Redefining Retirement


By Annie Benjamin

Annie & her husband on vacation

After 6 months of retirement my husband and I went off on a two week trip to St John. We have gone every year for 8 years, and I wondered how not working would effect my need for and my enjoyment of time away from home. What I found surprised me:

I no longer felt a desperate need to “get away” and “slow down”. Instead it was as if I saw the beauty and serenity around me for the first time. I was truly AWAKE. And in the same manner I did not feel an overwhelming sense of loss and deprivation when we left. I had realized that peace within myself. It had always been there but I had not been able to listen to my soul.

This to me has been the most important result of my decision to follow my heart.  I loved spending those hours on St John snorkeling with my husband and staring at the sea, glass of wine in hand. But I didn’t need those experiences to feel happy and balanced.

For so many years I have heard my yoga teachers say that we are already perfect we just need to feel that. I always felt that this meant a sort of “out of body” experience something separate from my day to day existence. I now understand that it is just the opposite. Jack Kornfield in A Path with Heart states:

“A true spiritual path demands something more challenging what could be called an “in-the-body experience.”  We must connect to… our feelings, to our life just now, if we are to awaken.”

Be awake to the Beauty around you

I truly feel present in the way I live and how I feel and therefore don’t need an ABSENCE from my every day existence to feel at peace.

Vacation is now a pleasure not a necessity.

Enjoying life in St. John


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About the Author: Ann Benjamin is a 30 year veteran of ABC NEWS where she was the director for programs such as World News, Nightline, 20/20, and major special events. In the fall of 2010 she followed her heart and left that world to pursue her dream of teaching yoga. In July 2011 she was certified by Laughing Lotus NYC. She now divides her time between her passion for yoga and those media projects which she finds interesting and rewarding. Check out her website at

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