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The Lure of the Great Escape

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Leo Tolstoy wrote the following in Family Happiness: “A quiet, secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”

What is your idea of happiness? Or differently, what if your life was a story? Is it currently something you would want to read? If not, perhaps it would be wise to start a new chapter.

In many cultures, the dominant belief is that you are born, and then, some years later, hopefully many, you die, never to live again. Blunt or not, if that belief proves to be true, it is important to remember that between birth and death you can do anything you want.

One day quite some time ago, Nigel Marsh spoke these words: “There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

It is mired in this type of existence—seemingly defeated, trapped and helpless—that so many people find themselves. And it is from that always-present feeling of dread that the idea of The Great Escape emerges.

You don’t necessarily want to escape because you are in danger of any sort; no, more likely, you want to escape because you are frustrated with your current life situation—not because you don’t have options, not because you’re seeking your life purpose, but because you feel a longing, a pull.

You are not necessarily running from an overbearing boss or futile job obligations.

You are not necessarily running from a daily routine highlighted by a two-hour commute.

You are not necessarily running from an unidentifiable emptiness rooted in your core.

You may not feel that you are running from anything at all; rather, you feel yourself running toward something.

Maybe you are simply running toward an easier, less stressful lifestyle.

Maybe you are running toward a fresh, pollution-free, morning breeze through your window.

Maybe you are running toward a zero crime rate.

Maybe you are running toward healthy and clean, mineral-rich, spring water.

Maybe you are running toward coconut trees, freshly caught seafoods, guyabano and malungay and other organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Maybe you are running toward the highest quality of life and an astonishing level of affordability you thought no longer existed.

Maybe you are running toward Mother Nature’s real pulsations of energy, her rhythms, evidenced in her chaotically orchestrated waves crashing on pristine ocean shores.

Maybe you are running toward the magic in life that you just know is there—somewhere—a magic that has for too long eluded you.

Maybe you have always been emotionally and dreamily running toward all of these things.

Maybe you have been running toward Tablas for many, many years and you are just now realizing it.

Maybe only now you are finally realizing you can also physically run toward these things—you already have the blue-print in your mind—you can begin to create a life you don’t need to dream about, a life you don’t need to escape.

The above life is waiting for you—it only needs you to grab it.

Take a moment to take a step back from your current life. Just take a moment. Take a deep breath. Take one honest moment and connect with yourself and think about what you truly want … right now.

Is the life you are currently living a life that snuggles up warmly with your soul? If it does not, what are you doing? Does the life that you are living bring you joy? If it does not, what are you doing?

Your idea of happiness may or may not perfectly align with Mr. Tolstoy’s; regardless, you are encouraged, right here, right now, to find your happiness—nothing is more important. Start the process. Engage.

Yes, it is sometimes scary.

Yes, it is sometimes difficult.

And, yes, it is almost certainly worthwhile.

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