Living in a wintery state where sunshine and heat are not year-round commodities, I find summer often goes by in a blurred, slightly intoxicated fashion filled with weddings, workshops, family gatherings, camping, and fires. It's fast-paced and a bit exhausting and often makes me wonder how I manage to fit work into the mix. Long nights and early mornings, leave me longing for the dark laziness of autumn and winter, as I simply have no self-control when it comes to doing things, as I'm an all-in kind of girl who wants to do it all!
As I look ahead for times of stillness in my ever-busy schedule I realize I need to make those still points, they do not simply happen! It's up to me to allocate time for simply being and it's up to me to honor those moments when they arrive. I can blame it on our goal-oriented, consumer mentality or I can be honest and just admit I'm a Gemini who wants it all! I want the work, the play, the experience of living and I have a hard time saying no if it sounds interesting or fun in some way. Learning to regulate my time, that there may be space for doing nothing is something I am constantly working on. While I am good at clearing my schedule periodically, the reason I need to do so often is due to my ability to fill my schedule up. I have accepted that I am in a constant state of change and that this ebb and flow of work and play is part of my dualistic nature, but in doing so I also need to accept that I NEED to work on it.
Having turned 50 this year, I chose a word to filter my life through; choosing the perspective I want to live my life through. My word was RADIATE, and my intentions around it are to radiate love and magic into the world, through my words and deeds. While this seemed straightforward at the time, like most things it has turned out to be more complicated than expected. For one, radiating has not been that hard. I'm a racehorse personality with a gregarious personality. I like to be involved in things, I like to be doing. I like to celebrate and dive deep into the wonkiness of life. But like most things, there is a flip-side in which I realize that in order to radiate light I must maintain my own being with dedication and ritualistic commitment.
One of the things I have been working on this summer is making good use of my time. Not in the do more sense, but in the do less sense. I have made a point of simply sitting in my yard observing nature; listening to the wind in the trees, watching birds, and opening myself intuitively to my surroundings. My sleeping pattern has changed; I am no longer waking with the sun, instead, I find myself emerging from bed between 8 & 9 am, something I haven't done since my kids were born. I have chosen to be the passenger in long rides to airports, simply so I can sit with my husband for hours in the car doing nothing; recognizing that these moments of unproductivity are needed to balance my squirrel-powered existence. In these moments I find myself reminiscing the time in my life where there was nothing to do, and I was free to partake in whatever unplanned adventure came my way.
How do you recharge? Are you taking time to listen to the world around you and your own inner voice? Are you so excited to be doing things that you find yourself lost in the fast pace of your life? What do you do to retreat in the short term and the long?
Retreat is a word we hear often, often with images of spa treatments and tropical beaches. But in truth, we can create personal retreats in our own home, yard, and local environment. To go on retreat is to step away from your everyday experience of life. In truth that family camping trips and stay-cations can be utilized as forms of retreat, as long as we change our normal everyday routines, particularly if we make a point of changing our everyday routines, and add time for reflection and personal exploration to the mix.
CREATING A HOME RETREAT-
*Start by disconnecting from your everyday life for the day/weekend/week by letting others know you will not be available (no calls, visits, or obligations/pretend you out of town if need be).
*Clean your living space to a point you can walk away and ignore or minimally maintain it throughout the time of your retreat.
*Create a comfy package of your favorite things for your retreat; favorite snacks, journal, water, spiritual tools, etc.
*Whether you have chosen to retreat at home or somewhere else, start by setting up an altar to remind you of your intentions. Dedicate yourself to the experience by stating your intentions while sitting at your altar (you may want to invite your ancestors and guides to be with you).
*Perform a Reading for yourself with oracle cards, tarot, or runes. Personal divination is a great way to look at where you are at in life and what you are working on. Take your time, make sure to write down your thoughts in your Book of Shadows.
FREE BOOK OF SHADOWS ONLINE WORKSHOP-https://salicrow-school-of-magic.thinkific.com/courses/Book-of-shadows
* Go for a walk in the woods, or around the neighborhood. Walk in silence, taking in the sounds, sights, and feels you experience. Practice deep rhythmic breathing while walking, intentionally filling your being with the vibrant energy of the plants and trees you experience.
*Take time to sit with a tree. Place your back up against it and allow yourself to simply be in its energetic aura. Do this for a good long while (at least 20 minutes).
*Soak in your tub or a local watering hole, if you can add some good trance music and incense. Enhance the experience further with bath oils, salts, and perhaps a bit of cannabis (CBD or THC).
*Lounge in your garden, hammock, patio, or porch reading your favorite book or listening to your favorite music.
*Watch the clouds scrying for intuitive messages from your guides and higher consciousness.
*Have a backyard fire just for yourself, sit with the fire gazing into the flames and coals, connecting and recharging.
There are so many ways we can retreat and recharge. However you decide to do it, make sure to honor the time and yourself!
JULY RETREAT @ Solstice Meadow/ AIR WEEKEND- working with sacred sound