Global Resilience Solutions > Category:relaxation

How to Take a Vacation Now, Even if You “Can’t Get Away”

A vacation is vital for maintaining and building your personal resilience. It’s a chance not just to recharge your batteries, but to truly relax, gain perspective and re-centre yourself.  I can guess what you’re probably thinking…

“Yeah, that’s great… and I could probably take some time off work… but there’s no way we can afford the Caribbean, much less jetting off to Thailand!”

And you may be right. Whether it’s lack of time or lack of funds, maybe you can’t get away right now, or at least not for long. If that’s the case, don’t feel badly. A few years ago, I couldn’t manage a long vacation away various reasons, but that didn’t stop us from taking a “mini-vacation”, and it was super! Here’s what we did…

First, I cleared most items off my calendar for two weeks – no speaking, no consulting, just some routine business tasks and time to think about the future. Then I booked a day at a local spa called “Spa Nordik” (see the photo below), including massages for myself and my wife, as well as use of their amazing wet and dry saunas and hot and cold pools. 

Spa Nordik – two thumbs up!

Basically, this place is a paradise. It’s literally minutes away from the city, yet remote enough that you’re not conscious of the city’s hustle and bustle. 

Phase two of our plan was to do an overnight getaway at a local hotel, as well as taking in a movie and having dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant. So, although this was mostly a stay-at-home vacation, it really was a very relaxing holiday. 

Planning Your Own Stay-at-Home Vacation:

To do something similar for yourself, just follow the steps laid out below.  In fact, let’s assume a “worst case” scenario where you can’t get much if any time off work…

Step One: Arrange your affairs so you won’t have to make any big decisions or worry about anything for a two-week period. If there’s something really stressing you out that’s not going to go away, I would highly recommend using an energy-psychology method such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to manage your stress, and perhaps talking it through with a trusted friend or counselor in advance, so your vacation is as worry-free as possible. 

Step Two: Book a massage at a local spa. You’ll probably want a “relaxation massage” or something similar. Just make sure you don’t get some idiot who’s digging into your flesh as if you were at a sports medicine clinic. That happened to me once – my wife, who was getting a massage in the same room at the time, said later, “I was sure you were going to flatten him!” Well, I avoided bloodshed at the time, but the point is that you want your massage to relieve tension without causing you physical pain.

Step 3: Plan a healthy menu for your vacation. Many people think of vacation as a time to go binge drinking and discard all restraint. Of course, what we have in mind is a vacation that builds your resilience instead of depleting it.

Step 4: This step is optional but very much worth considering – watch the video below, where Feng Shui expert Elizabeth Chamberlain shows you how to transform one room of your house into the perfect stay-at-home vacation spot:

Step 5: Plan your light exercise and fresh air for the week – perhaps long walks, walks to places you don’t get to very often or a hike in the nearest wilderness area. Swimming comes highly recommended as a vacation exercise, especially in summer. 

There’s your blueprint. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about “resilience vacations”, why your body-mind organism desperately needs one and that you can take one very soon no matter what your financial or work situation. I look forward to your comments and to hearing about your vacation!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Between Force and Surrender

