I am back from my first virtual meditation retreat. I’ve attended in person silent meditation retreats in the past, the longest was over a long weekend. So the thought of a 7-day silent meditation retreat was both inviting and terrifying.
I'm still processing the insights gleaned over the past week and will be sharing pearls of wisdom with you over the coming weeks.
For now, I simply wanted to share one of the benefits I gained at the very beginning of the retreat. The teacher asked us to close our eyes and think about our intentions for the retreat.
Now I had thought about what I wanted to accomplish during this week, but to my surprise I heard a voice that answered the question differently. Here’s what came up:
1. Slow Down - Initially I took this to mean slow down physically, but over the course of the week I realized that it was an invitation to practice slowing down mentally and emotionally too. Making space and time to notice my racing thoughts and allowing them to settle like the falling snow in a snow globe. Also creating enough room to allow the rising of emotions and learning how to be with them, especially the uncomfortable ones.
2. Connect With Your Heart - I tend to analyze things a lot (maybe over analyze is more accurate). As a result, I spend more time in my head, thinking about what to do rather than taking some time to connect with my heart. This practice is already helping to inform my decisions as well as how I show up in the world.
3. Practice Loving Yourself - This one for me is the hardest of all. I’m really good at extending love and compassion to others. Giving it to myself in a genuine, open-hearted way is less familiar. To help me in this area I’ve been noticing how I speak to myself. Not just the actual words used, but also the tone of voice. If I hear harsh tones, I practice softening it. And I’ve been asking myself, “How can I care for myself today?” I am exploring additional ways that I can deepen this practice over time. Stay tuned.
So I have decided to carry these intentions with me from the retreat and bring them into my daily life. I’m looking forward to the lessons I’ll learn and the insights that will come. And I will approach all of these aspirations with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment.
Have you been on retreat? Do you use intentions to guide your daily life? I’m curious to hear about your experiences. Share in the comments below or send me a note at Michelle@drmichellebailey.com.
The Physician Career Path Reimagined
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.