For anyone who has read my blogs you will know I often talk about the need to have some time to yourself in this busy fast moving world. Being able to switch off from the endless demands of modern life and social media are more valuable now than ever before. This weekend I had a chance to really try to achieve the silence I have been craving on my first retreat.
It may sound like I was either on a spa break or going religious but it was neither of those things. Along with 20 other women I had a chance to meditate and take time to consider my life and the issues in it. There was only patchy Wi-Fi so it was cut off from the latest news and social media updates which was a real challenge for me.
I only went for two days but it felt like a lot longer. There was no television and when I went to my sparsely furnished room there was total silence. I don’t think I have experienced silence like that for a long time. In the morning all you could hear was the dawn chorus.
So what I have gained from this brief experience of a retreat? Firstly, there is nothing more powerful than when women come together and support one another. There was no bitching, no judging and it was all focused on helping each other. It is something more women should do on a daily basis. Secondly, I realised that meditation is an essential part of a busy life. It gives some silence and head space so that you can be refreshed. I have been fairly poor at making time to do this but when it is just five or 10 minutes I can’t afford not to. Finally, it reminded me that I have a pretty good life and have some amazing people, animals and things in it.
I am not sure I could do it for longer than a couple of days because I don’t like being parted from animals and of course family. The experience was invaluable and has given me an opportunity to recharge my batteries and reconnect with my thoughts. The next step is to take the learning from my time and build it into my daily life. We will see if I can achieve that.