When was the last time you closed the computer, switched off the cel phone, and took a walk in nature?
It’s healthy to take a break from the modern world sometimes. As we are all well aware of, our lives in modern America (and Europe, and increasingly in other parts of the world as well) are dominated by screens. I even saw an advertizement the other day encouraging parents to have their kids watch movies on portable devices (iPhones, etc) while grocery shopping, to keep them occupied. I’m sure it happens all the time… But whatever happened to having children help out with the shopping? I used to love picking out breakfast cereal, or choosing the shiniest apples, or grinding fresh peanut butter in the big red machine. It seems like so many of our opportunities for connecting with each other are squandered these days in the name of ease, efficiency, and a general “don’t bother me!” attitude.
The way I see it, every ‘inconvenience’ is an opportunity to slow down, take a breath, and remember what is really important. Will the world end if we don’t complete everything on our “To Do” list? Probably not. Will our children, our loved ones, and the stranger in the grocery store benefit because we have surrendered our impatience and been present and kind to them for just one moment? Will our young ones feel more included, like they have a meaningful place in this world, if we give them a role and a way to contribute? Yes, I think so. Little actions of kindness and presence like this have a huge ripple effect, and help make the world an easier place to live in.
Every once in a while, we get to the place in our lives where the daily practice and the occasional rest day is just not enough; when we really need to step away from the rush of our lives for a good chunk of time and re-member ourselves. ‘Remember’, which literally means “to put back together.” It is a luxury to be able to step away and have a retreat, and very special when we are able to do it. Occasional retreats have been essential for me throughout my life…. so much so, that part of my work in the world now is providing these opportunities for those who need it! Don’t we all?
In July of 2012, Lisa Hendrick and I will be leading a week-long retreat in the Amazon jungle of Peru called Song of the Amazon: Finding Voice and Vision in the Heart of the Jungle. If you are considering a vacation in 2012, and want to try something new, different, and deeply meaningful ~ even transformational ~ consider joining us in Peru for the retreat of a lifetime. We will be experiencing the rich life of the jungle, as well as the plant medicine healing traditions of Peru, firsthand under the guidance of master curandera Doña Otilia. Take a look at the flyer there on the right side for details, and be sure to visit (and subscribe to!) our blog, songoftheamazon.wordpress.com. Registration is now open, and this trip will fill, so please let me know if you are interested or would like more info.
I hope your winter is a spacious one, and that you find plenty of opportunities for resting back and taking a deep breath in the midst of the holiday rush. This can be a challenging time for all of us, but a little extra patience and understanding can go a long way in making the holidays more graceful for everyone. Good luck out there, and stay in touch!
Remember to subscribe to this blog to receive updates right to your Inbox… And look for a special shamanic class series in Bend at Hawthorn Healing Arts early in the New Year. More info coming soon!
Blessings to you and yours, Lucius.