I have a few more musings from my long weekend on retreat. Three days in nature, and simple supports like a bike and the river were part of the structures that held me. I like to do body work in retreat too, to balance the stillness with movement. Not heavy duty exercise because I want to be able to really listen to my body, and hear its wisdom, but enough movement to keep me in touch with the physical.
Being in silence and stillness, slowing down, I noticed my tiredness. So I’m grateful there’s no need for clocks. I go to bed at sundown and rise early when the sun streams in the windows. I also noticed how in retreat space my senses come alive. It poured one night, and I woke to the rain’s comforting sound on the metal roof and the scent of the parched earth receiving the much-needed moisture. Other nights, I was treated to varied and curious animal sounds coming from the woods off the veranda.
Walking to the river each day to swim, it was the colors of the multitude of wild flowers, the scents of the forest floor. The contrast of the warmth of the sun on my skin and then the coolness of the water woke me up. By the end of the three days I felt very “in my body’, sensuous and replenished by the proximity to nature, the deep rest, and being attuned to my inner rhythms.
Back from retreat, I carry this connection to my body with me. It makes it easier to keep commitments to health even as the pace picks up. “Keep the movement going,” my wise inner voice tells me and remembering my body likes light, simple meals. Retreat is a great re-set to what is important and what feels good.
I hope this sharing will encourage you to make space for retreat in your life. I lead and support others to make retreats, so part of my preparation for this work is to do my own self-directed retreats, which I’ve enjoyed now for about 30 years. Sure feels good.
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