As you may know, I was in a meditation retreat up the road from my Portugal home for a week in a spectacular sacred ancient region called Sagres.

I hadn’t been in retreat for, well, since I don’t remember when. Funny isn’t it, like the shoemaker’s kids who have no shoes – I’ve been too busy building my practice to invest in a whole week of solitude and quiet that’s dedicated to myself.
To be sure, I go inward regularly (after all, I teach this stuff) but not to the degree of when it’s my singular “assignment” as it was last week. And now that I’m back home I’m keenly aware of how essential “retreating” is.

What does retreat mean?

As you know, “retreating” usually means removing yourself from your regular routines, which also means removing yourself from the people and animals in your life. You go away to another location and shelve your regular day-to-day duties. You wipe the board clean, as it were, so those daily responsibilities – often to others that can serve as distractions – are kept to a minimum.
Contemplation in nature is vital to a retreat (here a co-retreater catches this moment).
And this is what I want to mention. Who I left behind was my partner and my dog; I love them both dearly. And as I walked the spectacular coastline, relished wholesome veggie meals, moved my body in form and flow on the mat and regularly met my Inner Self through breath work, movement and meditation (exactly what we do in my emotions work), what often percolated to the top were soft reflections of Ron and little Sawyer.
My two companions who are always in my heart
In my earlier life, these reflections were of a different sort. Actually not reflections at all – but rather an aching and active missing… a loneliness, a desperate uneasy neediness that couldn’t be satisfied regardless of what I was doing. These are signs of the proverbial “not being comfortable in your own skin”…most often it’s about not liking ourselves and needing another to complete us. And without that someone physically in our presence, we can make ourselves miserable regardless of the beauty that is enriching our lives (or could be enriching our lives!).

This kind of angsty missing is far different than what I experienced last week. Through the work I’ve done on myself in learning how to navigate my difficult emotions and learning how to process and release them, the missing I experienced was, in fact, the opposite of that!

I wasn’t clinging to memories; there wasn’t a longing to be in a different place or escape back to satisfy a neediness. These soft reflections of my two companions that weaved into my consciousness was one of gratitude and love. In fact, it actually was a very pivotal element of my retreat – in that it allowed me to embrace what is most important in my life and count my blessings.
Often it’s described as holding someone in our heart. And I believe that is an apt description. I wasn’t focused on them always-all-the-time but rather when my heart turned to memories of them, it was an enhancement to my being… a deep gratitude for what’s meaningful in my life.
Do you see yourself in this picture and where you are with your missing tendencies? Drop down to the comments to let me know how this resonates for you!

With Love,

Becca

P.S. Of course, I know what a luxury it is in our busy, often financially challenging world to take this time out for ourself. That’s why I also create online group environments where even 90-minutes a week can fulfill the need for meeting and communing with our Inner Self. I invite you to register your interest here for upcoming gatherings.