Disconnect to Connect
After my recent Heart-Based Meditation Retreat in northern Michigan, I stayed Up North, sheltered in a spiritual community for a few days. It was a great way to integrate the incredible energy and outpouring of love from the retreat before returning to life-as-I-know-it. For many years, I led retreats and traveled for study, only to hop back on a plane and jump into Real Life without any transition from the ethereal to the surreal.
Wrong. As leader of the retreat, I also needed to process, unwind and integrate all that had gone on as much as my students did. I finally realized that self-care needs to be a priority all the time, no matter the demands of my business or family.
It was a profound time to just be with me which sounds funny because I live alone most of the time. But this respite in a beautiful remote surrounding was so different.
We don't get that enough when we're in busy daily life. Even better, the lack of cell phone service and Internet is so perfect for nudging me into really letting go.
I didn't realize how good it is for me to disconnect until I was forced into it. I started to just forget about checking emails, phone messages, Facebook and texts. If I'm really honest, those run my life a lot.
I love how being truly away helped me be more present to CONNECT for the mission at hand. There wasn't this underlying software running, saying, "You have to check your messages." Our lives are so full of multi-tasking and non-urgent urgencies that we don't realize how much like hamsters running on a wheel in a cage we can become.
When I'm in India, on the other side of the planet from my life, I'm way more connected electronically than when I go 3½ hours north of my home. I need to come here more often, settle in among the tall trees and quiet gravel paths and really disconnect to reconnect.
I'm so much more plugged in to nature. So much more connected to what is Real.
One night after the retreat, I spent hours watching deer roam, snack and play in the lake. I've spent time everyday watching mama robin feed her growing babies off my sadhana room balcony. I even noticed how much they had grown in just a few days!
I've gone deeper in my meditations, yoga, chanting and gong-playing because there was nothing else to think of, worry about or distract myself with. I literally felt "team spirit" right with me, closer than ever.
I was even without my car up there. Wow what a blessing to be literally unplugged and grounded, only the path beneath my feet and the light of the sun or moon to guide me. The proper navigation.
I read a book for the first time in years that wasn't about yoga. I went on long hikes through the woods and stared at the trees.
I caught up on writing. I napped. And most importantly, I've been with all my feelings, thoughts and what my heart really knows and wants.
I've been with Katherine's soul 100%. Priceless.