We’ve lived through the big day – the family reunions and the food and the cleanup – and now we feel the pull to reflection. What does it all mean?
Each of us will have a very unique response to this question. Some might quickly go to “It was a lot of work,” or “It was the same old same old,” or even “I’m not doing this again in this way.” Our expectations are so ratcheted up during holiday times that disappointment sometimes seems inevitable. We expect PERFECT from ourselves and others, and sometimes it is these expectations that stand in the way of a glorious experience of being in the moment and treasuring what is. We live in an advertisers’ swamp of bogus perfection that makes for very tough times for simply being; we don’t get a lot of permission from our culture to accept ourselves and others as our graciously and intelligently flawed, unique selves.
This Post-Feast Mini Retreat is about coming home, to the self, to peace, and to deep acceptance of what is.
A mini-retreat is a wonderful thing because it costs nothing but space and imagination to experience. Uninterrupted time in the bath, a walk alone in the natural world, or a half an hour of simply lying on the floor works beautifully. Some of you may already know the peaceful joy of assuming the Corpse Pose; others know how to lock the bathroom door and draw what I call a Goddess Bath; still others know how to move out into Nature to collect ourselves and quiet our minds.
This mini-retreat is all about getting in touch with your inner creator. Simply choose your mode of access – bathing, walking, or lying still. Normally I would include free dancing as one of the options and this works too if the dance takes on a slow rhythmic movement. Whatever activity we choose, we are creating space for a quiet contemplative mood in which to cultivating a gracious spacious response to the frenzy of the season. We in the Northern Hemisphere are in waning moon mode as we approach the new moon on December 2, the time of conscious emptiness and reflection on the new seeds we feel ready to plant that will grow and yield their surprises throughout the coming lunar cycle and the coming year. New Moons offer especially sacred time because when we attune to their energies we can unplug from the compulsive activities we are rewarded for and become more authentically connected with the Beings we are beneath our Sacred Doing.
So, having chosen our bath or our walk or our Pilates/Yoga mat, we tune into our hearts as if they are receiving a phone call we are making in the moment. “Hello, my Beautiful Heart,” we say softly. “Thank you for working so silently to support me during the last few days. I feel so very grateful for your loving persistence here in my chest. What might I give you that would make you hum with joy and gratitude?”
At this point we simply open to whatever comes in. Don’t be surprised by a long silence. Our magnificent, intelligent organs love to be honoured in this way and enjoy the space for reflection. Sometimes, of course, the answer comes in an instant. Whatever the answer is, provide it energetically. “I’d like a trip to a white sand beach in _________ ,” is a request we can instantly gratify by imagining ourselves on such a beach as we bathe, walk, dance, or lie still.
Prompted by the joy of these mini-retreats and refining my use of them, I have begun the habit of looking around my work space and asking my heart what it needs to feel enriched as I come up for air from a “project.” In the last few days I felt urged to bring a hand made frog that once belonged to my grandmother to my heart and just feel its energy. This frog is a playful one with an open-mouthed grin and wonderfully googly eyes. It is created out of pale brownish-grey clay and stares up at life as if to say, “Wow! Isn’t it something that we get to be here together in this amazing world?”
When I take Miss Froggy to my heart, I feel the love her creator attuned to as she shaped the frog, the love my grandmother responded to when she chose it from the potter, and the love she had for me when she passed it along to me for the next phase of its transformational journey. Whenever I pick up Miss Froggy, whatever negativity is in my field dissipates so speedily that I find myself smiling and feeling profoundly connected to Spirit, to Earth, and to all the Beings sharing this moment in Sacred Space.
When on our mini-retreats, we are able to look around our imaginations and find the joy that is waiting to fill our hearts. When our hearts are full to overflowing and our eyes are leaking joy, we can very gently send this wonder and love out to the world in whatever form our imaginations suggest. We are, in these moments of mini-retreat Being, wise beyond our education, loving beyond our experience, and powerful beyond our personal capabilities. In this heightened state it becomes effortless for us to use this Wisdom, this Love, and this Power to bless whatever issues our Feasting Celebration brings up for healing. Tapping in this state of Loving Being is an extraordinary experience that shifts in a twinkling whatever issues might stand in the way of our transformational intentions to love and nurture ourselves and others.
Happy Post-Feast Heart-Centred Mini Retreat. May your retreat time fill you and your world with Joy.
Until next week