I've just spent a day at the beautiful Sunnybrow Farm in Ambleside. It's the venue I use for my Thinking Environment retreats and just being there for one day has reminded me of how incredibly important it is to take time away from our everyday lives to stop and think. Yet why can this be so hard to do?
I've found that since becoming a mum, I make even more assumptions about my need to spend time alone and to give myself time to think. When I am being honest with myself I assume that deep down it's selfish; that it's indulgent & unnecessary. I assume I'm burdening my husband and that the kids will miss me. Mainly I come back to that first one, that it's selfish. That I am selfish. Yet how untrue that assumption is when I bring it out into the light and have a good look at it.
The definition of selfish is: "lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure"...yet the hundreds of acts of invisible care that I make on a daily basis as a mother makes me know I'm not selfish. I spend so much of my time being concerned for others, not out of duty but because that is what I love to do. Yet I know that I also need to balance this with a consideration and concern for my own needs. If I knew that having a little bit of time on my own would allow me to connect fully, love fully and be far more at ease, how would I create this space to think for myself?
What is it about going somewhere completely different that works such magic? Sunnybrow Farm is amazing as it brings the components into a physical location - you matter, your body and mind are at ease, the place has been created out of love and appreciation for the land and for people and we feel this as soon as we arrive. The food is nurturing, the quiet restorative and in that quiet, thoughts & feelings can emerge. Thoughts that we don't have space to listen to in our busy everyday lives.
What do you need to feel restored? Are you feeling more or less ease in your life than you were last year? When did you last really think about what is most important to you?
Whether you come on one of my retreats or courses or whether you can go on someone else's I would encourage you to prioritise time out for you to find out what you need. This will be slightly different for each of us but I know that making time to think will allow you to come back to your everyday life refreshed, clearer and feeling less overwhelmed than you are now.