On my West Mountain, early morning. Photo by Sone.
Hola gorgeous Goddesses!
Last week, I took off a week from work. I’ve been exhausted from crazy busy-ness in my business over the last few months, and I’d reached that yuck-yuck-yuck place of burnout. I’ve been feeling emotionally drawn it and physically bombed – like I didn’t have any juice left. I’d just finished the Creative Goddess eCourse, I knew I had to make as a space for me to retreat and heal and come back into a cave for a while.
Taking this last week off to rest, heal, recuperate, and return home to myself has been kinda necessary. I had extra leave at work so I could take a week off – even if I couldn’t get a week off, I would have either taken a couple of days of holidays or designated a whole weekend as a retreat. Just knowing that I had this time to drop the ball for a while has been really, really good. I’d been ignoring what I needed for a few months and holding my ball so so tight, and it was starting to hurt. It was time to listen, to have some space to do nothing and be nothing – to just listen and give to myself and my own sweet soul.
Preparing for my retreat
I chose not to go away anywhere for my retreat. I didn’t want to travel, I didn’t need to be anywhere else. I just needed to come home to me. I needed a safe place for me to do that. I needed to get dive-bomb-licked by the puppies, to walk outside in my garden and make herbal potions from it, and to have my love come home to me everyday. So the retreat centre I so deeply needed was right here – my home.
Before my week off, I cleaned up my studio to make it zennishly clean – I cleared out the parts that made me feel overwhelmed. Packed away a lot of things. Cleared out the section of my bookcase that I use as a messy, chaotic To Do list. Put down a beanbag by the window. And it feels really beautiful. My studio – and my bed – became my retreat epicentres.
I didn’t have expectations of my retreat. Just for it to be space. To listen. And breathe. And do whatever I felt like in that moment.
What my retreat ended up looking like
Every morning, I lolled in bed reading every morning for an hour or two. I watched as much or as little tv as I want. I wrote when I wanted to write. I let myself feel whatever came up – shittiness, anger, pain, joy, or sometimes – a little boat of floating gently along. I made healing herbal poultices for myself in the afternoon. Sometimes I meditated. Sometimes I couldn’t be assed. I did nothing much, and everything I wanted. The main focus became this: No Obligation. No Have Tos. No Shoulds. Just Being.
About half way through the retreat, I woke up with a little feeling of hope inside me. Like a tiny little trickle of my juice had come back. I’m felt so very, very glad for that. And I just stayed in that place of Where-I’m-At without pushing or pulling away from it. I wasn’t trying to feel better – and I’m still not. I’m just sitting with the pain, exhaustion and overwhelmness when it comes up. Feeling it, and asking it what it needs. And finding my way home to myself.
So that’s been my retreat. Perfect in a What-Leonie-Needs-Now kind of way.
F U N
I heart some fun time. To finish out my retreat, my dear friend Sone came to visit. (Who, incidentally, has finally heeded my pleas & created her own design company – Scooter Girl Designs. Mother-of-the-Goddess she’s amazing. Hire her before she gets booked out!) My love adores her, Charlie is in besotted soulmate love with her, and she met our darling Angel. (Angel says HIIIII! everyone. She just came in, licked my toes, inspected my keyboard, shredded some collage paper from one of my boxes, then miandered back out. hee hee!)
We ended up doing what we do best. Having miracles and adventures and fun times and silliness and gentleness. Hello mass beading sessions, painting our year’s vision, being stalked by purple dancing lepracauns, magically ending up at an equinox festival, eating cupcakes & raw food delights, being absconded by drunk witches, accidentally ending up in a flute meditation with a shaman, visiting beautiful bookstores, playing in the tunnels of a stone kids castle, singing and dancing on a mass stage to each other, cuddling puppies, making spontaneous visits to our friend’s farm, sitting in the tipi, playing with a tribe of horsies, having the kettle on constant boil for our tea, silly Wii competitions, pulling oracle cards and, as always, just being, talking, sharing, giggling, adventuring, loving. Just the five of us. Me, Sone, Chrissy, Charlie, Angel. It’s all so very, very good. The perfect healing blend of FUN ever.
Continuing the Retreat
So now I want to take that feeling of retreat with me into my everyday life. I do it in small ways – I listen to meditation tapes most days. I take steps quietly and gently. I say no to stuff. I watch how much energy I’ve got, and decide really carefully how much I want to give out. I wear the beads me & Sone made together. I wear a shawl cause I kinda feel monk-ish in a shawl.
And I give myself what I need.
And I think that’s the big one. That’s all I needed to do.
Give myself what I need.
And this weekend?
This weekend is going to be a blast. Because our darling Sone decided one weekend wasn’t enough, and is coming back for Round Two. And the icing on the cupcake is this: My amma-mama is coming. My two favourite Taureans will meet at last! And some time with my mama will be just divine. It’s time to be held.
Passing the Talking Stick
As always, feel free to hold the talking stick and share in the Comments Circle. You can share about your journey, or answer any of these:
What do you need to give yourself?
Can you create a space of retreat for you?
How many stars are there in the sky?
If you were going to make a big basket of your favourite things to take with you on your retreat, what would you take?
Big love, retreats & kindness,