Retreat ~ Reflect ~ Rediscover

Week One Review: “Meditating, journaling, eating well, and walking. That’s my focus this week.” That is what I said the day before Week One. My goal last week was to shift my focus onto practices I wanted to bring into my daily life – and that’s exactly what I did!

Day One started off great and I followed through with everything I had planned. On Tuesday, I woke up with a headache, felt some hot stinging anger (for what, I didn’t know) and received some upsetting news regarding a loved one.  Fortunately I have a very supportive boss and a flexible workload so I was able to do what needed to be done in the office and then head home to finish the day.

On Wednesday I still had the headache and I felt sick. I gave up caffeine back in the 80′s and I’m now quite sensitive to it. If I drink a couple of glasses of ice tea at dinner, I’ll be wide awake at 0100, wondering why my body is tired but I can’t sleep.  So I was very surprised to discover I was addicted to caffeine again.  I hadn’t had black tea in 2 or 3 mornings so I put two and two together.  Once I realized what was going on, I knew what I needed to do to take care of myself. I don’t respond well to bootcamp motivation. I decided to dive into a day of nurturing to give my body time to heal. I was well rewarded when I woke up on July 4th refreshed and detoxed.

I decided that Saturday would be a day of retreat – Opening the Lotus Within. The lotus is a symbol used in Buddhism. It has several meanings. In short, the lotus grows from mud, rising above to reveal a beautiful blossom (enlightenment). I was feeling a little “muddy” inside and needed to spend some time alone. I needed to go into retreat so I could dig around the mud and muck, find what was going on and remove any obstacles that were blocking my lotus from rising to the top.

I told my sister Susie what I was doing and posted on Facebook that I was going off the grid – turning off the phone, iPad, and computer.  No talking, Skyping, Emailing, Facebooking, or Texting. It was going to be a day of just me, my Self, and I. I was excited and had a few things in mind to structure my day.

Fortunately, I have a lot of tools to support me right here at home. I did some walking, some meditating, some journaling, and some reflection to discover that I was feeling unsure of myself at my day job and in my business, Spa de la Paz. I was second guessing my abilities and doubting relationships with myself and with others. I felt stuck creatively in the office and unable to articulate (or more to the point CONTROL) the type of work I want to do there. And while I’ve dedicated most of my life to my own healing and been encouraged by others to help others, until recently, I’ve been hesitant to move forward. I wasn’t sure I had what it takes to step out professionally – I was questioning some of my most basic beliefs and abilities. On top of all of that, this is the first week of an eleven week furlough and while I’ve created a manageable budget, a 24% net reduction in monthly pay stings. Basically, I felt out of control and  quickly realized I was experiencing second chakra issues.IMG_1053 Whenever I find myself looking at chakra issues, I turn to Caroline Myss’ Anatomy of Spirit. Caroline provides an excellent and in-depth understanding of the psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual implications of chakras. For a slightly different perspective, I like Sonia Choquette’s True Balance. I was amused with myself to discover I had put on an orange top (the color of the second chakra) that morning. Since I was questioning my work with Spa de la Paz, I also reviewed Diane Stein’s Essential Reiki. And since my intuition is what I was ultimately doubting, I watched Kathy Rose’s Activate Your Intuition. I also pulled from information I received while in the Inner Visions Personal Development Program. I only participated in six months of this two year program but I got a lot of information that I sometimes return to when identifying and working through specific issues.

Sometimes I find myself angry or confused or bewildered and I’m not sure why. I might feel like I’m swimming upstream and achieving my goals partially, but not getting all I feel I should. Life feels hard; like I’m climbing mountains. I’ve learned that when I feel that way, it’s time to retreat, identify and connect to my feelings, allow myself to feel those feelings, reflect upon why I feel that way – identify what triggered the emotional response in me, and then take the necessary steps to move forward. Sometimes that means I have forgiveness work to do – forgive myself or someone else. And sometimes it means I have to release a belief or perception that’s blocking me from seeing that I already have what I want. It almost always means I need to relax into the flow of life and rediscover the sweetness of allowing  Divine Grace to guide and protect me.

This journey that I’m on – my Ayurvedic Journey – is about taking myself to a deeper and more joyful level of life. The things I did this week – meditating, walking, journaling, etc -none of those are new to me. But this time I’m committed to developing consistent, daily, lifetime practices. If I’m going to do that, I’m going to come face-to-face with all the obstacles and barriers that have gotten in the way of past attempts. In the same way that dieting doesn’t work because dieting ends, the changes I am making won’t stick if I’m not willing to get to the root cause of my emotional eating, over spending, or laziness. This week wasn’t easy; I didn’t walk every single day, I had a number of sweets, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t completely go off the grid on Saturday. But I achieved a higher level of understanding about myself. I did take several long walks. I even released my denial about Paz getting fat IMG_1044and took us both on several long walks IMG_1046 .

Sweet 27 Cafe on Urbanspoon Meet 27 on UrbanspoonI visited two truly fabulous restaurants that serve vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free foods. I walked over to Meet 27 and Sweet 27 which are right next door to one another. I’ve been meaning to try them for a while now. I looked at both menus, couldn’t choose which place to eat, so I brought home take-away from both! IMG_1050 I’m taking the spicy coconut veggie soup to the office for lunch tomorrow and will finish off those veggie tacos too. Both restaurants are  amazing with a lot of variety and tasty goodness. This will be one of my new favorite places to eat (if I can avoid the sweets!). Walking home with this bounty of goodness last night, all I could think of is how much I love my new home, my neighborhood, and my life. I’m moving (literally) in the right direction and it feels great!

Week Two Intentions:

My morning routine will consist of  Aura Cleansing (described in Kathy’s videos), tongue scraping (an Ayurvedic practice that I’ve been consistent with for several months now), 30 minutes of meditation, 20-30 minutes of journaling, and stretching (yoga type movements).

My evening routine (beginning tonight) will consist of dry skin brushing with Gharshana gloves from Lifespa before I take a shower and abhyanga (Ayurvedic self massage) when I’m out of the shower, just before bed. I love & appreciate Dr Douillard – his approach to Ayurvedic healing and willingness to share his knowledge on Facebook and on his website. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about his products and services over the next few months. If you are at all interested in Ayurveda, I recommend you visit his website.

As for what I eat and movement, I’m sticking with the current plan – to walk every day for my meals at Breathe. I also bought some collards and salad fixings so I can get more greens into my day and I’ve promised Paz to get him out of the house more often. We’re expecting a lot of rain this week and if it’s not too stormy, I’ll put on the rain gear and go. Otherwise, I’ll use one of my Leslie Sansone Walk-in-the-livingroom DVDs. I’ve learned a Plan B in the exercise department is good for me!

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