Sunday night I’m checking in with a friend and we’re talking about what we’re focusing on next. She suggests the new Thich Nhat Hanh book, Fear and my mind starts racing and I can feel my breath getting shorter. I deal with fear all the time. ALL the time, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to read comforting words about it, be told to accept it and embrace it. Cause fear has worked for me for a long time and I’m not sure that I can give it up.
Fear is my go to emotion. It’s comfortable in it’s scariness. I can feel it welling up and while it may not be pleasant with the panting and the sweating and the dizziness, it is a known. I know how fear works in my life. I know what to do about it. I know, for the most part, how to control it.
What if I learned to smile at my fear, as Buddhist nun Pema Chodron teaches. That might be living with my whole heart. In fact, it’s exactly what Pema teaches. She teaches that to be in the fearlessness is to live from the heart.
So before we get started on the fear I’m taking time to retreat. I’m taking time to renew, rejuvenate, re-energize. It might seem a lot like the hibernating so many of us have been this long long winter, but it’s different. Hibernation is resting. It’s lying low and being quiet. Retreating is intentionally investing my time and energy in activities that make me feel more whole
, energized and renewed. It’s the sloughing off of the old and revealing the shiny and new. Retreat is when we try new things, open our minds and find connections.
We can do this because we’ve snuggled down into ourselves over the long long long winter. We’ve spent the last few months reacquainting ourselves with ourselves. We know ourselves inside and out again and we can make that leap into the blooming Spring.
Whether you’d like to do a yoga retreat, a spa retreat, a writing retreat or a spiritual retreat look to A Yogi Kitchen over the next few weeks for retreat options. Share how you’re retreating this Spring, if it ever gets here.