When you saw the theme for our retreat at the end of this month, March, entitled “Awakening to Joy” you probably thought everyone would be walking around the entire weekend in a blissful state with no cares or worries.
Maybe you said to yourself, “What do I have to be joyful about?”
Well, that’s not quite the intention for the weekend.
You may have a physical condition, a recent bad breakup in a relationship, or dealing with anxiety or sadness, money issues, or any other situation that you feel would block your happiness and put a damper on the weekend for you.
What if you didn’t have to be different from how you are at this moment? Can you let yourself be open to the possibility of finding joy in your life? Can you be willing to be willing and allow that little bit of willingness to lead the way?
Listen to what James Baraz says in his book Awakening Joy, one of the foundations of our retreat.
“Your life circumstances do not have to change a lot before you can find happiness in the midst of them. While it’s true that our well-being is affected by how we live, we also know that even in the best of circumstances we can be unhappy. And sometimes in very challenging situations, we can feel surprisingly at ease. While this book will encourage you to bring experiences and circumstances into your life that contribute to your well-being, the key factor is deciding to change your mind. As my colleague Sylvia Boorstein puts it, “Happiness is an inside job.” When we consciously intend to be happy, actually saying that intention aloud or to ourselves, we set in motion a radical transformation. Profound changes begin to take place inside us, in our body and our mind. The momentum of positive change grows as we learn to choose actions and situations that align us with our intention.”
You see at the retreat; we are gathered together to set the intention and allow the process to unfold over the course of the weekend. We can begin to change our mind, little by little.
We’ll be looking at these areas – Intention, Mindfulness, Gratefulness, Finding Joy in Difficult Times, Blamelessness, Letting Go, Loving Ourselves and Others, Compassion and Simply Being.
A lotus flower grows in the mud. You would not think that something so gorgeous could do so, but it does. It sprouts under water making its home in lakes and ponds where above the water is fairly still on the surface. Underneath it is surrounded by mud and muck, fish, insects and simply dirty, rough conditions.
As the lotus maintains its strength in these conditions and pushes aside the obstacles, you too can make your way to clearer areas in your life. You too can rise above adversity.
It truly is a gift you give yourself by attending. There is plenty of time built in to relax and reflect, to meditate, to be with like-minds, to enjoy time for you which probably has been needed in a long while if you are truly honest with yourself.
And if you choose to do so, in April there will be additional support with a 10-week class that will take you deeper into the process. You will have free access to this class as a retreat participant.
If you feel you have listened to that little willingness and now are ready to change your mind would like to join us, we do have a couple rooms left, and there also a commuter option and even hotels nearby if we do sell out.
Give the gift to yourself today. Go here to register.
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