I was in the company of some amazingly wise women, ten of us sitting, walking, and in discourse for 3.5 days. The first 1.5 days was spent in silence which was truly profound. Profound in the sense that I recognized that I am a jumper when it comes to conversation; so absorbed in what to say next, not really giving someone the experience of being heard. Wow.
The theme of the retreat was sensitivity in relationship. A topic that can be spread in so many directions but the main focus was really creating the pause button in our lives so we can consciously listen and speak and practice true mindfulness, something that is missing most of the time from living life on autopilot.
A few powerful insights from my time in retreat:
- We are all doing the best we can with what we have, no matter what. Recognizing this and truly embracing it are two very different things but what remains true is that we don't know the other person's story until we really tune in, let go of our own crap, and listen. Out of this blooms lovingkindness and compassion.
- I am so loved. I really don't do the best job of recognizing daily how much love is around me. It pulses through every area of my life in terms of support from family and friends, great colleagues, and a partner who has my back and showers me with so much kindness and love. For that, I am grateful.
- It takes a breath. That's all. It takes less than a second to truly tune in and feel myself breathing and that can be the most powerful thing sometimes, especially as life happens all around me.
- I am a nature girl. I need more of it in my life. I do better with it, and not so well without it. Even if it means 10 minutes on the desk in the morning breathing in my pajamas or a walk after lunch to escape cubicleville, I gotta do it.
- I value my spiritual life but I don't need to force it on anybody else, especially my partner. Just because I love to meditate does not mean he has to. I use the car analogy: he likes fixing things, I don't. It's okay. Accept it.
It was fabulous and the insights keep on coming. I am so grateful to have had the experience and to be part of something so profound. Stay tuned.