Monday, 31 August 2015

Retreat into Myself

I have just returned from one of the most unforgettable 48 hours of my life. It so happened that my family bought me a gift voucher for my 40th birthday so that I could go on some meditation classes or a retreat. It turns out, (and I am sure it was not by accident), that the voucher was just enough for a hills retreat. I participated in a silent retreat, no phones, no books, no strict schedules. We had a cooking workshop (obviously voluntary) with an Ajurvedic chef. So I ate beautiful vegetarian food and spent time with myself, walking, feeling.

I am not new to meditation, I have done it before, and enjoyed it. I attended many sessions at the Buddhist Centre in Adelaide. I have been interested in Eastern philosophies and have taken a lot of the teachings into my life over the years.

But like everything else, I forget to do it. I get caught up in the moment, the hurrying, the hustle and bustle. And who doesn't? One of the great things about it is that I realised that I have incorporated some of the teachings into my life automatically. I wash the dishes purposefully and with awareness. I have learned to stop and say; "Can I get back to you on that ?" when I am feeling tired, rather than the shotgun; "I should say yes because he or she wants me there". I have learned to some extent to nurture aspects of myself that do not just need FOOD.

By the same token, I am somewhat frustrated by the fact that things I thought I had covered to death, I need to revisit and re-explore with more maturity, and more experience, and more depth. It just doesn't stop, and I think that is where I have gone wrong. I have managed to get my fitness regime going and have realised that it cannot be a temporary thing, but neither is the growth and development of my soul or inner being. Especially when life is not static, and my relationships and physical space shift me, toss me, and sometimes gently coax me into action. If I listen. And that is the crux of it. To listen.

But not just hear it. I am not sure if I am the only one who does this, but sometimes I hear the inner child, or the need loudly ringing in my ear, or my bed beckons, or I am starving or need to pee; and I simply choose to ignore it because it's just too inconvenient or too hard right now! So listening takes patience. And sometimes you just have to make the decision that you will ignore it temporarily but will get back to it before it is too late and the whole situation makes you sick. COUGH COUGH COUGH..... she says as she crawls back from the inner alveoli of hell...

So what I am getting to here is this:

I have decided that Facebook is slightly poisonous. And I know that the media app polarises people like Tony Abbott does. But I guess I have always kept it going because I accumulate so many people in my life and would like to keep in touch with them, as much as I can. And that is not always possible.

I find it terribly sad that recently because I have been busier than ever, I have stopped calling people and making an effort to connect. I mean REALLY connect. NOT on facebook, but on the phone, face to face, over a coffee. And I am lonelier than ever sometimes. My core people continue to be in my life and those are the ones I will continue to have real connections with, in real life.

And this is a survival tool for me. I NEED real people in my life, not pixels. Obviously, for those who live overseas or interstate, I will continue to keep in touch. I think I will slowly withdraw from this format, though. I want real connections, real warmth, real touch, real meals, real laughter, real visits, real shared times, real relationships.

And if you want my number, just ask.

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