I can’t believe my next mini sabbatical week is coming up! It’s been 6 weeks already?? Time sure flies.
I’m actually taking an extended sabbatical this time and going to a 10-day silent meditation retreat.
I’ll be gone from June 1 through 12.
I went to my first silent meditation retreat about 3 years ago, and it totally changed my life! It was so enriching and deeply healing. I remember coming out of it feeling so content and happy. Like I didn’t have any emotional or physical knots anywhere.
As the name of the retreat suggests, you don’t talk to anyone for 10 days and either meditate or learn how to meditate for a good chunk of the day from 4am to 9pm .
I signed up for this retreat earlier this year. I didn’t know why exactly, but I felt ready for it. Last time I went was the spring before I got married. It was also the time when I was contemplating cutting back my hours at my day job so I could dedicate more time and energy into art.
I had another huge life change last summer when I quit my day job cold turkey and felt I needed to pause again to reflect on things that have happened since then.
To be honest, I’ve been feeling pretty anxious about it. I’m nervous about not working for so many days. In fact I’ve thought about postponing it more than once. It’s not like I have employees who can run the show while I’m gone. When I’m gone, my business needs to be on hold, too.
But I figured there is never a “good” time to take off anyway.
When you are an entrepreneur, there is always things to do. Your to-do list never ends. You could easily end up working ridiculous hours, never taking a day off, and burn out eventually if you’re not careful.
I’ve talked to Dave about my concerns, and he reminded me how great I felt last time I went to the retreat. He really noticed I came home a different (i.e. better) person then!
Another friend I talked to pointed out to me that this time of reflection will help me recharge my creative battery, too. So while I’m not able to “work” per-se during the retreat, I’m still doing something positive to grow my creative business.
So I’m giving myself a permission to go and enjoy my time to just sit quietly.
The hardest part of silent meditation for me is not the no-talking part.
I actually really enjoy that part. I’m a proud introvert, and it’s nice that even if you’re surrounded by strangers, you’re not expected to make a small talk with anyone 😀 Not talking to anyone for 10 days while having no responsibility was pretty amazing!
The toughest part was being alone with the endless thoughts that came up.
It was the dark and angry thoughts that upset me the most. I was surprised I had so much anger inside me for so long. And it was a constant practice of noticing those thoughts, observing them without a judgement, and letting go of them. Over and over.
It seemed like my mind never shut up! And without other noises distracting me, the voice in my head grew louder. What a fascinating experience it was!
I’d also come up with the best ideas while I was meditating. But you’re not supposed to write down anything either, so that was another tough part.
You learn to let go of things. Whether it’s good or bad.
You’re also not allowed to draw or exercise during the retreat. I know that will definitely be a challenge for me!
But like the last time, I’m trying not to have a lot of expectations. I will experience what I’m supposed to and gain (or not gain) whatever comes out of it. Maybe I’ll have a totally awesome experience again. And maybe I won’t. And that’s OK, too.
I’ll be completely offline between June 1 and 12. That means there will be two weeks without any new blog posts! If you comment or send me any questions, I won’t be able to answer them until after I come back.
I can’t wait to tell you all about it when I come back! Take care until then ❤
p.s. If you wanted your Father’s Day card in time, order it tomorrow, Monday, May 30, for timely shipping 🙂