Silence is golden
So I have just finished 5 hours of not talking to anybody while being surrounded by 15 strangers. It has been good. Strange but good. In a way it was a relief not to talk. I’m all talked out anyway.
So what did I do today?
My work colleague suggested that I complete this urban retreat. So I signed up last minute on Friday morning for the Saturday event. I did not really have any expectations. I did not really know what I was signing up for. I vaguely thought I would be sitting in silence for part of the time and talking about problems and finding solutions for the other part.
We sat in silence for most of the day and meditated – well in truth I dozed off a great deal, but in between snoozes just allowed my mind to rest and not dwell on all the things that have been worrying me for the past few years. It was hard at first because everything was just buzzing but after a while I just decided to concentrate on the pleasant surroundings – the way the light was changing as the day moved on, the blue sky, the sun. We practiced mindful eating – i.e. not wolfing down the food in one go but eating and enjoying. It was a strange experience for me but I enjoyed it – sitting in the sun and resting. Tasting the food and savouring every mouthful. We had over an hour to eat in peace – it was such a pleasant luxury. We completed a meditative walk for 20 minutes. Nice – despite the city traffic below us. I also found that walking with my eyes closed was not possible for me!
How did I feel at the end of the day?
It also feels like I have had a good cry and this is the calm after the storm. I know that the rest of the world rages on but at least I had my small piece of time. It was nice to be the me that I know and love, instead of the me that is struggling to fulfil the role of professional, daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend and general citizen of the world. There is a lot of pressure to meet all of those expectations not all of them mutually exclusive. It was nice not to feel judged, excluded or a complete failure.
Did I find any solutions to my ‘problems’?
However by the time the end of the day rolled round, I was really so calm and rested it somehow did not really matter. I just had the feeling that I would have to meet those challenges a day at a time and not take on too much at once. Life rolls on relentlessly.
It’s strange – part of my subconscious is telling me that once upon a time – I used to find this acceptance this state of being by going to Church. Once upon a time I would sit in Bible study home groups and Church services and soak in the presence of God and the feeling and outcome would be much same. I guess that is a topic for another day.
Will I do it again?
If I can.
It’s expensive but I’m thinking – worth every penny. I guess one of the things I thought about while I was meditating, was how can I achieve this in my own living space. Everything is so chaotic and home and work at the moment – there often seems no escape. I am now thinking that less is probably more and that I need to declutter. Minimalist living is probably the way forward, but I guess I am too sentimentally attached to my material things. I guess I should ask myself – if I have not seen it or thought about or used it in the past six months – how useful can it be. I need to recycle more and stop accumulating things.
So what happens now?
But all will somehow be well.