Sunday, January 11, 2015

Retreat as Self Care

Last weekend I went on a most amazing retreat as a way to begin the new year.  {If you hear that and you think a  group of people coming together and talking in circles and following a curriculum, it was not that kind of retreat.}

My retreat was just for me.  I travelled just an hour south of my house to Millersburg, Ohio.  It's the heart of Ohio's Amish Country.  The roads are twisty and winding, and cars share the roads with horses and buggies and bicycles.  {Even in the car I was filled with doubtful thoughts about spending money on myself, about being open and vulnerable, about my worthiness, etc.}

I arrived at True Nature.  This was my third visit there, and I never stop being amazed by the natural and simple beauty of the location and experience.  A week later I am still completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the hosts, Dave and Alana.  This is their home, and they just open up their life to guests.  There was yoga and massage and breema and nutritious whole foods, and gentle conversations.

And lots of alone time, where I created art and read and wrote down ideas in my notebook and thought and slept.  I also ate most meals alone.  That's part of the experience so that we can learn to slow down and be mindful.

I'm honestly surprised by how I continue to be sustained by that time.  I hit the ground running on Monday with a new schools schedule, a different parenting routine, a student teachers, and intentions for daily transforming my life.  That's a lot!  Period!  But it is working for me.  I am tired, but my spirit is still full!

If you are longing to be renewed I recommend a retreat.  Last year I took a day retreat for my birthday, and that was lovely.  But the extended time allowed me to slow down so much more.  My only regret is that I wished I had done more yoga!  I guess that will be next time!

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