Next week I am going away on a 5 day mindfulness retreat through an amazing organization called Mindful Schools. I took their Mindfulness Fundamentals course and their Mindfulness Educator Essentials courses last fall/winter and loved them. They were 100% online, self-guided courses with weekly practice and reflections and were the perfect combination of information and guided practice to start a more formal mindfulness/meditation habit. They offer a 5 day retreat for graduates of those courses so next week I leave for the Garrison Institute in upstate NY and I am SCARED–in a good way, I must add, but also a little in the stressed way. Here’s why:
- Leaving the kids and husband for 5 days. I know my husband is an amazing dad and he will hold down the fort, but managing two kids (and their summer schedules as referenced above) for 5 days will be a lot. He has prepped with help from a friend on camp pickups and my parents for the kids to have an overnight one night but still….its a lot of shelpping and prepping. Deep bow to all the single parents who have to do this daily.
- The other thing about leaving the family is that I also am just goingtomiss them. There are days my kid comes off the camp bus that I think he looks older…and thats just a day camp! Thank goodness for FaceTime, but I am going to miss their huge hugs and little bodies SO MUCH. I am also going to miss my husband, I must add (love you, hun!)
- I am vowing not to beat myself up or feel guilty for taking this time for myself, but I probably still will have those feelings. My renewal and growth as a human is vitally important to me, but even more importantly to everyone around me. If I am feeling defeated, down, or depressed I simply cannot take care of those around me the way I want to. So while it is a long time to be away, I am trying to keep it in perspective–this is not a month, a half a year or sometime frame that is really life-altering, this is 5 nights which have been planned for months. Deep breaths.
- The retreat consists of 2 days of silence (and other days of workshops and seminars). Yup, you read that right. 2 days of not talking AT ALL. What exactly does this mean? I honestly don’t really know. I am sort of anticipatory anxious/excited about this. On one hand, I can totally see how blissful this could be, on the other hand….2 freaking days. That’s a lot of not talking. Am I going to be able to sink into the silence and enjoy it….or will I be in my head screaming for 2 straight days? My gut is that the first few hours may be challenging and then I am hoping to get to the sweet peace of it. But who knows?!
So, finally, I must apologize for the two months of silence since my last blog post…summer break got me like whoahhhhhh and I honestly needed sometime away to reflect and renew on my purpose here in the blogosphere. The silence, in that regard, has helped immensely. I am ready to get down to business and create a community of parents who are trying to be more conscious of their parenting and mindful of their living. By coming together through facilitated groups, classes, and private coaching we are stronger, we are wiser, and we are calmer. And this task ahead of us–the raising of our kids, matters. A lot.
So 5 days away starting next Wednesday. I am planning on blogging about it so that everyone can know what goes into a mindfulness retreat and how the silence goes! Have you ever done a retreat with some days of silence? How did it go?
(c) 2017. Nurture: Family Education & Guidance, Emily R.Rittenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org