Originally posted on Facebook HERE
This is my last “looking out my back window” post from Florida. Next week I’m back in Wisconsin. Then I have a book to type, edit, get cover art for and sell. Done. That’ll feel good. 7 years in the making, 3 weeks in the doing. It’s a much different book than the one I set out to write seven years ago, that’s for sure. This experience in Florida, well – I can see why people do retreats. I had no idea what I was in for. It involved a bunch of “re” words. Retreat was the first – in the back of my mind I had this idea of renting a place in Florida and going by myself to finish the book Feed Your Angel. But my mind kept telling me all the reasons I couldn’t do it. I mean, three weeks off from work? That doesn’t sound like me. Three week vacation and Laurie doesn’t get to go? Good luck selling that to her. What about the expense? Why does it have to be Florida? And on and on… so I “shelved” it. Never said anything to anybody. Took the idea out myself once in a while, but – one day I said, I have to get this done, I think this is the only way I’m ever going to do it, and I started looking for Airbnb’s. Found one that looked amazing in the area I wanted at a price that was certainly palatable. Laurie was… noncommittal on the idea at first, but somehow she agreed, and I booked it. I have never really done anything I’d call a “retreat” before. This trip is way more “retreat” than vacation. I had this great idea of writing fifteen chapters, each taking twenty minutes to read. I had my little schedule all worked out of how to do it. I got here and encountered a couple more “re” words: “relax” and “release”. The release came hard and heavy on day one. I had no idea what a wreck I had become emotionally. How could I? I didn’t have time for that. It was just like my first few days in treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Open the floodgates, we have issues here. Interspersed with interesting emotional episodes was a speed of living I haven’t had in a long, long time. No TV. No stereo. Books and the internet. That was it. Very quiet. No human interaction unless I left the building. Meditated every day. Finally, meditated every day. I can’t even begin to tell you how that’s changed in the two weeks I’ve been here. Meditation: day one was – well, let’s just say I could feel the tension. Now 30 minutes is easy, I’ll go up to an hour at times. This trip has already changed me, I’ve had four people tell me they feel it when they see/talk to me since I’ve been here. Two from back home, two are people I met here! Which brings me to the last two “re” words: “rethink” and “revise”. Every once in a while it doesn’t hurt to look at everything in your life and rethink it. Just because this is how it’s always been, or it’s what you’re comfortable with doesn’t mean it still serves you. Sometimes we live with decisions we made years ago when we were different people, and don’t change because we “never gave it much thought”. Give it some thought. There 7 billion gazillion things you could be doing at any given moment, make sure you live the life you want to live, not just the one you got comfortable with. Then revise. Change jobs. Stop watching TV. Start a fitness program. Learn to play piano… whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do, but never made the time for, make the time for. Change the things you can change. You get one shot at life, make sure you love it. Do you love it? Because the bottom line of retreat – relax – release – rethink – revise is this: LOVE. There is an ocean of love within us all every second of every day if we’ll just slow down and tap into it. Do it now. Love really is the answer.