Happy New Year friends!
It’s 2019… are you all still with me??
I don’t know about you guys but the last few weeks of 2018 had my head spinning.
In early December I was second guessing myself quite a bit because of a decision I had made in the early fall months. I had signed up to go on a meditation retreat in early December, halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had a good friend also sign up with me and honestly, her level of commitment is what made me keep mine.
On Friday, December 7th, after a full day at work – I drove home and packed my bags to go away for the weekend. I had contemplated scrapping the whole thing so many times, but I realized how important it was that I relax and slow down. I needed some time for myself to just be and I was lucky enough to have support in all directions that allowed me to do just that.
Where I live is a unique little grove tucked back in the woods. I’m surrounded by camps and a handful of year round residents. One of my neighbors put up signs several months ago that say “Please Slow Down” in big bold letters. I pass many of these signs any time I leave my house. Usually I keep my car going under 10 mph and don’t pay much more attention.
That Friday though… I realized that please slow down was my prayer, my mantra, my theme for the weekend – and beyond.
As I drove to the retreat center I really began embracing these words. They didn’t DEMAND that I slow down. There weren’t even !!! after the statement… just a soft, kind, gentle reminder…
I did just that. I spent the weekend feeling very neutral. I didn’t beat myself up for taking time off during the busy Holiday season. I slept deeply Friday and Saturday night. I sipped coffee. I LISTENED. I listened to friends talk, vent, cry, heal. I slowed way down. I wasn’t worried about time or money. I knew my children were safe and cared for at home. I surrendered to the pace that was set at The Peace Village (the retreat center in the beautiful Catskill Mountains) and allowed myself to go where the weekend took me.
I found myself walking with an intimate group of new friends in the snow… through the mountains in a single file line. We stared off into the snow. We slowed down.
Now I feel like I’ve blinked… and it’s 2019.
We have all made it to the beginning of a new year and I’m inviting you to do what I did several weeks ago – I’m inviting myself to do it again too.
Slow down. Please… slow down.
Let this year start out gentle and slow. Let us find some stillness in all the chaos the past few weeks brought up… the ending of another (hopefully) wonderful year, the beginning ripe with intentions and new hope.
Take a deep breath and look around you. Give thanks for those you love, the support you have, your simple pleasures.
Bask in them slowly.
Please slow down.