I have just returned from my usual annual retreat in the Canary Islands. The month of May is always a good time to relax after a very busy start to the year. I find I am more creative and productive carving out space like this at least a couple of times a year.
I was reflecting on returning from last year’s retreat and how much quieter my mind gets every year, and how much more enjoyable life is these days.
The flight home was delayed and many trains were cancelled, so it was going to be touch and go as to whether I was going to be able to get a train home for the last part of the journey.
How it actually played out….
I left the retreat feeling very grounded with a very peaceful state of mind. On the journey to the airport it felt like I was still on the retreat. Even hearing that the flight was delayed didn’t stir a negative reaction. I also knew from family texting that catching a train from Gatwick was 50/50, especially as the flight was now due in after midnight.
The busy flight was hugely enjoyable. On landing, I disembarked and grabbed my case from the carousel to try and catch the only train, which I managed. I noticed as I walked down the train carriage, deciding where to sit, how vibrant and fresh everything looked. In fact it looked as if the train had just been refurbished. It hadn’t.
This was an experience I have become very used to in the last 4 years. Every time my mind goes through a period of quietening down I am able to ‘see’ things a lot clearer. It’s like I’ve been walking around wearing scratched glasses without knowing it, and suddenly I am given these super clear, super clean pair to see the world anew. Many of us are not aware of how much ‘mental clutter’ goes on in a typical second, minute, hour or day, or how much this affects everything we experience moment to moment.
The train terminated a couple of stops short of my home station, but I found a fellow traveler to share a taxi with for the last part of the journey. I observed how in a flustered state whilst we queued and got in the taxi, he repeatedly said that he had some cash in his bag somewhere. I said, “don’t worry about it, I would have gotten a taxi anyway, so I really don’t mind paying.” He did find his money but then his conversation told of his financial worries and how short of cash he was, so I was very surprised he insisted on paying for the entire taxi fare.
We were dropped equal distance from our homes, with me walking 3 minutes in pouring rain at 1am in the morning pulling my suitcase. I got to the front door, and then I was my turn to rummage around in my bag, but I couldn’t find my key.
In that moment I suddenly stopped, and had an extreme sense of peace and being okay with the world, and then burst into laughter. I was literally doubled over with laughter at how funny the world is and how people innocently take it all so seriously.
I did find my key, but for me that whole journey reminded me so clearly how as much as it looks like we are feeling our circumstances, we never are. On paper I’m sure my journey home looked pretty horrendous – delayed flight, poor train service, enforced taxi journey and cost, torrential rain, lost front door key – but it was anything but.
How is that I’m able to experience a seemingly difficult journey as funny and enjoyable? I’m not pointing to positive thinking or being grateful or any other strange mind bending trick, I’m talking about truly understanding what creates our psychological experience and how when we uncover that, life becomes so much easier and more enjoyable. My mind is still ‘on retreat’ 4 days after coming home.
I heard a beautiful quote yesterday which sums it up beautifully…
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”― Pema Chödrön
After my restful week away I’m feeling super generous. So I’m offering a FREE “Create A Stress Free Life” Breakthrough Session for a handful of people (£299 value) for ZERO COST.
In the “Create a Stress Free Life” Breakthrough Session we’ll work together to…..
• Create a crystal clear vision for the kind of stress-free life you’ve always dreamed of
• Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your happiness and keeping you feeling stuck
• Create a clear, powerful 5-part de-stress plan so you can get started right after our cal.
• Have you leave the session renewed, re-energised and inspired to finally know what the route to a happy, relaxed, stress-free life is - once and for all.
If you’d like to take advantage of this very special, very limited, and totally FREE 90 minute “Create a Stress Free Life” breakthrough session, click this link to schedule a session with me. Be sure to select “Breakthrough Session”:
PS: If you try clicking the link above and there’s no availability, it means all the spaces have already gone. If you want a session get in early and click on the link now.
NB. Please DON’T select a session unless you know you can definitely make it. My time is limited, plus ‘no-shows’ disallows others the opportunity to have a session.