Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Internal Reatreat. The retreat for when you can't escape.

I'm undertaking a time of retreat; this doesn't mean that I've flown a thousand miles to sit on a mountain, or headed off into the depths of the countryside, leaving my family behind. I have gone on retreat right in the present here and now - inside my internal space. I am in the same house with the same demands, but I have made the conscious application to give myself February.

I still do the business e-mails, my work to-do list, the school runs, the packed lunches, the laundry, the shopping, the food provision .... the million other small things that it takes to keep our family running - but they are not the focus of now. The focus of now is me. All these other things are just a series of movements to pass through. (Aside from quality one to one conversations and cuddles with the family)

These are my primary goals.
  1. To eat better.
  2. To drink better.
  3. To claim back my head.
  4. To claim back my body.
  5. To embrace my authentic creativity.
  6. To feel confident when I walk into public spaces - which involves dropping a few pounds.

When my kids go to swim class 2x a week, I head downstairs to the gym for a quick 20 minute blast. I've converted the dining room into a yoga and meditation space when the family aren't around. (The cat is intrigued) I've practically cut out all caffeine, alcohol and minimised sugar (not that I ever really had a sweet tooth.) I've minimised my social networking. I run (in a fashion) to pick the kids up from school rather than dawdle along. The high I got from the gym those first couple of short times, means I've even gone down on a morning for longer sessions. I discovered my body can actually sweat, and it quite likes it.

It means there isn't much novel writing getting done - but that's okay; it's okay, because I know that this investment in my well-being means that the writing will be easier, better, clearer when I start again. However, an upside of this focus is that the poetry has returned.

After just two weeks. I already feel so much fitter; I can feel muscles tightening, my body evolving. The effects have been almost instant. My energy levels are higher. I'm walking with a spring in my step, making burning those calories so much easier.

You can find yourself making a thousand different quite excuses, space, time, stress, external forces, other people, society -- but in the end, it really is as simple as making the choice to do it, which is a revelation after fifteen years of not acknowledging this choice. It's about making small adjustments, and radical promises.  Most of all, it's saying that you are worth the investment, which is sometimes the hardest idea to readjust.

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