If you're not as effective in every area of life as you'd like to be, you might want to consider the 
You can react in one of two ways to pretty much everything in your life.  You can use FORCE 
(willpower) to control it, or you can SURRENDER to it.  Each has its place.  One of my clients 
brought this to my attention a few months ago.  I noticed she seemed unable to do such a 
simple thing as taking just 15-30 minutes each morning to "center" herself.   On the other hand, 
she was fighting furiously (and ineffectively) with her thoughts, with those parts of herself and her 
life she doesn't like.
In other words, she was choosing to SURRENDER to laziness (a terrible enemy you never want 
to surrender to, by the way).  And on the other hand, she was using brute FORCE to fight against 
her thoughts of inadequacy, fear, anxiety, loneliness and a host of others.
Like most of us, my client is in the habit of using FORCE and SURRENDER in exactly the wrong 
We need to FORCE ourselves to lead a powerful life,  rather than giving into to our tendency to 
just let ourselves go.  That takes determination.  It always has and it always will. 
And yet, we need to SURRENDER inwardly to the truth about where we're at NOW.  That means 
we stop RESISTING our neurotic tendencies - our fears, our poor self-image, our sharp edges 
and the rest.  Why?  Because only by seeing reality as it REALLY IS can we overcome those 
And we don't overcome them by FORCE, by repressing them.  That's what created most of them 
in the first place.  When we calmly stare our uncomfortable aspects in the face in a 
non-judgmental way, we find they begin to lose their hold on us.
There are lots of people who think RESILIENCE is about being tough.  And yes, there’s a place 
for that forceful “yang” approach.  It really is vital to building a deliberate, powerful and 
stress-free life.  However…
Equally important and often ignored is the judicious use of surrender, the “yin” approach, 
particularly on the more subtle emotional and spiritual levels... to the right things at the right 
moments, of course.  In fact, it’s the only way to become a fully functional human being.
Not surprisingly, the most effective tool for learning the proper way to surrender inwardly is the 
process of meditation.  Meditation puts you face to face with the very things you've been 
repressing for years or decades, yet gives you the space and comfort to "create space" for 
them and allow them to dissolve on their own.  New meditators are often astonished at how 
much emotional content they've been repressing and how neurotic it was making them.

If you're interested in learning more about the meditation process and how to transform every 
moment of your life into a meditation that builds your health and calms your thoughts and 
emotions, you can go to: 
The irony is, you'll never learn how to surrender to the REAL, to relax deeply into the essence of 
life and discover your true self, unless you know when to apply force.   Every authentic ancient 
tradition is built on this delicate balance between force and surrender.
Your friend in the "war for peace", 
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

The First Key to Inner Harmony, Health and Energy

As I was saying…

Over the next few days I’m going to show you exactly how I approach cultivating deeper levels of inner peace and harmony, based largely on the wisdom and actual practices of Authentic Ancient Traditions. There are several pieces to the puzzle, but I’ll give them to you one at a time.

As I said earlier this week, the purpose of all this is to take you to a level of internal harmony and equilibrium that surpasses what you experience every day (as if that would be hard!) and that probably exceeds anything you remember experiencing at all.

And, of course, it has a few wonderful side effects, like more robust health and immunity, more energy, greater control of your moods and emotions and lots more.

To learn about the first step in the process, keep reading…


The first thing is that you’re not going to find DEEP inner harmony or deep levels of relaxation until you connect with your breathing.

The first part of that is learning to breath properly, because if you’re habitually breathing high in your chest, you’re artificially creating low-level anxiety on an ongoing basis. It’s like having one foot on the accelerator while the other one’s on the brake.

So you need to return to natural breathing, the way kids breathe before they’re taught the wrong way to do it. That means that when you inhale, your lower abdomen should expand and when you exhale it should contract. If you notice your shoulders rising when you breathe, you’re definitely breathing into your chest, which over-stimulates your rational mind (that means it stirs up thoughts and emotions) and wastes lots of physical energy too.


1. Go find a place where you can sit with your back relatively straight. It doesn’t particularly matter if you’re sitting cross-legged in some form of meditative posture or if you’re on a chair.

2. Close your eyes and call to mind your mental image of inner harmony, the one we talked about last time.

3. Then practice the “Normal Abdominal Breathing” outlined above for a few minutes. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breathing. Just do your best to keep your mental attention on your breathing. When a thought says to you, “you’re not doing this right,” pay NO attention to it.

4. Repeat as often as you can during the day. You can even do it during corporate meetings (without closing your eyes, of course. No one will notice), while standing at the bus stop or when you’re taking a walk.

Remember to renew your decision to make cultivating increased levels of inner harmony your main objective for the next few days, __________. That’s indispensable.
Tomorrow we’ll talk more about the dramatic effects of the practice I’ve outlined above and I’ll show you how to take it to the next level.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

Disclaimer: This material is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition, nor to
replace the advice of qualified medical practitioners. You should not engage in any of the
exercises suggested here without consulting your physician, particularly if you have any
chronic medical issues or have reason to suspect these exercises could cause injury to you.