Last time I wrote a blog post it was day 2 of the most fabulous meditation retreat. Since then, I’ve devoured the rest of the retreat, spent a couple of days with my family in Byron and driven the hefty road trip back to Melbourne from Byron Bay. I’d love to know how many kilometres we’ve covered in the past 12 months – this time last year we had just embarked on our 10 week road trip…
Firstly, the retreat. I could not more highly recommend this meditation retreat if I tried. I’m not kidding when I say it’s the best thing I’ve done for years. Years. Start saving now if you’re a woman. If you’re the partner of the woman and you have kids, book your annual leave now to look after said kids while woman goes on retreat. Just on this, there were 15 of us on the retreat and there were eight who had kids and seven who didn’t. And, aside from one retreat participant who has a three year old, my kids were the youngest at 8 and 11. Methinks women with younger kids just simply don’t give themselves a break but I get that because it took me three years and the bribery of a family holiday to get there.
Anyhoo, everyone was there for their own reasons but it was a retreat full of laughter, no judgements, great food, terrific company and connecting with creativity (this years retreat theme) through sketching, painting, writing and my favourite, photography – all these photos are ones I took. I’m not sure what the theme will be next year but it doesn’t matter. Just. Start. Saving.
It wasn’t until the afternoon of the second last day that I had the clarity and brain space to be able to sit down – on my own – outside in the sunshine and clarify what my goals are for the near future. Small, achievable goals. Unfortunately I have difficulty thinking beyond the near future, it always seems a blur. While sitting down and clarifying goals wasn’t actually part of the retreat, being away in such a beautiful, peaceful setting provided a really great space for me to gather my thoughts. Not sure about you but I don’t seem to be able to do that at home as all I’m thinking about is the next meal, work or who is due at what training or sporting event next. It’s like Groundhog Day and you get trapped in a cycle of ho hum.
By the final day none of us were ready to leave but leave we had to and at the last session there were tears – mine and others. Anth and the boys picked me up at 1pm and it was so great to see them. I nearly cried (again!) I was feeling slightly anxious about how I would feel after 5 days of not being hassled for food or stopping another punch up but we always had to dive back into reality. Thankfully our reality was another couple of days in Byron camping and lucky for us the weather was awesome (and there was Baskin Robbins ice cream).
Which brings me to Mitch’s birthday last Thursday. After the present opening, we began the day with a swim in the ocean. It was probably around 7.30am. Clarkes Beach Caravan Park is literally right on the beach and what a way to start the day!! We had a day full of food, relaxing, ice creams, more beach time and dinner at a pizza restaurant! Mitch wasn’t quite up for a vegetarian or sushi dinner. And just on ice cream – how is Mars Bar or Maltesers ice cream organic??!
Sadly, we had to leave the next day. I have totally and utterly fallen for Byron Bay and would love to spend more time there. Where there’s a will there’s a way…
Finally, I’m feeling really great. I’m hoping this carries on for a while yet and I don’t get bogged down the the minutiae of parenting and all the other stuff. Actually I will get bogged down in it but if I breathe, meditate, stay mindful and breathe again I may just survive!
Here’s a little info on the retreat in Byron or Bali 2013. Kate is still away and the website hasn’t been updated but it’s likely next year’s Byron retreat will be on 21 November for 5 nights – the pricing may change as well. As Molly would say, do yourselves a favour…
Update: The retreat in Byron for 2013 has been locked in. Connecting with Creativity from 21 November 2013 for 5 nights. Click the Byron link above for further details. Do it!