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I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, visiting family in the U.S. When I came back to Australia, I went on retreat for 8 days.

I want to share with you a few things I learned on this hiatus. These are insights that I might even categorise as spiritual practice.

Gifts From My Family

  • Spending time with my family is sometimes the toughest test of my life commitment to be kind and non-reactive. However, in the company of my family, when I reacted in a non-loving way, this is when I got to practice forgiving myself. Because I’m oh-so human.

Gifts From the Retreat

  • On the retreat, parts of which were in silence, I discovered that, generally speaking, I talk far more than is necessary. I saw clearly that when I’m quiet I can actually hear the machinations of my mind. When I’ve been extra aware, I’ve been able to insert a little wedge into the stream of thoughts and choose a new direction of thinking, or none at all. (Note: the latter skill is still more rare in me.)
  • Being in the beauty of the Hunter Valley retreat on the cusp of spring, and being quiet, I was able to pay acute attention to my surroundings. I live in a lovely, natural setting on Mitchells Island, but somehow I hadn’t been appreciating it for some time. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been in awe of the loveliness all around me. I’ve seen a bower bird furnishing his ‘love shack’ with blue objects. I noticed that our nectarine tree is just starting to flower. And, I’ve heard the ocean pounding at high tide, coinciding with the waxing moon. 
  • Some part of me felt deeply into the gentle and slow pace of the retreat. I responded to this cadence heartily and healthily. I remembered that I’m the one who calls the tempo–not necessarily the needs of others or the tick-tick-tick of my clock or endless time-critical duties. Even though I’m semi-retired, I’ve been as busy as any of you who are workers and house managers. It’s time to honour my inner clock.

Now that I’m back, I feel refreshed and renewed, and enthusiastic about teaching. For your information, besides my normal classes, here are a few events that I’m presenting at this year:

A one-day workshop: Yoga, A Lifelong Companion September 20, 2015

The Ekam Festival October 11, 2015

IYTA Yoga Retreat  October 30-November 1, 2015

I’d love to see you at any or all of these events.