The effects of retreating can only really become apparent to us when we return. We know as we come to the end of the week that we are beaming, but is it because of location or have we really shifted. The day after I got back to London, I realised during a short trip to teach a class, go to the supermarket and travel home again, that the amount of information we absorb and filter on a day to day basis is truly immense. When your days are filled with the feeling of the air or water on your skin, counting the few drifting clouds in the sky, meditation and yoga practise, and sleepy afternoons. When your biggest choices are which beach to visit today, and whether to face the sun, or turn away so that you can read your book. When your food choices are made for you, and everything put in front of you is utterly delicious. Then your mind clears itself of the fluff that comes from city living. The food, the atmosphere and the practises have such an impact that by the end of the week you feel washed clean, cleared of the dross.
Those bright eyes come home with you, when you return to the environment you are most familiar with you can see yourself and your surroundings anew.
So we begin the process of integration. Personally I am a fan of weaving what we know with what we are exploring. Staying connected to what has been learned and playing with what we now know to see what works in the context of our lives. I believe that within all that is presented on retreat we hear and gather what we do because it is what we need, and what we require in that moment. I believe that we all have the resources we need in every moment to respond to all that comes our way. With these clear eyes, our resources become so much more apparent to us and if its not so much that we can solve everything, its more like our our problems feel and seem and appear like less of a problem. They are lessened, their hold over us is reduced, by our clarity, by our bright eyes. The problems may still be there and require some unfolding and some healing over time. We understand though that they need loving into wholeness (healing) rather than pushing shoving or manipulating into the boxes we think they’d be best in.
As we did on retreat, this is a continued exploration, we explore on retreat, and we explore when we come home. We keep exploring, what works what doesn’t and what makes us feel good, at ease, comfortable and steady. When we find ourselves against something, we note the pressure, we get really still and we ask what is the next most obvious thing to do. Just like in our yoga practice, the same principle fills our days.
We start to feel peace, the dynamic state of peace where we know that we are doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place with the right people.
Enjoy the integration if you are returning from retreat. Look to the resources you have gathered and carry them with you into your day, your week, your life.
Love and light, Clare xx