Yesterday I went to a women’s retreat in a gorgeous spot in the woods around Boulder. It wasn’t work related or religiously affiliated – just a way to get some good reminders about life.
This day had nothing to do with fitness or running or injuries or race strategies. It’s good to get a break. I go to these things periodically mainly to get a reminder to Lighten Up Francis and to get some perspective. The general themes focused on quieting the mind, letting go of worry/fear, and having self control and discipline.
Meditation cabin on the property
The facilitator asked each of us to think about a belief we had about ourselves. 100% of the women there said they felt “not good enough.” We were asked to challenge this belief. People shared their stories of recent divorce, financial hardships, family issues. Although we each presented with different circumstances, the themes are always the same: we all struggle, we all want to be accepted/connected, we all worry about shit we can’t control, we all get stuck focusing on the negative stuff in our lives or what we don’t have.
I love women. Get a room full of female strangers/vaginas together and they will interact, support one another, and offer compassion, humor and encouragement. Sure, women can be catty, but not in this environment. This was no “Real Housewives of Boulder” (except when I whipped out my $5.19 leopard handbag from Kohls and everyone fell to the floor with envy).
Really, it is like coming home. A safe place to be vulnerable and to be myself.
Except for farting. We did a total of 45 minutes of meditation (this nearly killed me. Sitting still and doing nothing is not my forte, but is something I am working on). Anyway, by the third meditation session I was so gassy. It was right after lunch. You could hear everyone’s stomach rumbling and one girl had a coughing fit. I almost farted during her fit knowing it would cover up the sound of flatulence (that could be a song! "The Sound of Flatulence”), but then there is always the smell issue. In the end, I did not fart.
The teacher did say we all needed more self control, so I got an A+ in that area. I immediately let some loose in the car going home and I haven’t stopped yet. Sweet relief.
Hello my name is Beth! These are not running clothes!
Today was a reminder of so many good lessons. I a diligent student, so I took thorough notes in my favorite fancy and exotic book (Bethany Frankel doesn’t even have one of these):
- Nothing is more important than having peace. This means letting go of thoughts that don’t serve us and taking time to be still through prayer/meditation. It also means giving up your need to be right all the time.
- Happiness is simply and solely a matter of what you choose to focus on. (Remember the crap vs. the corn?)
- Ask for what you need from people. Don’t be shy. Don’t expect them to read your mind.
- When your mind is judging, controlling, manipulating, etc, don’t feed it. Stop it.
- We all have beliefs about ourselves (i.e., “I’m not good enough,” “I’m only worthwhile if I make a certain amount of money,” etc). It’s helpful to make a list of our beliefs and challenge them. Most of the time (like 95%) they are not true.
- “Letting go is the path to real freedom” – from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Does any of this makes sense? Do you do it in your daily life? It makes a crap load of sense to me, but I don’t always do it. I am always trying and am at least aware of not doing it. That counts, right?
PS: The winner of the Saucony Shoe Giveaway is Ashley from Run, Fatty, Run who is cute as can be and not fat at all! Email me at beth@shutupandrun with which of the two shoes you want, your shoe size and your address. I will need this info TODAY! Congrats!