“The truth is this—the world is waiting for you to show up in all your shining authentic glory. There is a space in this world that is created just for you. And it is your responsibility—and privilege— to find out.” Heather Penny, Ph.D.
There’s a scene in the movie, Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts that still haunts me. Richard Gere is the groom and confronts her with how lost she is by not even knowing the way she likes her eggs cooked. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqyGc7-UEj4
She knows this runs deep. The majority of her life has been about what other people like instead of finding out what she enjoys. Her focus has been entirely on earning their approval without ever being able to affirm herself. And this is what makes her run. She doesn’t know who she is and fears finding out.
We have all faced this haunting at some time in our lives. This is why we stay busy, pack our schedules with more, over-eat, choose various addictions—anything to get the relief we need from really facing ourselves. The problem with this is hard. If we don’t take the time to honor who we are and who we are choosing to become, we lose. We lose our intended presence in this world, the impact we are created to make, our purpose, and our joy. And we begin to disappear as we focus on playing a role that we think serves the world best.
The truth is this—the world is waiting for you to show up in all your shining authentic glory. There is a space in this world that is created just for you. And it is your responsibility—and privilege— to find out.
MeRetreats are about learning how you like your eggs—and so many other things you have yet to discover about yourself. It is an annual getaway for a minimum of 3 days where you go where ever you want, do whatever you want, and eat whatever you want. It serves as a time to get to know yourself again and maybe even find out new things.
This year, I was in the mood for some history in the Northern California area where I visited some old goldrush towns in Amador County. Sleepy little towns with loads of history. Plymouth is where I spent a full day as I tasted, viewed, talked, shopped, visited with locals and read about the town’s history.
What I learned about me on this MeRetreat:
- I love having 3 days totally unscheduled stretched out in front of me. Simply waking up not knowing how the day will unfold invigorates me. And not being pulled in all the usual directions I live with on a daily basis, but simply doing whatever feels meaningful in that moment.
- I like driving out in rural wildlands on wide-open roads listening to country music as I take in the beautiful scenery. It is hypnotizing and I find my worries fade away as I drive along at a leisurely pace keeping time with the next song wondering where my next stop will be.
- I like watching music videos for hours. Usually, songs that have to do with artists who are offering kindness, tender thoughts, and nostalgic love. And seeing the mini-movie play in front of me allows me to get to know some of the thoughts behind the artist and their interpretation of the song. Here’s one of my new favorite songs by a band I have come to love, Head and Heart – Rivers and Roads.
- I like TAKING MY TIME. Everywhere I went, I had a book with me. And coffee stops, snacks, lunches and dinners took several hours as I ate and read.
- Speaking of food, I enjoyed one big meal a day with all the fixings. And all the energy I usually put into monitoring calories and making ‘wise food choices’ went into finding the perfect meal and then exploring the town around it. I savored each bite and asked around in each new town what people loved. I sampled homemade truffle potato chips (which the locals called ‘crack chips’), gorgonzola turkey cobb sandwiches on fresh-baked sourdough, shrimp and grits, almond joy coconut chocolate bliss, and chocolate truffles flown in from Texas. Whatever locals raved about, I had to try and I was rarely disappointed.
- I love stumbling on sleepy little towns and supporting their shops, bakeries, and restaurants. It is an old America that I don’t want to see fade into the background of large chains monopolizing our industries. It touches me to see these little towns and I shower as much kindness as I can hoping it will continue growing and not be pushed out by larger monopolies.
- I love pulling over to the side of the road for an interesting little stand, boutique or small main street and park at one end to walk the length to the other end. People are friendly and usually talk to me as they explain the history behind some of the old buildings. (I find this fascinating and hope I don’t come across as ‘creepy’ as I try to limit my overabundance of curiosity.)
- I enjoy eating alone with a good book. (I like bringing about 7 books on my trip even though I know I will probably only immerse myself in one. What can I say? I like my options.)
- I love sitting in nature for a long while as I watch the wind blow through the trees.
- I love taking pictures and sending my adventures to people who get my need for this time and savor it alongside me.
- 3 days alone is about my limit—where being alone starts moving into ‘feeling lonely’. I am eager to rejoin friends and family after this respite.
What do I gain?
- More kindness from people. Probably because I am more present, available, and interested in listening.
- More peace. Slowing down with nowhere to go is a unique experience and a rare gift.
- More creativity. Somewhere around 3:00 in the afternoon after a leisurely day, enjoying new places, and a full belly, I make my way back to the hotel to write. And it flowed with ease.
- More insight. A fresh perspective about the world around me and how I participate with it. I come away with a renewed commitment to simply be a better human by being more loving. And bringing Marianne Williamson’s book along, A Return to Love was powerful in getting me in this frame of mind.
- More gratitude. Although I cherished my 3-day MeRetreat I noticed that I was grateful I don’t live this way every day. I love the purpose, the full life I live, the activity and the people I live with. I feel richer for the relationships I have because of my time away.
Where would you go for 3 days all on your own? What would you do? How would you spend your time? Send me some pictures and stories.I’d love to savor them with you!
Invest in yourself. You’re worth it. And luxuriate in who you are as you make the choices about who you still want to become. The world desperately needs your true and authentic self.
My heart is with you and for you,