Charlie and I have a fall tradition to treat ourselves to an annual getaway at the family cabin located in Nebraska. However, due to a newly opened private counseling practice and family matters that required attention, I had decided to cancel the retreat this year. All perfectly logical and rational reasons as to why I should forgo the time away (says my uber-responsible mind). I thought (my mind at work again) it would be okay and that I didn’t really need the time away. Self-care and my heart’s desire was placed on the “back burner”.
That little voice became much louder and it used the proverbial cast iron skillet to make me pay attention; warning signs of emotional and physical exhaustion began to emerge and I quickly understood this retreat would be essential to my well-being. It offered the opportunity to slow down, go within, experience peace and solitude, and regenerate. My soul yearned for the time alone and, on impulse, I texted my husband and told him I was going. Validation for my decision came with the effortlessness to create the time and space to leave town and obligations behind.
I was rewarded with amazingly beautiful weather – cool, crisp mornings with deliciously warm afternoons, and clear starlit evenings. Charlie and I soaked up as much sun, fresh air, and quiet time as we could manage. The bonus for Charlie was to swim, get toweled off, and chase the ball or the squirrels to his heart’s desire. For me, it was delightful to sit, meditate, read, write letters, and nap in the closed in porch with the mid afternoon sun streaming through the big windows, warming body and soul.
As much as I relished the days, my favorite time was in the evenings. I savored cooking delicious meals while being serenaded by Frank Sinatra, et al, and treated to Mother Nature’s awe inspiring palette of colors and creative glory with breath taking sunsets. A very zen like experience.
It is remarkable to me how this little cabin and lake, tucked in among the corn fields, can provide me with a little slice of heaven. I often joke with others that when you walk out the front door you encounter a personal paradise, but when you walk out the back door, you see corn fields and get an occasional whiff of the local cattle yards (a reminder that the real world still exists). It all works together to create a unique and memorable experience.
Even though our retreat was shorter than in past years, I am ever so grateful to the inner voice that encouraged (okay, begged and demanded) me to slow down and take time for solitude. I returned home with more energy, more love in my heart, and a reminder that I do not have to take life at break neck speed (an unusual concept in today’s society). Sometimes slowing down and enjoying the simple things in life really can help allow for more clarity, flow, and abundance.