Monday, October 24, 2011

A Little Retreat

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.

P1110214

P1110217

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.

P1110215

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.

P1110216

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.

P1110220

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):

P1110227

  • 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?

Happy Monday!

SUAR

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!

21 comments:

  1. That retreat sounds awesome.

    I am trying to learn to meditate but I find it challenging to just sit quietly too. Will work on it as well!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like such a positive experience - except holding in the gas! But I'll bet it felt good to let it out in the car.

    All excellent concepts that make sense to me, but I also have trouble implementing. Thanks for sharing the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow I really envy you going to that! Sounds so affirming. I definitely struggle with
    things I can't control. And suck at asking for help. So in other words, I'll be back to Boulder soon so that I can do this. Ready? ; )

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ahhh girl, this is the my favorite post of yours yet. :) Well, one of them. It just speaks so much to my heart of hearts...maybe that is because there is so much reflection involved...my cup of tea. Ha! And farting...I can relate to that...I might not write about it so much but I can appreciate needing to sneak away to let one rip. But my kids are still young so I can still get away with blaming them on my sweet little Sam and he just smiles and OWNS those bad boys.

    Yes, I practice these things often! I know I'm only 32 but I've spent years of my life letting go and challenging myself to focus on the positive. One thing that helps me is journaling (as almost everyone who reads my blog knows). It is really a place to record gratitude (things I want to see MORE of in my life), focus on the positive, love myself fully and set goals for things that are realistic. and so much more.

    So glad you got away Beth. I'm e-mailing you...need your address. It is time that I finally send you Walter The Farting Dog...a book you really must own...even if it is just to read it to your grandkids many Many many years down the road. But every time I read about your gas problem and farting I think of walter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think the people who stop trying to...do anything (learn, change, grow, adapt) are the ones who are miserable. This was a great post!

    PS Thanks for adding the archives!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like an awesome retreat!! I can't imagine sitting in one place for 45 minutes...unless I'm reading blogs :). Glad you were able to get away!

    ReplyDelete
  7. How did you know that I needed to hear this today? Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this idea and it is so important to constantly focus on the good, the necessary and stuff you can control.

    Let go of the rest as it will only jumble up your mind.

    I focus on the happy and the good. I take lessons away from everything. I always want to learn to get better not just for me but for those around me. Those that can't seem to focus on the good. It helps.

    Nice job on the self-control.....I am impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Retreat - always a good idea. Glad you got away from it all and passed along the takeaways from it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the retreat idea, what a nice gift to give yourself. I love when women come together in a supportive group like that. I have a lot to work on in these areas, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. My best friend and I are planning a retreat, just the two of us ... I am going to try to convince her to do some meditation!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have always wanted to go on a retreat, they sound awesome! The pictures are gorgeous too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You're a lean, mean, fighting machine! Great stripes reference!

    Glad you were able to get away and decompress. We all need to focus on the here and now and stop worrying about stuff beyond our control.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Would love to find a retreat like this in my hometown! Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yep--makes a crapload of sense to me too. Not that I don't catch myself doing any of those things because I do. But awareness is the first step right?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooooh, it looks like it was gorgeous! Sounds like a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Weird that I would "arrive" on your blog for the first time today....all of this totally makes sense to me and no...I don't do a good job of practicing it. But I am trying. Love the challenging the negative beliefs you have about yourself thing...NEED to make this one happen. Anyway, looking forward to reading more!

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your dot points at the end are so good that I'm going to copy and print them and stick them on the fridge and the back of the toilet door (often the best place to collect my thoughts).

    ReplyDelete
  19. What an awesome retreat!!! I would love spending a weekend like this. I'm trying to live more in the moment but it's very difficult and I feel I always struggle. Do you know of any places like this in the DC area? :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your comment "I am always trying and am at least aware of not doing it. That counts, right?" reminded me of a story a wise woman once told me... the story was about walking down the street and falling in a hole... eventually you see the hole, but fall in anyway... then you see the hole and walk around... then you (finally) realize you can walk down a different street.

    So yes, being aware counts!

    (The closest I could find is: http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/04/walk-down-a-different-street.html)

    ReplyDelete