedom from something.” I am confounded by this definition. Paradoxically, we feel the need to vacate and free ourselves from our daily lives. We shed the weight of our chosen lives, in order to extricate something that resides deep within us. We seek to touch and replenish our spirits. This begs the question, “Why are we not living lives that are aligned and feeding our spirits on a daily basis?”

I believe we take “vacations” as a means of returning home to the quiet, authentic essence that dwells within us. Removing ourselves and unwinding from obligations and expectations, we literally and metaphorically step into a new space and perspective, leading us to expand our experience. But so much more takes place.

When we vacate our unauthentic, fabricated, lives, we encourage our natural curiosity and kindness to emerge. We make room for calm and patience to replace worry and anxiety. We shift into gentleness and are less fearful. As our innate compassion is awakened, we feel on a deeper level.

In removing the routine and societal expectations, we beckon our inner desires and wisdom to come forth. As we slow time, and demands are vanquished, our genuine selves emerge from our home within. We are in resonance with our inner selves. Our inner life is in sync with our physical experience, which is why vacations feel so good. We are aligned.

Most of us spend the majority of our days living counterfeit lives that exile us from our true nature. You see the contradiction? It is ironically sad and absurd that we are compelled to take leave of the life we have chosen, temporarily granting ourselves permission to return to our true, authentic nature.

When we reside in a place of authenticity, we most certainly feel relaxed and restored. We often return from vacating our lives, vowing to adopt these newly mined attributes. In essence, we crave and desire to be the person that emerges when the outside pressure is removed. It is that simple. We crave alignment.

In our oxymoronic culture, we find it necessary to vacate our chosen, daily lives in order to live from our true, authentic natures. Why can’t we live there year round?

Can’t we find a way to stay home?

Patricia Walsh-Collins is a 39-year resident of Bucks County, with a 24-year career as a professional educator. She is creator and owner of Art of Spirit and Art of Spirit’s Earth School..


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