I attended a day-long Mindfulness retreat on the weekend and it was a welcome retreat from all things technology and thinking related.
To be honest with you, I’ve slipped with my mindfulness practice over the last few months and found the chance to sit for seven hours without any pressure to answer the phone, emails, to check in on Facebook, pick up a book, turn on the TV, listen to music or talk a blessing.
Before I attended my first silent retreat (this was my third) I was incredibly nervous at the thought of hanging out with my brain without anything to distract it. I really didn’t have faith in myself that I could do it as I was a chronic multi-tasker, filling my days with compulsive social media checking, email reading, blogging, cleaning, getting lost in books, films, TV and music…
But after spending a day meditating, stretching, mindful walking, and tantalising my taste buds with a nourishing vegetarian lunch, as Sunday came to a close I felt so at peace. It was a really beautiful feeling which carried over into the evening (I slept like a baby aside from weird dreams about spider which resulted in me literally kicking D in my sleep) and the next day, where I felt energised and calm.
Many of us clutter our lives with so much activity and noise that it’s easy to forget how nice it is to just sit in silence and be. To take in each moment as it happens. To actually experience life as it happens.
“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Mindfulness retreat was also a welcome reminder to be kinder on myself. I spend a lot of time practising loving-kindness with everyone else, understanding, not judging, acting compassionate, but when it comes to myself, well, I really do need to cut myself a break…as do we all – yep I’m talking to YOU! Repeat after me:
Thanks to the wonderful Kathryn Choules from Mind and Movement for facilitating the retreat and providing a safe and nurturing environment, as well as food, for those of us who attended. If in Perth, Western Australia, I highly recommend you check out the mindfulness courses Kathryn runs.