THE WORLD’S FIRST FOAM PAD
SUPER THIN FLEXFOAM ABSORBS 10X ITS WEIGHT FEELS LIKE NOTHING
(i.e., New Age hippies who smell of patchouli). But, as it turns out, we very much enjoyed our group of fellow retreaters—an eclectic bunch, including an engineering professor, a recovering alcoholic and a young woman with bipolar disorder. And despite our differences, we had something in common: We had all gone through a difficult period in our lives and were looking for a way to move forward.
It’s actually quite remarkable how quickly you can connect with complete strangers and then confide in them about things you might not even tell your closest friends. Our relative ease and comfort throughout the retreat were a testament to the skill of leaders Jocasta Boone and Sharon Davison, of Living With Purpose Now, both experts in helping people transition through change. With their guidance, we reflected on and analyzed the positive and negative experiences we had endured and talked about our goals and vision for the future. Through a variety of deepexploration exercises, we all began to open up and share intimate feelings and stories, seeking comfort in one another’s support. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by my husband’s willingness to join in despite his introverted personality. (These situations typically cause him considerable distress.) But, as always, he rose to the occasion, and I was reminded once again how lucky I am to have him as my life partner.
We also had several meditation sessions—some while lying down, some while sitting, some while walking—all very challenging since we both found it difficult to stay centred and keep our thoughts from spiralling. But this challenge was a necessary one; we forced ourselves to focus on our breathing, and we learned not to judge the thoughts that popped into our heads (such as, in my case, thinking about the massive itching sensation all over my body due to being eaten alive by mosquitoes—an unfortunate consequence of being one with nature). For two people who live a hectic and stressful existence, learning to have a greater awareness of, and appreciation for, what’s happening in this very moment was truly an essential tool to add to our spiritual tool box. (Note: I never thought I’d say something like “spiritual tool box,” but, alas, here we are. Perhaps I have already changed more than I realize.)
After the retreat ended, we made our way back to the city. As soon as we turned on our phones, the emails and notifications started flooding in. We were instantly pulled back into the daily grind of our lives, the memories of our retreat receding like a lovely and peaceful dream. We have been trying to make use of all the lessons we learned, taking small steps here and there to live more mindfully and enjoy each moment as we live it. Will we ever fully succeed at bringing awareness and serenity into our relationship and into our lives? I’m not sure about that, but I do know that as we move into the next phase of our marriage and face whatever challenges might be waiting around the corner, we will get through it all—as we always have—together. n