Updated: May 9
Eat, Pray… Eat Some More! All under the umbrella of LOVE.
So where I did that blog title come from? Well I treated myself to a retreat weekend at Kripalu, the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color. No friends, no kids, no clients, no man, just ME. I was really looking forward to seeing Maya Breuer, it had been far too long. SCRUMPTIOUS! I even took the bus there! This time, my journey to me actually began with the decision not to drive to and from Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I had been going there for years now, but had always driven.
Change is good.
The bus ride was a great transition, I chatted with one of the presenters, Monique Schubert, sent, read, deleted emails and SLEPT. (HOORAY!) Checked on kids, spoke to the office, schedule my cable installation, et cetera, et cetera. But once I got off the bus I was solo. I went, no, I RAN to the bathroom (well I had been on that bus for 4 hours), sent a couple of texts and then went to my dorm room. It was right next door to the bathroom. Sweet, how did they know I needed that? There I surveyed the room, selected my bed (bottom bunk, near the door for easy bathroom access), unpacked, sent more texts and emails and finally made the last childcare call of the day to my sister. Also known as, the back-up sitter. Once I knew the kids were set, I left my cell phone under my pillow charging, turned the blackberry off and left the room. I only carried my business cards, my journal and a pen. DELICIOUS.
Famished. It was barely 6pm, but all I have had for the day is one banana, decaf black tea and water. So clearly I was ready for a meal.
Cafeteria. Ooh. People. Noise. Hustle, bustle. I yearned for the peace and the beauty of the New England landscape in the Fall, miles and miles of autumn leaves. How would I hear the peace? My thoughts? RIGHT. They always had a silent dining room. YES. 4 round tables, 16 chairs and a beautiful view of the countryside and the sunset.
Aaaah. I love Kripalu. I read Thrive, the Kripalu magazine for guests, ate, watched the sunset, read, thought, underlined, and ate. As I ate, I listened to my messages from God with each mouthful. (Well God normally sends me messages on Facebook, but since I had unplugged. I would have to listen to my messages in an old-fashioned ways.)
BREATHE. Pause. BREATHE.
Have you ever consciously had a silent meal? It is delicious. You actually savor the food, your thoughts and any outside stimuli. Your mind is off of its leash and wanders freely. I was reading an article by Devarshi Steven Hartman, What Makes It Kripalu?
“The highest form of yoga is self-observation with compassion.” –Swami Kripalu WOW. I am clearly a yogi… just sans all the super-flexibility.
I continued to read the article as I read. I got to the section of the article that had series of powerful questions.
What happens when you encounter your edge? Do you push through it impatiently or do you shrink back from it in fear? Do you have judgments and opinions about your reactions? How does this mirror other experiences in your life?
The depth of these questions reminded me of the part of the book Eat, Pray, Love. If you have read it, think of the chapters in India. How she fought with herself and meditation for most of the day, every day. Funny.
So, as I ate, read and ate some more… I saw the visual in my mind of an opened black umbrella (LOVE) and then the words under the umbrella, Eat, Pray… Eat Some More! And since my visual was under an umbrella, I had to add the words Under an Umbrella of Love of course. Yeah. That is how my brain thinks. HILARIOUS. To paraphrase Devarshi Steven Hartman, "The heart of Kripalu Yoga is the practice of compassionate self-observation. This empowers people to find themselves and is an imprtant reminder that everyone's way is unique."
Be kind to yourself. Time with self and laughter both enhance your joy. May joy be your weapon.