A Self Retreat

While there are many good reasons to travel the world, doing so to find peace or freedom is not one of them. It’s actually deeply unphilosophical. Peace of mind and freedom are things that come from within, so if you are running away from cognitive dissonance, you are actually running away from yourself. Unfortunately when you travel you have to bring yourself along for the journey.

There is a simpler and cheaper way to find peace of mind and freedom with this exercise. Regularly travel inside your mind, especially if you need peace of mind or freedom. Nowhere else is anyone as free as in their own mind. You can be different right here, right now. All you need is five to ten minutes a day to shut out the outside world and to look inside your own mind.

People seek retreats for themselves in the countryside by the seashore, in the hills, and you too have made it your habit to long for that above all else. But this is altogether unphilosophical, when it is possible for you to retreat into yourself whenever you please; for nowhere can one retreat into greater peace or freedom from care than within one’s own soul, especially when a person has such things within him that he merely has to look at them to recover from that moment perfect ease of mind (and by ease of mind I mean nothing other than having one’s mind in good order). So constantly grant yourself this retreat and so renew yourself; but keep within you concise and basic precepts that will be enough, at first encounter, to cleanse you from all distress and to send you back without discontent to the life to which you will return.” — Marcus Aurelius

Read our article for more stoic exercises you can do right now.