Thanks to everyone who visited my blog while I was on retreat. Today is the first day since coming home that I am able to sit down, focus, and write. The retreat was a much-needed opportunity to re-group and re-energize.
After seeing old friends and getting acquainted with the new aspects of Portland, my sister of the heart, Clara, and I went to Twin Rocks, Oregon, a tiny beach community about 15 miles north of Tillamook. It is a less populated part of the Oregon coast than Lincoln City or Cannon Beach. Our beach rental was a small, two-bedroom cottage with fabulous views of the ocean and the aptly named twin rocks.
I had some emotional and psychological stuff that had accumulated during my recovery from shoulder surgery as well as the grieving process associated with letting go of a three-year teacher/student relationship which had been a huge part of my life, so the first few hours of the retreat were spent releasing that negative energy. Ritual and prayer are important parts of my spiritual life and, in the moment, I created a brief ritual to let go. I was unprepared for the whoosh of energy that surged through me as the negative energy left and I was flooded with a powerful feeling, similar to what I experienced at my book launch. There, it was as if I stepped into the person I was trying to become all these years. At the beach, that expanded even further.
From that elevated sense of Spirit within, I invited my Muse into my life. Some things must be kept private, but I will say it was a profoundly moving experience. I then worked with Mark David Gerson's book, "Voice of the Muse," doing the meditations and writing exercises. I highly recommend this writing guide--it is as if a very gentle, loving writing coach is whispering in your ear.
Over the coarse of the next few days, I noticed subtle changes in my way of being in the world. I'd reached a point where I could ask for what I want, but it had never been comfortable or easy for me to do so. That changed. Another example is when I saw two friends talking in a corner of the room, I no longer felt left out or jealous. Or if I did think a negative thought or feel "less than," I noticed it immediately and was able to shift the energy. For me, these are life-changing shifts.
As for the writing, I have three new projects I will begin working on this week: 1) a novel that has been in the back of my mind for 20 years; 2) a book on ceremony and ritual; and 3) the boomer aging book I've mentioned before.
I have a clear idea of how to move forward with each of these books now. Balancing this new writing with the continued marketing of the memoir, "Following the Whispers," will be my biggest challenge.
One major result of the retreat is a decision to change my morning routine. First prayer/meditation, then writing, then exercise, then internet work. My priorities were upside down.