This has been the topic around the 8 Limbs office the last few weeks. No, we aren’t talking about a retreat from taxes. Rather the ways that we, as busy human beings (or should we just say human doings?), can find refuge.
The pulls away from this are many. We live in a vibrant city with numerous activity options, amazing entertainment, and lots of wonderful people. We spend hours in front of our computers surfing the net (if only it was the ocean!), reading about our friends on Facebook (rather than hugging them), and, of course, working.
There are many ways of taking a retreat. You can take in a quiet art gallery, get on your yoga mat, or take a walk in the amazing green spaces in Seattle. My favorite nature spots in the city limits are close to our three studios: the Ravenna Park Ravine, the Arboretum, and Lincoln Park. While there is still a sense of city, one can really set the reset button deep in their woody bowels, especially on a rainy day.
Or you can literally retreat from the city. Our Teacher Training staff and recent graduates just returned from Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon, my all-time favorite place to take a personal retreat. Stripped from our usual daily distractions, and often stripped of all of our clothing (for the hot springs and sauna), we all got back to our true nature, bliss. It was amazing to watch everyone on the retreat drop our attachments, neuroses, fear, and hardness over the days we spent among the hot pools, moss, and old-growth trees.
For parents, finding space from the kids can be difficult. A few weekends ago, my husband and I took our first 2-night trip away from our lovely children. It was more amazing that I could have imagined. We holed up in a cabin at Moon Mountain Lodge with books and cards and spent two days watching the snow fall, reading, and walking in the woods. While I felt more connected to my husband, I also found a space of knowing myself that I hadn’t experienced in years. I wasn’t corralling, feeding, or attending to our sweet little people and I could listen my own needs, my own requests.
I recall studying with Sarah Powers for the first time. She brought to my attention this idea of taking personal retreats. I recall feeling regret, as at the time I had not attended to this need we all have to get space and reset the clock. This time when I see her it is on the heels of these two retreats, and I will be able to smile and say, yes, I have retreated.
Posted by: Anne Phyfe