Friday, May 14, 2010

Home, Learnings, and A Bit of Discernment

I'm back.

Back to my beloved nest in northern Michigan, just in time to witness the first flowerings of spring. The lilacs are not out yet and the birds are busily dashing to and fro re-building their own homes of comfort for the arrival of new little ones. I do love spring.

After a true 30-day sabbatical so much is brewing in me that I hardly know where to begin. Suffice it to say it was a time of great discovery. Exploring new terrain in the tropics, diving deep into my own inner landscape. Detangling old patterns and establishing new habits.

I wrote in my journal every day, sitting beneath the protective bows of a 100-year-old "Bodhi Tree." It was heaven on earth. (And, yes, a book was born. Hurrah! Now for the rewrites ...)

I stayed away from the computer. Walked. Read. Filled my well with a beautiful blend of silence, bird song, and recordings of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes' new offering, "The Dangerous Old Woman."

I re-created myself. Enough so that I cannot be and live as I did before I left ...

I wish every woman on earth could have the luxury of going away for an extended period of time like this to learn who she really is.  Nothing to do but what she absolutely wanted to do. No obligations, tugging hands, or "shoulds" looming on the horizon. Each of us deserves this kind of time away because we give so much of ourselves to others, to life, in service to the betterment of this world. We can so easily lose our selves along the way.

And even though I consider myself a conscious and awake woman, the time spent under the Tree showed me that there were bones I needed to collect—life force I needed to breathe back into myself—and that only I could do this. I did ...

Yet, when we re-enter the stream of life we are apt to slip and slide once again. We pick up our old habits as easily as one bends to gather up a twig or a weed, without even thinking. We jump back into the fray, get on the computer, make appointments, and fill our days with bustling activity. Before we know it we are tired all over again and in need of another retreat.

I have witnessed that tendency in myself this week and vow not to flail about in the headwaters of life. I will float free and unencumbered so that I can stay faithful to this wildly creative self who emerged in the tropics. And so, because I have made this vow, I have made some difficult decisions. Good for me, perhaps challenging for others.

~ One of the decisions is to maintain this website simply as a website—one which is updated regularly—but does not contain a blog. I wish to continue to simplify my life, give my all to the books which are being birthed, and not spend so much time online. So, I invite you to visit my other blog: Awake is Good. I will be there, fairly regularly, with news from my nest.

~ I will be "teaching" minimally for the rest of the year. Traveling very little. Which means fewer program offerings out in the big wide world. So please stay tuned to my Calendar so you can find me when you need me. :-) Mostly, I'll be home writing—either at the beach or in the garden.

One of the passions that was resurrected in me during the time under the Tree was the art of the reflective essay—based on what Nature was revealing to me about life in that moment. It is the type of writing many of you say you enjoy and I will be doing more of that.

~ I will be blogging less. I discovered that so much time online "jazzed me up." Made my mind very cluttered and busy. It prevented deeper musings from coming forth and, you know me, I'll all about plunging the depths and writing from that magical place. So if you have a blog, please don't feel offended if I appear absent. Though, who knows, I may take up lurking and just send you whooshes of love through the air waves. You are always in my heart ...

That's it for now. Dinner duty calls. Yes, some things never change and I have a hungry husband who does love my cooking. Despite what some may think, there is much sacredness in the mundane—even in meatless meatloaf!

Beginning next week, please visit me at Awake is Good. I will look forward to catching up with you there. I'll be sharing some of my retreat insights ...

With Love and Joy,

p.s. And don't forget to check out "Return to Your Center," the only weekend retreat I'm offering this year. June 25-27, Grand Rapids, Mi. We'll be walking a sacred journey on a labyrinth together. Click here for details. 

p.s.s. I've just sent out my Spring 2010 Newsletter. If you would like to receive it, you can subscribe by using the Contact Box. The theme, no surprise, is the importance of rest, renewal, and Sabbath time—retreat! 


Wilma Ham said...

Jan, thank you! I need to hear this, I need to see this. Slow down, follow your heart and do not get caught up in being busy to make 'it' happen whatever 'it' is. Being still with yourself, daring to follow your own path that you know is good for you, trusting you are not alone and you are carried along your path by good allies, all is well. Jan, you are a treasure, thank you again, much love, Wilma

PS I love daily doings, they ground me.

Joychristin said...

I love this "I've recreated myself". Such transformation at exactly the right time for you. I am so excited! And it came because you honored your desire for silence, stillness, retreat. You shushed your busy life and let your heart whispers roam free. I absolutely love it, my heart is just overflowing for you! Thank you for allowing your transformation to begin--a true inspiration for all of us!
Much Light
PS. Megan has named me Moonbeam, which I think is most appropriate:)

Sharon said...

Big changes in your world. It sounds like you have found your path. I will check in once in a while and see what you're up to. I wish you well, Jan.

Cheryl Wright said...

I send you blessings on your new path and will eagerly await and ravenously gobble up the delicious offerings you will be sharing at Awake is Good.

mermaid said...

Simplify. Remember to take gentle steps. Reflective essays. In the moment.

It sounds wonderful, Jan. I am right there with you.

Jan said...

"Daring to follow your own path." Beautifully put! This is so true and yet sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. I appreciate the tender nudge....

All good changes. When follow our hearts we not only help ourselves but create a new well of living waters for others to drink from. I look forward to this next leg of the journey with everyone...

May we all feast at this great banquet we call life and embody our magnificence. :-)

Gentle blessings upon us all.

Jan said...

Thank you for your kind words. I do love the notion of "re-creation." May we all continue to honor these choices for ourselves, choices which allow us to be all that we can be. I've always appreciated the quote, "Change is inevitable, but growth is optional."

Carolynn said...

I have taken an unscheduled and unofficial step back from blogging, as well. I do not feel obligated to show up for others. It has always been my intention to use it as an outlet for my thoughts and it will continue to be that. Right now, I'm content to be with my own thoughts, alone, for the most part. When the time is right and I have something more to say, I'll use my voice.

Honour yourself in this.

Much love,

Jan said...

Hi Carolynn,
I am glad to hear that you too are listening to your inner voice and needs and are honoring them. Taking a hiatus from the allure of the web is a very good thing. I agree. May your "time away" be fruitful. xo

Jenn said...

Thank-you Jan for sharing here today. It felt calming and like a gentle refuge for these few moments ;) I am happy to hear that you are cozy'd in and enjoying spring in MI! I loved the photo of the white lilacs today! take care and enjoy replenishing and writing! hugs, Jenn