This week I’ll take time from my daily life to spend three days at a meditation retreat. I’ll be leaving behind my spouse, children and grandchildren, as well as familiar routines that involve what I might be making for dinner or an early wake-up to ensure that I get to my exercise class on time.
For a person who tries to consistently practice mindfulness, this will still be a welcome break from the norm. Arriving at the new location, I’ll have an opportunity to do…nothing. It will provide me with a chance to simply “be.”
A Calming of the Mind
While my daily work does not take me to an office every day, it is still always on my mind. Being on a retreat will be an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, if even for a short time. I’ll be able to take a few deep breaths and know that nothing needs doing for this period of time. I’ll be able to focus on how I feel emotionally, spiritually, and physically. This is to be a time for me and me alone, with no expectations or deadlines to clutter my mind.
A Reminder of What I Hold Most Dear
Because a retreat takes you away from your customary environment, the experience will provide an opportunity to release the minutiae that has attached itself to me. Gone will be all the “shoulds” that have fastened themselves to my psyche and I look forward to being left with what is truly most important to me personally. One would think those most important aspects would always remain front and center in my mind, but the truth is that daily interactions muddle the picture. This will be a time to liberate myself from the expectations and desires that I have allowed to be placed on me.
Reconnect with Nature
Certainly the atmosphere of a retreat is determined partially by location, but this particular experience will allow me to be farther removed from the concrete and housing by which I am often surrounded. Ponds, forests, clear skies with a multitude of stars…this I look forward to experiencing.
Not to be Taken for Granted
Attending a retreat is a luxury, even if not experienced in luxurious surroundings. No, there will not be spas, massages, or lavishness galore, but I am well aware that not everyone has the opportunity to remove herself from daily life experiences to attend something such as this. So, I will appreciate each moment. I will be open to the possibilities, the learning, the people, and, hopefully, will return with a newer view of all that can be.
I’ll let you know how it goes!