It's hard to believe that already one week has passed since our time together. I've had a few challenges this last week health-wise in trying to fight off a sinus infection which seems to be lingering into its 10th day now. Luckily I have some tools that have helped me not stay isolated (my usual m.o.) and suffering alone (also my usual m.o.)
And it got me to thinking... how are the rest of you? Have you "landed" from the retreat experience? Have you had LIFE flood back in? Are you "Rising and Shining?"
Three tools I've used this week that were introduced at the retreat have been extremely helpful, and I just want to encourage you to remember to utilize these (or others from your spiritual toolbox).
1) The Spiritual Buddy - having Patrick M. there as support has been a benefit without comparison. I get cranky and isolative when I don't feel well, and his cheerful demeanor and caring nature helps lift me out of the doldrums in these circumstances. We both went to help John Palmerlee for a few hours in tearing down John's retaining wall. It did my heart and soul good to (a) get out of the house, (b) offer help/get out of myself and (c) see several of my ManSpirit brothers who had shown up to assist John. This is what I believe ManSpirit is about: being there for each other. Patrick also chauffeured me to the Center Friday and Saturday nights where we were able to view a slide show on Antarctica, then participate in the Global Drumming event the following night. This connection kept me from wallowing in self-pity and grumpiness. So I encourage you to go ahead and make a coffee date with your spiritual buddy. You won't regret it!
2) The tapping technique that Dawson presented (Emotional Freedom Technique). I started tapping as a means to deal with the awful headaches that have been one of the symptoms of the sinus infection... "Even though I have this pain, I completely and totally love myself and God loves me completely and totally." The pain decreased, and even more profound---I had this epiphany as I kept digging deeper into the beliefs/emotions surrounding the pain... I realized that after 25 years of living with HIV, I HAVE NEVER FORGIVEN MYSELF FOR CONTRACTING THE VIRUS! Whoa! I was able, through the tapping, to connect with that 22 y.o. frightened boy who got HIV unknowingly during the early years of the virus. Amazing that a simple technique such as tapping to get rid of a sinus-related headache would bring up ages old burden I've carried for nearly 3 decades. So please, tap tap tap, if you have an issue!
3) My daily meditation practice of sitting for 15 minutes twice daily.
So, I'm not harping here... I just want to encourage people to not let the retreat slip away. Do what you can to keep it present. You just might be astonished at the miracles that show up as a result.