Sunday, September 19, 2010

Retreating Again and Again

A personal retreat is not meant to be done just once in a lifetime.
I am sitting in my suite at the Five Pines Lodge in Sisters, Oregon – in front of a fireplace after a long bath accompanied by a glass of complimentary cabernet sauvignon. I have no idea what the label is but the wine is rich and smooth. Want more details? Debussy is playing softly in the background and the French doors are open to let in the balmy air and sound of rain.
The accoutrements of this retreat are my computer for word processing, books, hiking boots and water bottle. Journal, snacks, camera and did I mention books?
Did I feel the teensiest bit of guilt when I walked in and saw how gorgeous the room was? Nope. I wanted a space to completely lap up luxury. Am I going to harangue myself for enjoying an hour of huge plasma tv watching instead of reading or writing? Of course not. Mindless TV watching is a treat that I hardly ever indulge.
Indulge. Now there is a good word to hold in my thoughts this weekend. Indulge my senses. Breathe in the head scent of sage and pine; listen to the rain fall softly and the pop of the fire; taste the rich berry undertones in the wine and feel the warm water against my skin.
I feel like a child in a candy store and I can't think of anything more wonderful then the fact that I have two more days to indulge myself – in nature and solitude.
A retreat is inhaling. Pulling everything around me inside. Gazing inward, filling my body and soul with life giving energy. When I leave here, I will start the exhale again – giving back to the world the very breath from my body. Of course the trick is to find the balance. One of my mentors says that it is figuring out the continual and ever evolving energy that goes into the I, the relationships that I have and how I am (or want to be) in service to the world. Today is about the "I" – a weekend of correcting what has been out of balance. Sometimes we have to overcorrect to align.
A personal retreat is a lovely way to realign my Self within my world and connections.

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