Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sugar Ridge final reflections

Cats enjoying the Diva Den already
I'm home and had a great sleep.  I was so thrilled to see my husband, talk to my bestie, parents, and snuggle with my cats.  I feel amazing and have already instituted several changes that align with my learning.  The best coolest thing is that while chatting while my husband while I was away, he recognized that I needed a space for myself to do yoga and meditate so he moved his stuff out of a room we deemed the "man's room" and into our TV space therefore allowing me to move into his old space.  Not only did he move his stuff out, he moved a bed and desk into the space for me.  I shared this with the guests at Sugar Ridge and asked them to brainstorm a name for the space and of course my funny roommate came up with "Diva Den".  Not that I'm a diva but I love the name.  Today I moved some more photos in, brought my yoga/meditation stuff in, and found some of my favourite things to put in the space to make it special and to be able to be surrounded with awesome things.   I am going to order/purchase a couple of the special yoga pillows to keep my back in a good position and sitting more comfortable.

Reflecting on my time at Sugar Ridge I did wish many more people could go and experience the relaxation, peacefulness, and importantly, life lessons learned.  But, what I have also learned is that if you are not ready to attend and not chose to attend as your own idea then the program won't be as effective as it could be.  I was ready for this and sought it out on my own to be a more effective friend, daughter, wife, and leader for our school.

I joked that I wish I had a shirt that says "What would Liz say" to replicate the quiet voice of our leader Liz Frost.  What a gift she is to this program and all of us.  I did spend a lot of time journaling throughout the program and was able to record some of her best teachings.

I really appreciated that she did call me out on my BS as to why I do what I do and act the way I do. She is a tough cookie (and a therapist when not running these retreats) so is totally legit when she tells you that you are lying to yourself, being too hard on yourself, or using distorted thinking strategies. I was happy to hear and see alignment between some counselling sessions I have attended here in London and what she taught us.  Hearing from another perspective about my unhealthy thinking strategies made them even more real and importantly, needing to change.

This place was easy to attend if you are ok with bugs, living in a cabin without it's own toilet, sharing a restroom, walking around in slippers and dressing very casually (no one wore make up and still looked gorgeous), family style eating, participating in a group therapy type sessions, and meeting new people.  I really wish it was 2 weeks long to continue the daily yoga and to really master the meditation practice but, real life needs to be real and getting home to work on myself needs to start sooner than later.

Thank you Liz for all your wisdom...

"What is mindfulness? Training and controlling your mind to pay attention"

"Nothing lasts forever"

"Perspective is everything"

"The pain you know is easier that the pain of where you may go"

"Notice the thoughts you have and challenge them"

"How do you create your own suffering and how can you alleviate it?"

"Be careful of your ownership of your emotions i.e my depression' because when you are not 'depressed' you won't feel like yourself"

"Recognize what it is instead of what it isn't"

"Opportunities don't go away, they go to someone else"

"Yoga means...union of mind and body"

"Does it make sense that I am putting energy into this memory?"

"If you can't find a minute to meditate then you need an hour"

"Are you at work when you are not at work?"

"What does that thought say about you and is it true?"

"Your body isn't who you are"

"You can grieve more than death and dying, you can grieve the lost of an expectation"

"Feel the boredom and learn to live with it"