A few weeks back I had the wonderful privilege to spend a day at a retreat at the Green Gulch Farm in Marin. This retreat was called Company Time – A Buddhist retreat for people in the business world. The retreat comprised of gentle yoga, meditation, lecture and discussion.
Going on a retreat is one of the most nourishing ways to spend my Saturday and this one was no different yet unique and beautiful in its own ways. It was a simple way to pause, practice being aware, be with the discomfort that showed up in many ways and most importantly, tap into my own inner wisdom that always knows what’s best for me.
Tending to myself on a retreat always reminds me of that beautiful necklace sitting in my jewelry box gathering dust. Yet, when I simply pay attention, give it some time and rub it with a piece of cloth, the shine comes back – no special sprays or anything, just pure love and presence!
There were people from various backgrounds, workplaces and at different stages in their career yet deep inside we were all the same. We were struggling with very similar issues in our workplaces and our working lives and at the core seeking very similar things from our workplaces. The ability to express ourselves authentically, feel recognized and appreciated for our contributions, to be kind to others and be treated with kindness. It is so humbling that when we pause, reflect and share how much we contribute to our own growth and learning AND also give others permission to connect with their true emotions and remind them that they are not alone in their struggles.
I learnt once again the power of the small things – quiet time, gentle movement, simple food cooked with fresh ingredients and love, honest soulful conversations embracing life with its joys and imperfections. I realized how abundant I am and how complete my life is despite all the many things that can often feel broken, incomplete and imperfect. Despite all the challenging emotions that I experienced around my career, my sensitivity, my lack of patience, etc., I also experienced deep calm and joy by simply witnessing and accepting myself for whatever showed up and not resisting my emotions.
I also terribly missed my baby. I missed nursing him, feeding him yoghurt with red chili powder and chia seeds (that is his favorite meal these days!!), changing his diapers and tickling his belly. I missed how innocently he wipes his messy face on my yoga pants and the long hugs and the dozens of kisses I give him. But this too was part of my practice – paying attention to my emotions, trying not to push or judge them but holding a space to receive whatever was emerging!