For me, part of reclaiming myself and my life is to reconnect with me. Since I spend most of my time talking to people and focusing on other people the introvert in me needs some serious downtime every now and again. Since I finally had some vacation days this last week I decided to gift myself a stay away. I didn’t really feel like going far away but I found that the Oregon Garden which is only like an hour away has a hotel attached to it with a spa. Uh, yes, please! I admit it. I am a total girly-girl when it comes to spa treatments. Needless to say I scheduled an afternoon at the spa. Which was amazing. And my massage therapist reinforced that I really, really needed to relax when she said, “Woah, you are really tight”.
I had never gone away by myself before (I mean, I’ve travelled places alone but always to go stay with friends or travel with friends) so it was a whole new experience. I admit I was a bit nervous about how to fill the time. I mean, I am really good at just hanging out but it’s different when you’re away from home.
In doing the planning my mom gave me some books to read (I tell ya, the woman has a book for everything) to help guide my experience. One of them, “The Woman’s Retreat Book” is especially geared toward retreat planning so it was pretty helpful (http://jenniferlouden.com/). She has lots of ideas about how to re-connect with yourself and nurture yourself even if all you have is 5 minutes. She reinforced the need to bring things to do whether books, journals, or art supplies to make sure you have things to occupy your time.
I did lots of reading, writing, reflecting (ok, maybe some tarot card reading…it’s helpful for triggering reflection topics), and walking. The gardens are really beautiful and defintely reinforced that I need to get outside more often!
That’s the view from the top of the hill by the hotel. One of the clear moments; it was cold and drizzly/raining most of the time I was there (go figure. Oregon).
My goals/intentions for the weekend were:
No TV: Check. (for the record, I did bring my computer with intention of working on the blog. However, the internet was terrible so I never could connect after the first 10 minutes. I decided that was really fine)
Read: Check (very engaging mystery novel and also some more reflection/discovery type books)
Relax: Check! (spa, lounging, sleeping, walking around)
Enjoy nature: Check. (Even if it was cold and all those summer dresses went unworn I still got outside quite a bit)
Take pictures: Check! Hello, garden=photo opportunity
Reflect/do some ‘inner work’ type stuff, listen to myself a bit: Check. I did lots of this and came away feeling ready to take some things on.
All in all, I would say it was a very successful trip! My only complaint was that the food was, in a word, crappy. Seriously, bland and sad. Like buffet breakfast of mass-eggs and cardboard waffles. Honestly I was pretty disappointed. But, I didn’t starve and I did still have a good time. Next time I’d bring more snacks and maybe go into town for a meal (though I didn’t really want to leave to eat).
So, here are some pictures. Even if you only have a minute maybe these will bring a little retreat into your day!