And I Am Back

Kripalu, February 2010

Kripalu, February 2010

What a weekend! I find that I am sitting here, a bit stumped about what exactly to write about and how to summarize the weekend. So much happened, much of which I am still processing which makes it hard to figure out what to focus on.

There was the trip up to Kripalu which involved catching a train for a 6 hour ride and then driving 2 hours all the while being worried about the uncertainty of the approaching mid-Atlantic snow storm. Everything, as usual, worked out just fine, but it really brought out and highlighted some of my many control issues related to travel. Gave me lots of food to work with at the workshop that is for sure.

Then there was the workshop itself. Sarah was just as wonderful in person as she is in her books and I found that exploring the topics in the book with a group of people very powerful. It was a bit larger (about 40 people) because several other workshops were cancelled and those participants were given the option to take hers (did I mention there was a mid-Atlantic snow storm?) Some people had read the book and were very familiar with it, some were more familiar with Sarah’s Not So Big House books and for others this was all new.

One of the fascinating things was to watch as the workshop unfolded. This was very much a group effort with lots of sharing and lots of questioning. We covered a lot of ground and it was a very organic process, led by (or probably more aptly, through) Sarah, but not run by her. It was interesting how many of our stories overlapped…not in the details but rather in the overall experiences and things that we all struggle with.

And then there was the personal work. We had morning, afternoon and evening sessions with long breaks for meals and I found that I needed those breaks to let things sink in. The grounds were stunning for contemplation (did I mention the snow?) and I did get a chance to climb some of those snowy hills with my camera. The quiet was wonderful and the exercise was invigorating.

The sessions gave me so many ideas to ponder. Nothing radically new, but rather adding additional layers of understanding. I journaled a lot and made a lot of “aha” connections, seeing some things with new eyes. And this growth is continuing since I returned, although re-entry (as Sarah warned) can be hard, wondering how to integrate this new-found perspective within my day-to-day life. One interesting aspect is that I am finding myself incredibly forgetful of where I have put things…I think that with everything that I am processing, my mind is busy elsewhere. But I am trusting that this is part of the process for me (although the fact that I returned from a workshop on mindfulness temporarily a bit less mindful is amusing).

I also found the evolution of the weekend fascinating as well. I started out knowing absolutely no one. As the weekend progressed, I found different connections with different people at different times. By the last day many of us were seeking each other out at meals and exchanging emails. It will be interesting to see where these new friendships go.

I am eternally grateful that I stayed the extra day, not leaving until Monday morning. The additional time to connect a little more with new friends, plus the chance to partake in an afternoon yoga class and evening meditation class were extremely beneficial. Not to mention having the additional processing time before returning home.

All in all, I definitely can not complain and am looking forward to see where life takes me from here. Now if I can just find my slippers… (and I am not making that up for literary effect…I can’t find the dang things and my feet are cold!)