I had assumed after a retreat, one could kinda rest up… I mean, we have a whole week off! Time to shop, go for a stroll, lay around the pool, go out for lunch maybe?
It was a slight surprise (shock, horror) to realise there were a lot of other things to do, like mowing, gardening, tractor repair work (that took 2 days), cleaning, organising, ordering, answering copious emails, phone calls… and thats just the normal daily stuff.
After a retreat many folk say things like ‘wow, it must be amazing living here… all this peace and serenity…… you really DO have THE LIFE.’ No sooner have they disappeared down the drive way, when we are stripping linen off 12 beds, scooping up damp towels, face washers, hand towels, bath mats, (did I mention towels?) and pushing them into those huge green bags for the laundry guy to come collect on Monday.
Phew. One job down.
Then, we can take a break, ahhh… maybe indulge in a cuppa.. ahhh perhaps watch the midday movie, ahhhh do a bit of weeding in between feeding the horses, donkeys and birds who need their water and feed constantly topped up….ahhhhh….
However, it is peaceful living here and at the end of the day, I pause, look up into the sky, whisper a silent ‘thank you’ and gaze at the clouds and colors and feel quite infinitesimal …
Life isn’t so bad. It’s even pretty damn good when you realise that so many things one used to stress about is, as my daughter kindly says really are ‘first world problems mother first world problems’
We are blessed. Life at the retreat is simple: we love looking after people, we adore giving them a new experience, holding hands and saying a prayer before lunch, friendly hugs, a chakra dance, vego meal, meditation, a stretching class of yoga when they had never tired it before or an afternoon of art when they assumed they didn’t have a creative bone in their body….
Life goes on…
In all it’s beauty, wonder and simplicity Life weaves its magic web among us all… bringing strangers together whom, after 5 days, depart as friends. Opening each other to new realms of thinking, to laugh with free abandon and dance even if you feel a little awkward. This is all growth and change, pushing into the unknown…. This is the greatest gift a spiritual retreat gives you – something that cannot be easily described because it is a feeling, a knowing, an understanding….. and it spreads deep inside you.
I think if you’re not smiling and feeling grateful for a day well lived… maybe you need to ask yourself why not? What’s missing? What needs to change? … Meanwhile, I’ve got laundry to do and water troughs to go check up on …..