The inaugural Red Kayak Retreat was held in June in Wisconsin and the retreat attendees were six of my favorite people – collectively we are the Sedona Seven – and they were willing participants.
The retreat was titled, “Discovery on the Water: Pause, Ponder and Paddlin’ On™.” It began with exploring the importance of Pause. Dennis Waitley says, “All the important arenas in our life are there awaiting our decisions. But they don’t beg us to give them our time.” The purpose of the Pause was to give ourselves that time for the really significant things.
Paddling our 10-mile stretch of the Wisconsin River is our time to Ponder. It was our time in silence to go with the flow and allow the serenity of being “of the water” to seep inside. It was our time to think about those bigger things. And as John O’Donohue says, “take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.”
And finally, Paddlin’ On™. Our challenge to take action about some new truths that we have discovered during our time on the water. We are our choices.
Comments from retreaters:
“It was an amazing experience. I had the perfect sense of peace paddling during the silence. There were times when I rested my paddle across the kayak and allowed the current to carry me while my eyes were closed. I felt vibrant and conscious yet completely relaxed and calm.”
“It was an awesome experience for me. During this process, I felt like I was embracing the items that belonged in my boat while tossing out those that no longer serve me.”
“Silence breeds reflection and contemplation and I recognized my thoughts were random and my own. I was attuned to the universe, spirit, nature and myself. I was “being” not doing.”
“I learned that the answers are always IN my boat.”
Renowned author and retreat leader Joan Anderson says, “I believe that retreating is not a luxury—rather it is a necessity. Women are the carriers of culture. In order to continue our vital role we must leave the chaos and familiarity of family and community to give ourselves the attention we deserve.”
When was the last time you allowed yourself time to retreat?
Are you so busy nurturing others that you have forgotten to nurture yourself?
If so, a retreat may be just what you need. Will you allow yourself this gift?