The past ten days of my life have been unlike any other.
The beginning of February found me successfully fighting off every bug my children brought home, aiming high (in fun, aligned ways) in my work life, actively engaged in my volunteer life (though attempting to lessen those committments as I move through my pregnancy). I was still managing to listen to my body and take naps most every day, which is what my five-month pregnant self was asking for.
Amidst the structure and outer worldly commitments, I was pretty excited to have two retreats planned - time for just me:
A women’s weekend at the most wonderful property in the middle of nowhere, ID and...
A low-key bachelorette for my sister at Trinity Hot Springs - a lovely temperate pool in the deepest known source of fresh water on earth. (Have I mentioned how much I love Idaho?!)
The week before the women’s weekend I had a committment every evening: presenting to receive grant money for my son’s amazing (and underfunded) school, a finance committee meeting, an Open House to showcase the school to new parents, an evening coaching call for my Clear Your Space course and a monthly women’s dinner gathering that I always prioritize.
I'm the first to admit, I was running on fumes - and feeling the tug to have more time with my family.
On Friday, I was one put together mama - finishing all the important stuff and tying up loose ends in my business, packed and ready to go for my weekend retreat.
I was presenting at one point in the weekend and had a vague sense for what that would look like... and a strong intuition to let the weekend play out, to see what participants needed... a knowingness that I would be able to offer exactly that without a lot of prep on my end (so nice to have these years of my business under my belt).
At noon, I found myself packed up in a 15-passenger van with 12 other lovely ladies - all of our various committments and concerns left behind.
The weekend was particularly soulful, with old friends and new, my kind of vegetable laden meals, silent explorations down by the river flanked by layers of ice, early nights in a wood heated cabin, fresh Idaho air with spectacular views of the Lost River Range and Idaho’s tallest peak: Mt Borah, skinny dipping in a wood fired hot tub after a sunny hike, wild art, women offering up amazing contributions to the weekend (we are a wealth of resource - each one of us).
I arrived with a head full of worries, issues I would work through… and realized halfway through the weekend that I hadn’t thought of them once - that they’d all slipped away with the breeze.
Fitting. My intent for the weekend had been to:
To allow myself to let go of the chaos that had somehow filled my mental space over the past few weeks.
FOLLOW MY DESIRE.
To get curious about my soul’s urges, listen to them and do exactly what my intuition told me to.
Sunday morning I realized that the cough I’d been fighting was getting the better of me (no thanks to the bowlful of peanut M&M’s in the middle of Saturday’s circle - the kind of thing I never eat, but just can’t resist). I sent out the call to the group for any immune booster my midwife (who was also on the retreat!) said it was okay for me to take. But despite my efforts, by midday I was laid flat (literally).
When I got home that evening (from this gorgeous spot), after an ecstatic greeting from my family, I climbed into bed and basically didn’t emerge for the next week.
I was in good hands with every alternative immune booster known to woman - in my body.
After years of staying away from Ibuprofen and Tylenol (rebuilding my stomach lining), I came to deeply appreciate their place in managing my fever. One night early in the week, with a high fever and difficulty breathing through the cough that racked my body, we considered heading into the Emergency Room. So thankful in the end that we didn’t have to go that route.
What my body needed was sleep - copious amounts of it.
My husband (bless his heart) spent the week single parenting (after a weekend with the kiddos) AND taking care of me, during one of the more difficult weeks in his work life. Things were actually going along pretty well, considering, when my three year old daughter came down midweek with the same flu and cough combo... so much for a good night's sleep.
As I mentioned, the last ten days have been like no other I can remember.
The deep release I experienced at the retreat continued, without a choice, into my life at home.
The meetings that were so important and the work commitments that I’d had planned… all fell away, like an old skin that needed to shed.
It felt right.
There’s always a silver lining.
I have been without a voice for at least a week and have come to appreciate taking a deep breath as my only option when I feel ready to snap at my children. I’ve reunited with deep listening as an incredible way to be present with my loved ones.
In fact, so much I am grateful for has bubbled to the surface over the past two weeks that I want to share that here with you. Gratitude is the fastest way to shift into a positive world full of resources and inner guidance.
So here we are, the 10 things I am most grateful for in this month of love, this month that has looked quite different than I’d planned…
Being able to breathe out of my nose - day and night. Glorious.
The abundant plant life all around us and all its healing powers.
The friends and family who continually step up to offer support - what an amazing community we have access to... every day.
The perspective to be able to release what seemed SO important - what seemed to hinge on me. Life goes on. One present moment at a time.
February in the mountains: spring-like with thoughts of pulling weeds and planting one day; blustery & frigid the next with new snow coming down sideways.
A friend who lent me: The Wise Child: A Spiritual guide to Nurturing Your Child's Intuition - an amazing book I needed to read just in this very moment. Learning to listen with my heart.
My daughter’s smile - her ability to play independently again AND all the quality time we spend glued together at the hip when she is not well.
My 8 year old son’s new found compassion and care for others. His recognition (sometimes more than my own) of all the work my body is constantly doing to CREATE this new being. His gentle, curious, sensitive nature.
My husband, my partner, my better half. He takes it all in stride, never a hint of resentment when he has to unexpectedly step up and be the only present parent after a weekend of just that. Taking care of me, of breakfasts and lunches, getting the kids off to school, single parenting, taking days off work to be home with me, cleaning the house.
My home - the supportive container for us to lean into. At this point it’s so easy to maintain! With one of the more trying few weeks of the winter behind us, some things certainly fell through the cracks, but it’s been effortless to pull it back together.
Every little kick this baby gives me... & so much more.
Looking forward to soaking in deeply healing waters this weekend. Still going with the flow in my body to see if I will step away for the weekend or if I need to be home for my family and my own health. Listening to this thing called intuition is a powerful tool.
What are you grateful for?
What silver lining have the hardships in your life exposed?
What intuition can you follow today?
Be well, :) Tenaya