Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Blessing of Time Away

     This past weekend was the annual retreat I lead at Timber Creek Retreat House in Drexel, Missouri. The House is a magnificent place in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by woods and hiking trails, offering sightings of deer and turkeys and the many other blessings of nature. We did yoga and MELT treatments, enjoyed meditation before each delicious meal, and still had lots of free time for massage or whatever our hearts desired. We also had a release session where folks could leave mental, emotional or spiritual baggage behind. It's a time where you and you alone get to make the choice of how to spend your time. Everything is optional, though no one ever missed a meal!
     It is a time to fully realize and absorb the knowing that love really is all that matters, and love is the driving force of all creation. It is a time to absorb that we are never alone, and we are, every single one of us, dearly loved beyond our human understanding. It is a time to find inspiration for what's next in your life, or to simply gain a renewed perspective relative to your life as it is.
     I've led at least five of these annual retreats. I always come away with a heart overflowing with love, truly a visceral feeling in my chest. Prior to this year, I've simply seen myself as the organizer, doing what I do best, organize. But this year, I got it---that this is truly a powerful spiritual experience for those attending, that the group does not come together as a coincidence, and that I am the (willing) tool of Spirit to create this awesome, loving, life-changing event. I am so grateful to be used in such a way!
     Check out the tab above for information on next year's retreat. This year's group "demanded" an extra night, up from two to three, which I expect will at least double the peace, joy and love.
     Basking in the love,

Day Retreats Missouri     Bed and Breakfast Drexel MO     Hearth Room       Evergreen Room

Saturday, October 13, 2018

My Canadian Adventure

     In September, I enjoyed a lovely 9-day adventure in Canada. We traveled to Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara Falls. The country is beautiful and the people are friendly. I decided that the Canadians are way smarter than we are in many ways, health care being one, dedicated bicycle lanes being another.
     A common question is "what was your favorite thing on the trip?" While I enjoyed the unique flavor of all four cities and happily added a Toronto Blue Jays game to my MLB-stadium bucket-list quest, my favorite thing was a completely unexpected musical event. At the aforementioned baseball game, at national anthem time, an adorable red-haired boy took the microphone and sang both the Canadian and U.S. anthems a cappella perfectly. No sign whatsoever of being nervous! In front of thousands of people! I'm guessing his age to be in the range of 10-12 years. It was goose-bumping astounding, one of a small handful of truly profound musical performances I have witnessed in my life.
     This was another reminder for me to stay open to wonder, for we never know when or how we will encounter it.
     Lovin' life,

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Pain in the Ass and Elsewhere

     I am having my left hip joint replaced on November 13. As weird as it may seem, I can hardly wait.
(See my July 13 post for initial discussion of this long-term hip issue.)
     I met with a potential surgeon on Aug. 30 and everything is a "go." I like him, he will perform the anterior procedure (yielding a quicker recovery than the posterior version), and there was no question as to whether the replacement is necessary. Alas, with the surgery date scheduled, and having an end to pain in sight, I feel like my butt muscles (hence the pain in the ass) are hurting more than ever. I continue to use over-the-counter pain medications sparingly. I am regularly in the conundrum of "I don't want to move" vs. "I have to keep moving." No one activity seems to make the ache worse. It's just that some days and nights are worse than others.
     This leads me, during these six weeks prior to surgery, to ask myself, "What do I really want?"
     First and foremost, I want to go into the surgery with my body in a maximum state of healing ability. That involves several things. I have to keep moving, which really isn't a problem for me as I am very consistent at regular exercise (swimming, golfing, yoga, walking, MELTing). I don't have many travel plans or events in the next six weeks, so being home enables me to have more control over my diet, and I am committed to eating well on an ongoing basis. I may lose some weight, I may not, I'm not too concerned about that. I will enjoy it if it happens!
     Next I want peace of mind. This isn't just about not being scared going into surgery.  I want to be free of the self-criticism for allowing myself to get to the point of needing surgery in the first place. It's an easy, negative trap for me to fall into. However, when I ask myself if I would have done anything in life differently to try to avoid this, the answer is "no." I am spectacularly healthy overall, and life has been and continues to be good. It's simply time to fix the issue and move on. I am so thankful that it can be fixed!
     To support peace of mind going into the surgery, I'm using the methodology described in the book, "Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster," by Peggy Huddleston. It uses meditation, relaxation techniques and affirmations before, during and after surgery to inspire the mind-body connection to heal comfortably and quickly. It includes information on many studies that have shown these techniques to speed healing and reduce the length of hospital stays.
     Another thing that I want relative to this experience will be some help from friends. There are a few days after surgery wherein my husband needs to be out of town. Also, the surgeon told me that I would be on a walker for 7-10 days, and I'm NOT going out in public with a walker, so I will need friend visits to keep me from going stir-crazy at home during that time. I'll be OK with a cane (doctor said another 7-10 days after the walker), but for some reason, the walker just screams "old lady" and that's not me. The key thing relative to friends is that I have to ask for help, something that is not necessarily on my "easy to do" list. Fortunately, I'm confident that folks will step up gladly to support me.
     I ran across this lovely prayer by Ernest Holmes which I shall take with me on surgery day:
There is peace at the center of my this peace that holds me so gently, I find strength and protection from all fear or anxiety. It is the peace of God in which I feel the love of a Holy Presence. I am so conscious of this love, this protection, that every sense of fear slips away from me as mist fades in the morning light. I see good in everything, God personified in all people, Life manifest in every event. Spirit is not separate from persons or events; I see that It unites everything with Itself, vitalizing all with the energy of Its own being, surrounding everything with peace and quiet and calm. I am one with this deep, abiding peace. I know that all is well.
     Closer to surgery time, I will also be contacting some friends and family members to hold me in prayer the day of surgery and during initial recovery. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer to support and heal. 
     To be continued,