178 On Retreat

I think I have heard from at least three people this week on the topic of retreats.  People are feeling called.  But they want to “go”.  There is something pushing from the outside, asking us all to GO within.  Longing for a location is holding people back.

The water is my chosen retreat location.  When I have the umph to travel, I go to rivers, lakes or oceans.  A shower will do the trick in a pinch.  Sometimes, with the apparatus involved in my daily life, there are days without a shower.  If you are working with a gratitude list, remember to value that you can take a bath or shower.  Some of us cannot.  It is a luxury.  Sponge baths do nothing for my soul (or my hair).

Everyone has somewhere or something that assists in the connection to Spirit. But improvising is much better than neglecting the call.

I can improvise with yard work, because being in nature works for me too.  I can also travel to local water features.  We have a lot of beaches, and even McCollum Park has the beautiful sounds and sights of the creek, just minutes from home.

Beyond finding a location is intention… and follow through.  This may be more difficult than getting beyond the wish to retreat.  It must become a priority.

Although it makes me feel busy, and chemotherapy is already a full time occupation, I signed up for a couple of “events” online that create the container for “retreat”.  One came through Starfeather’s Meetup groups (searchable with her first name on the Meetup site).  It is a weekly group with closed participants, and holds me in a space of eight weeks of intention.

Another is an eleven day event through Amber Kuileimailani, in her Woman Unleashed programming.  It holds me to daily introspection, intention, and soul searching.  This one is called Soul Success Initiations.  I think I paid $22 for it.  Money, or lack there of, does not need to define your retreat either.

Retreat leader Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici
Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici founder Woman Unleashed

The two messages are working well together!  Fused. Merged.  All elements of retreat.

The hardest part of the inner journey is quieting the outer world.  When we cannot escape our roommates, we have to figure out how to create the elements of escape WITH them, or at least while embracing their presence.

A daily walk, or an hour behind a closed door, or just an early morning time of focus can work.  Amber’s program is at 6am Pacific time; no one is up (and it is recorded for people who need alternate timing).  With Starfeather’s group, we also meet on zoom, but I take my computer behind closed doors.

Retreat.  The universe is asking for it.  Your soul is calling.  Find a way.

131. Want to Do List

I see a Bucket List as the big ticket items, go to France, climb Mount Everest, own a house on the hill, etc. Those are not me by the way. Mine would be something more like spend six months in an Ashram, see the places that Jesus/Buddha/Ghandi walked, and watch a grandchild be born.

I follow Amber from Woman Unleashed (google-able) because she is exactly what I know Christine could be, if Christine wanted that.  Amber teaches expression, survival, and growth, and does it through creativity.  Painting.  Dance breaks.  Empathy.  My main point is that Christine is the reason that I watch Amber in action.

Amber is a generation younger than I.  Her kids are half my kids’ age.  I enjoy her “youth” and enthusiasm.  She does lots of free online stuff, and her newsletter pops into my inbox.

Today, she was talking about making a “Want to Do List”.  Even before this flashing neon sign, I have been noticing.  The things I do are the things that need to be done.  I very rarely, even facing my terminal existence, do what I want to do.  That is pathetic.  I am definitely judging myself.

Lots of people I know have Bucket Lists.  That isn’t my cup of tea either.  What happened along my life time to make it so I don’t consider such things?  I see a Bucket List as the big ticket items, go to France, climb Mount Everest, own a house on the hill, etc.  Those are not me by the way.  Mine would be something more like spend six months in an Ashram, see the places that Jesus/Buddha/Ghandi walked, and watch a grandchild be born. 

But I see the concept of Want to Do Lists as more presently attainable.  Currently on Ruby the cat’s Want to Do List is climb up into my arms and making it so I cannot type.  It was fully possible that she could/would do it.  But in the end, something sent her elsewhere.

That’s what happens to me.  My list isn’t difficult. 

I want to watch a funny movie, paint buffalos on my drum, walk along the beach, and sit in the yard and drink tea.  I want to hold hands with and hug the people I am close to.  I want to sit for hours and create masterpieces with leather and beads, have the wind blow my hair on a ferry to nowhere, eat Ben and Jerry’s at an ocean villa just a few hours down the road.  I want to walk in the forest, listen to the symphony.  I want to laugh until I cry.  I want to love people, animals, and the world so much that my heart is difficult to contain. 

And something sends me elsewhere.  This must end.  The Want to Do List is the priority.  Mind meld.  It’s time to merge the creation of my day.  There is nothing wrong with what I need to do.  I can “Want to Do” those things.

And those beautiful, attainable, daily dreams can jump up into priority.  Maybe we should all hold each other accountable.  Have you checked a box from the Want to Do List today?  Put that next.  Live each day with your wants in mind.

Ruby is back.  She is climbing up, hell bent on her list, and on helping me with the last item of mine.