Ahhh….as the time passes the memories fade a bit. Day-to-day life has taken over again, so here I sit, writing the final installment of the Mama Retreat series, reflecting on the time I spent alone in the woods in the few minutes I have left before I dive in to homework and carpool. Fortunately for me, I discovered a long time ago that what all those people say is true: when we take time for ourselves we are much better for all those whom we serve. And this, my friends, is my big take-away from my Mama Retreat.
Along with my camper and bedding and snacks and lanterns, I packed a giant duffle bag of books and notebooks. I have a few books that I treasure, have read and reread them several times. They’re dogeared and highlighted. (I’m going to make sure they’re all listed along the side margin of my blog so you can look in to them if you so desire.) I also carry a notebook around with me wherever I go and am always making notes–lyrics from songs, thoughts on writing topics, observations out in the world, random journal entries and emotions expressed on paper. I brought about 4 of those from times passed along with me too.
In between hiking and cooking, yoga and sleeping, I reviewed all the highlighted parts and all my notes, filling the pages of a fresh new spiral-bound with the words that caught my attention, warmed my heart, got my mind racing, and got me excited. And what I determined from all of this–the time in nature, the solitude, the research and self-exploration–is that I have something to share. There are so many of us who are givers…nurturers, helpers, cheerleaders…bleeding hearts, martyrs…
I have a deep desire to be of service. I volunteer my time, I am a mother of three, I cook for families in need, I contribute materially to causes I believe in, but I have had this deep, deep feeling that I have something more to give. Not to imply that what I do isn’t enough. I have a calling that I’m seeking…desperately. (If I’m trying this hard, many would say if I just STOPPED trying my answer would appear.) Well, I want to write a book. I want to talk to people who don’t know how to center themselves, don’t know what calms their soul, don’t know how they can take the time, don’t know that they’re worthy of the work, don’t know how they can justify giving some of their love and attention and devotion to themselves. I feel like I can really help.
I have no idea where to begin, but I’m going to start with an outline, some visuals, and some clear intention-setting. If the Mama Retreat inspired you at all, please know YOU CAN DO IT TOO. Maybe it’s camping, maybe it’s the beach, maybe it’s a spot in front of a fireplace. Maybe it’s a week, maybe it’s 24 hours, maybe it’s 2 hours every week. Maybe it’s 30 minutes each and every morning. I can help you figure that out. And I can show you all the areas of your life that will benefit from finding what it is that centers your spirit. It’s different for everyone, but vital to everyone. And once you get there, you’ll be amazed at how much more YOU can give–how much more joy you can spread, how many more people you can effect, how much more of an impact your time and energy can make in the world.
I’m going to be asking questions and doing surveys on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cristinzinspiredliving) to help me along my path. Please share your stories with me so I can be of service to others. Maybe this is it, maybe there’s something even more around the corner for me. But for now, this resonates with my soul so I’m gonna take a stab at it.
Thank you to all of you who support me every day. I learn from each of you. And if you know a publisher who would eat this idea up, send ’em my way!!!
Peace and love~