I spent the weekend at the Shanti Retreat Centre with a good friend. What an amazing place to relax and renew. This was planned months ago, but was exactly what I needed right now.
It was a retreat focused on yoga and chanting, both things I had never done before. I went to the first yoga class which started off with gentle stretches but then quickly switched to holding poses for minutes at a time which involved using muscles I did not know I had until they began to hurt.
After the one class, I decided that this was not the weekend to be trying to keep up with a group of people who had been doing yoga for years or to further distress my already tired body. So, I opted for long periods of meditation instead which was just what I needed.
I’ve been part of a mindfulness meditation group which started a couple of weeks ago. I’ve done meditation on an off for many years, but never made a commitment to do this on a regular basis and I’ve always preferred meditations that take me out of my body which is VERY different from mindful meditation.
I spent many hours this weekend just being in my body in meditation, doing dyad work with my friend, chatting, relaxing by the water and eating amazing food. It’s left me feeling so very calm in spite of the ongoing challenge of supporting a child who is so ill.
I had many insights this weekend. I became very aware of how much I have neglected the needs of my physical body for many years, to the point where doing a simple yoga pose was painful. And eating really healthy food reminded me of how I have been stuffing my self with crap instead of taking care of this body that is so important.
I also saw so clearly that I still tend to do what I think other people expect me to do instead of doing what is for my own highest good. I totally broke out of that mold for the past 2 days and listened to what my own needs were and made sure that they got met. And, I did this without being concerned about what other people might think or say about my preference to do my own thing rather than follow the schedule.
I also acknowledged that I am feeling so very tired, feeling so many painful emotions, and that supporting my daughter is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I saw both how vulnerable I am and how strong I really am. I really tuned into the depth of the love that I feel for my child and how willing I am to serve as a compassionate companion on her journey.
And with all of this, I find myself feeling so peaceful this evening, even after spending some time with my child who is in intense pain today. I feel such compassion for her suffering and love that is deeper than I’ve ever felt before. I feel so helpless and yet so sure that everything is in divine order.
Perhaps I am just still on the high that I tend to get after attending an uplifting retreat, but I know that staying in this place of calm renewal is something I can choose for myself and maintain by doing the things that I did for the past 2 days.
This whole experience with my child is changing me in many ways. I am seeing the real me emerging and I like this person that I am becoming. And it reminds me that through out my life, my greatest blessings have come out of my greatest times of challenge.