Switching from a girlie weekend of shopping to a personal retreat seemed at the time to be an amusing distraction. Something new to try and an experience that would further cement a friendship of over 20 years standing. It was only as we pulled up to Te Moata that I realised what a big step this weekend really was for me. I’d never been on a retreat before and I was suddenly overcome with sheer terror that I would be in over my head in as far as spirituality was concerned.
But since 2010 is the year where I said I was going to go for growth and strength signing up for a weekend designed to help you live your life passionately seemed like an interesting adventure.
And what an adventure!
At one level the weekend was part busman’s holiday and part rekindling youth. An opportunity to experience life coaching from a coach I’ve admired from what I’ve read but didn’t know and I wanted to dance again. Beyond knowing this I didn’t really read the small print and it’s probably a good thing as I’m sure I would have found an excuse to cancel. I’d like to say I was brave and bold but being terrified that I would be out of my depth amongst regular retreaters was closer to the truth.
But never fear, I carefully prepared my introduction. Answers to all those typical first sessions at group events. What I was looking for from the weekend. What I hoped to gain. What outcomes I was looking for. The only problem was I wasn’t prepared for the actual question asked – “what was top of mind for me right now – what was I feeling?” And, I had only 4 other people speaking before me to think of something relaxed and retreat-like to say.
In the event, you’ll be pleased to know I was true to my self and when my turn came I blurted out the first thing that came into my head. I can’t remember the exact words but something like “how I’m feeling right now is terrified, out of my depth………”. And then luckily the floor to opened up and I fell into a deep hole of embarrassment.
What happened after? Let’s just say – what happens on tour, stays on tour.
Happy to tell you thought that it was a weekend of fun. Laughter. Talking. Listening. Thinking. Experimenting. And, dancing.
Oh how we danced. I danced like I used to in nightclubs in my twenties, except there were no handbags to dance around. I also danced like I remember we did in primary school for “movement and music”. There was touch of hip hop, contemporary, jazz, ballroom and ballet too, if that was your sort of gig. I was blown away by 5rhythms dancing which was the coolest way to groove without fear that you’d get the steps wrong or stand out as the class dork. Our teacher, Sacha, was amazing – she had everyone moving from the first beat of the music and cruising till the last cord. And, only then did you realise that you’d been dancing for 90 minutes without a break. In all I think we danced for about 5-6 hours in total over the weekend.
Aside from dancing we spent time in nature, taking time to think about what’s important to us. How we can do more of what we love.
I even hugged a tree. But then regular readers will know that’s nothing new for me!
Although I wasn’t personally able to connect with some of the spirituality tools, I have a deeper sense of respect of what they can bring and how they help others to find their hopes and dreams.
There is no doubt that I learned much about myself over the weekend. I renewed my sense of purpose towards my life as a Domestic Executive. There were times when I was most definitely my mother’s daughter, she would have been a professional retreater I am sure. She was a scholar of spirituality and loved to dance too.
You may be wondering if I saw “the light.” Got “what I was looking for”. In truth, I didn’t. I came away with so much more. Our coach Big Stretch Coach Rosie certainly opened up new lines of thinking so I’m looking forward to the big stretches I’m now going to make this year.
Today I feel lighter and brighter than I have for a very long time. I also have very sore legs and shoulders. But that’s what happens when you use dancing muscles you’ve not used for a long time!