Do you hear that constant buzzing, the dull roar? That’s the noise in my head … ideas zipping around, thoughts colliding, and chaos in full swing. Most days, the noise is too much for me. I can’t think. But today the noise is different. I’m different. I went on a retreat last week. Spent five days surrounded by amazing, kindred souls. I explored my story through words, photography and art. I left nourished. I left full. I left with the ability to make sense of the chaos and constant noise.
Here’s just a smattering of what I learned:
I learned that every single person who crosses your path can enrich your life if you would just let them. Stop judging, quit thinking and open your heart. You will be amazed.
I learned that meditation, chanting and poetry aren’t just for hippies. I’ve always admired people who search for enlightenment through these practices, but I just didn’t think they were for me. And then it happened. I managed to relax. I closed my eyes. I let the stillness take over. I was able to muffle the noise in my head so it wasn’t so distracting and overwhelming. And I found moments of peace.
I learned I might think I have no talent or everyone else is more talented than me … but my story matters and I’m the only person in this great big world who can tell me story. There is value in everything I do, every story I write, every picture I paint, every truth I tell. I matter.
I learned I’m brave and completely level-headed in the face of fire – literally and figuratively. When presented with a tough situation I now have the knowledge that I can grab a fire extinguisher, act boldly and take charge. Just imagine the fires I’ll be able to put out as I continue my journey.
I learned that I can survive five days without my laptop and actually enjoy the experience of being somewhat unplugged. Life doesn’t happen on my computer. It happens when I turn it off and step away.
I learned I deserve to take time for myself and this will make me a better mother, friend, wife and artist. More than just deserving it, I now know I have to demand it.
I learned that there are courageous, talented women who parachuted into my life and I am now blessed to call them my friends. I don’t feel so alone anymore.
Never in a million years would I have thought I would fit in at a retreat for artists, writers and photographers. I am not even sure what prompted me to go or really, give myself permission to go. But I wanted to make some changes in my life, I wanted to start something fresh, so I signed up. I wanted it to be life changing. And it didn’t disappoint. I can honestly say I’m a different person than I was a week ago. I’m stronger. I’m braver. And I believe in me. If you ever get the chance to join the amazing Liz Lamoreux at one of her retreat (or anything she does) do not hesitate. Jump, run, leap into it. You will not regret it.
June 21, 2011
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