Fresh Eyes – Value of Taking a Break

CRW_6998-300x200Seeing with Clear Eyes

I could also say seeing with fresh eyes,  or open eyes,  or appreciative eyes.  That's how it seems when we take a break from our routine, regular day-to-day activities. Distance provides a perspective that serves to clarify.  Exposed to new and different circumstances allows for expansion. Our curiosity is aroused to inquire, admire, question and value.

Without prior experiences or expectations, we are able contemplate and embrace greater diversity and possibilities not yet thought of. The benefits of such a shift in perspective is equally applicable to the importance of taking vacations, as it is to dealing with difficult situations at work or in the family.

Value of Taking a Break


I've just returned from a two week vacation in Tuscany, Italy, where the landscape is a textured tapestry of  verdant vineyards, silky grey olive groves, sunburnt fields stockpiled with hay bales, paddocks of sunflowers stretching tall and wide, remote stone farm houses surrounded by slender poplars,  walled townships with bell towers, forts and castles perched high on the hill tops all around.  It is pure sensory overload.

When traveling to new place (literally or metaphorically), do you surrender to the delight of new discoveries?  I do; and even if they jolt my sensitives, they are at best a new experience, or at worst an opportunity to revisit an old pattern, which to me is what life is about – embracing all experiences and deciding what sense to make of them.  I am reminded of:

“In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few.” – Shunryo Suzuki-Roshi

Experiencing new environments combined with the mindset of being open to possibilities, we expand and enrich ourselves to what is new and unfamiliar.  When we stick to what is what is known and comfortable, such as when we impose our modus operandi in a foreign context, it can lead to disagreement, frustration, annoyance, and disappointment. With a beginner's mind and an appreciative eye, our relationship with the world shifts:  we are opened to many possibilities;  we see in new ways,  we inquire from interest and curiosity;   we listen respectfully.

One practical reflection from my Tuscany break is to apply my awareness of a beginner's mind and an appreciative eye to developing greater tolerance of learning new technologies – when I get frustrated, I need to take a break and then come back with clear eyes. What are some of your personal insights about the value of taking a break?

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  • Daniel

    Taking a break is like breathing deeply, so the images, sounds and sensations get more vivid in your mind and you can see things by other perspective. Its to let your life flows and let things happens to you, so your experience will be enhanced. I already had so many nice experiences in breaks that changed my life in a better perspective! Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience!

    • Daniel
      How wonderful! I love your analogy of "Taking a break is like breathing deeply". Thank you so much for adding greater clarity to how we can create other perspectives, through fresh experiences.

  • Robert

    Having just returned from a 10 day family trip, I concur. To remove oneself from the daily routine and shift context resets our sense of self and the world.

  • Dear Robyn,

    Seeing with new eyes… Those them are Marcel Proust's potent words. Good choice Robyn. What I invite myself and others to do is to see with clear eyes, in our every day life. It's my experience and research documents what I am saying, that there are many ways, to keep restoring our clear eyes. Here are just a few: istay balanced with time for Being, don't just overload on your Doing, make time for brain-mind cleaning, and time for play and fun. Vacations are wonderful, necessary and importand and let's live that richness everyday.