last weekend. And, I have to say, it surpassed any expectations I had for the kind of intimacy and connection that was there, for all to have, screen to screen. Although I know that we got what we got and Zoom is what we got, the retreat penetrated the layers of what keeps us running in place when it comes to compulsive eating and/or our day-to-day lives.
What was extraordinary about meeting this way was that people got to see what they were like in their own homes, rather than having to go away to a retreat center (although that has its many advantages as well). What was like to be in their own kitchen? Was it possible to come back home, to center, in the midst of what we usually consider a jumble of obligations, emails to answer, being with children and spouses? Where is the refuge in one’s own home? I like that question a lot, since most of us are spending a lot of time now at home.
For the last few days, for instance, I took two digital-free days. It felt like I was on a beach in Hawaii. (Okay, not exactly on a beach, but the freedom I felt, the lack of agitation and pressure to respond was extraordinary). And it reminded me that I take myself with me everywhere and that it’s possible, right here, right now to make a choice or a series of choices, no matter what has come before, to calm this hypervigilant nervous system down. I could decide not to look at my phone or computer before 10 am. Wow. Talk about radical. I could limit the amount of time I spend on my devices—and in so doing, choose a kind of smooth, fluid way of going through my days instead of the knee-jerk check my devices every few hours.
I realized in the two free days that when I am constantly on the internet, I am like a lake that is also ruffled on the surface. Wave after wavelet, they keep coming. Until I choose to remove the source of agitation and question the mind that believes it’s necessary to stay so connected. (Connected to what is another question. The endless parade of news stories? More shiny pictures that have nothing to do with my life?). I’m thinking of you all and your own refuges and wishing you the ease of creating ones for yourself.
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