Josh Schwarzbaum, MD, MBA

Not too long ago I was on a wellness getaway with my wife. We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Cyprus in the nature of the forest. 

On the last night there, we attended an event where each guest was given the opportunity to share something that they were going to take away from the place.

People talked about how they wanted to take the calm they experienced, the quietness, and the connectedness that they felt.

It did feel like a magical experience but something just didn’t sit right for me. If we could have this magical experience here, why couldn’t we also have it at home? I’m the same person in Cyprus and in the US. What happened to allow all of us to find something new?

I realized that it wasn’t actually the place that ultimately caused the experience we had. It helped pave the way for it but in the end, we let our ideas, our beliefs, and our previous thinking go. When we did, we allowed something new to come in. 

On the day that we were leaving, as we passed through border control the agent noticed my passport and was excited to share that for a period of time he lived in Long Island, NY before coming back to Cyprus. I told him Cyprus is a beautiful country and asked how he liked it, and he told me he preferred Long island. I was a little surprised to hear that because I found such beauty there, but then I realized that it makes perfect sense.

For me, Cyprus was something new, something exciting, and something different. For him, despite the beauty, it was routine. I realized that this is something that happens to all of us. We could be sitting in the most beautiful place on earth, but if we’re there for long enough, we may stop recognizing its beauty.

It’s like the excitement we have when finding a new love. We’re head over heels and then something changes. The initial excitement doesn’t last forever. It comes from something new, letting go of our normal routines and finding something that we haven’t seen before. 

As I got on the plane to go home, I found the answer within myself, the place that could help facilitate a change from within. That is what I will take from this trip. The knowledge that letting go of what I’m holding on to allows me to find something new.

I can’t fill up what is already full, but if I pour something out, whether at home or elsewhere, something new can enter. Once I do, I’ve created a space no matter where I am or what I’ve been through.

While I can leave my problems at home the real question is if I will come back to them? It’s easy to say if x, y, and z were different I would feel better but is that really the case? Can I feel good with what I have now? Even the beauty of Cyprus becomes less appealing over time. 

Like love, it’s finding something deeper than the initial excitement. The stability that lies underneath. The foundation that can be built upon and the knowledge that with letting go of a current thought pattern or belief system circumstances can change right in front of our eyes. The old can seem new and it is there I can find a good feeling whether at home or somewhere I’ve never been before. 

Dr. Josh Schwarzbaum is a triple board certified physician in emergency medicine, addiction medicine, and emergency medical services. He consults for organizations and coaches individuals helping them find their natural resilience and peace of mind no matter what life brings their way.

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