I'm back. Quite literally. I spent last week here at Warrior Monk, and yet again I have had another experience that defies a description in words. To say that it was life changing sounds like an exaggeration, but it truly was a life changing experience. My re-entry back to the real world has been slow, and that is why it's taken me so long to get back on the computer again.
During the 5 day retreat we had no phone, tv, radio, or computer, and we were encouraged not to wear a watch. I don't have an addiction to the first 3 items so they were not difficult for me to give up, but giving up my addiction to time was an effort. I am constantly looking at my watch, and it seems that the more time I spend looking at it the faster the time passes. I am amazed how long an hour can seem when you're not counting it in 5 minute increments. I actually spent the first week after class without a watch, and I only put it back on yesterday to come to work. I always knew what time it was even without the watch, and I think I will continue to go without one when I am at home. Timeliness is a good asset for a pilot to have, so I guess I will continue to wear a watch for work. But I won't be happy about it!
At the retreat, we were awakened every morning before dawn with a bell chime, and it was so nice to wake up to a beautiful sound instead of the incessant honking of an obnoxious alarm clock. I'm not sure if it was the chime or the excitement over the day ahead, but I found myself leaping out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning. When I try to get up before dawn at home, I always end up turning the alarm off and going back to sleep. I'm hoping that will change, because for my peace and tranquility at home I am definitely investing in a gentler alarm clock.
I can't believe I'm actually admitting to this, and don't tell my husband I said it, but I actually enjoyed having someone else in charge for 5 days. Not having to worry about when to get up, when to eat or what to cook, or when I had to be somewhere was a refreshing change. All of my needs were met, and I felt safe and encouraged instead of fearful and worried. I did not have to worry about disappointing anyone except myself.
I also came away from the week with a newfound appreciation for poetry. I have never enjoyed poetry before, either reading or writing it, and have always found it quite intimidating. I thought all poetry had to have some sort of strict structure and form, and I certainly didn't feel intelligent enough to write it. I lumped it into the category I use with crossword puzzles. It makes me feel stupid when I don't "get it", so I won't even try.
Every poem that was read during the retreat spoke directly to my heart. Not only did I understand them, but it was as if they had been written specifically for me. The first morning we meditated, took a walk, and then came back inside and opened our workbooks. When they said we were going to write a poem next, I think I laughed out loud. That was before the fear took over and my palms started sweating. The combination of meditating, the influence of being outside in nature, and the love bubble of people that surrounded me, encouraged me to put aside the fear and write. And I loved it. In fact, one of my goals is to write 30 poems by Dec. 1. I'm up to 9 so far. You might even see a few of them here.
This post is already much longer than I had intended, so I will end it for now. I'm sure I will continue to discuss the experience in the next few blogs. For some reason I have resisted writing about my experience until now. It was all I could do to not crawl into bed tonight and put this off yet another night. I'm not quite sure why I keep coming up with excuses, but I will try to blog more. If I have time after the poetry! I told you it was life changing.