I was away for the past two weeks in a beautiful spot in central Maine. My family and I rented a lakeside house in an exquisite spot that we return to, like migrating birds, each year. It is a place where trappings, wardrobe, and haute cuisine don’t matter. It is a place where your view is drawn back time and again to the breathtaking lake, the mountains in the distance, the sounds and sights of loons and eagles, and jumping fish. And there was no internet service, so we felt completely unplugged.
These two weeks were such a gift. We talked more. We played more games together. We swam and did water sports every day (rather than be shamed out of the 100% club–those that go in the water every day). We connected with each other and took time to ourselves as well to relax without pressure, schedules, and service. In short, without all the wonders of technology, we were able to recharge. The devices that we are accustomed to checking and reading drain us in ways we don’t even realize, leaving us feeling depleted, disconnected and unable to focus. The time without them on the lake was like a pouring in of nature’s energy.
Practicing yoga down by the water on the dock was among the many highlights of my time away. I found myself reflecting on Pantanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, and toward the end of our stay I specifically began reflecting on brahmacharya, the yama which calls us to use our energy correctly–it’s called “the right use of energy.” Rather than directing our energy outward to external desires, brahmacharya suggests we turn the energy inward, toward finding peace and happiness within ourselves. Being at the lake certainly made it easy, and I came home feeling rejuvenated.
As I begin a serious reentry into life (launching new classes, sending our son off to college, getting our other son set up into his sports and routines…..) my challenge is to keep this peace and tranquility with me, and to be parsimonious with how I spend this now full battery of mine.