I am on the first day of a five day retreat at the Kripalu Retreat Center in Western Massachusetts. JB and I arrived last night and for the first time in probably years, I was in bed by ten o'clock. We are here to settle down, relax, and follow a routine that is spiritual and restful.
I am also here to work on my novel as much and as often as I can. I hope to finish a full edit by the end of the week and if I'm lucky, read it from start to finish and see what I have. There are solariums and cozy rooms with comfortable chairs and couches, overlooking the lake, where I can write. People here are quiet. Last night we did our first meditation and I was aware of my body, my sore back and tight throat, in a way I often don't think about. My back pain is a hindrance, but last night I let myself feel the pain instead of trying to avoid it.
Kripalu is a quiet place, filled with daily and optional events like yoga, meditation, chanting, drumming, and workshops centered on breathing, health, and well being. The center sits on a lake with mountains in the background. Three buffet meals a day are included in the daily price and each meal is definitely healthy but also uniquely delicious. Breakfast is silent, a unique and nice change from what you'd expect in a room of a hundred or more people. Our room is spartan: a bed, two lights, one closet. The bathroom and showers are down a hall and shared. JB and I have splurged and signed up for massages and facials. We have been here a few times before, but never for five days and nights. JB has brought an art piece she's working on. Tonight we are going to a workshop on Animal Communication. Tomorrow JB thinks she'll go to the 6 am yoga class. Not me. Not yet. But I plan to be up by six.
This afternoon we went went to a workshop on the importance of routine. Since we moved to Provincetown, because JB was sick and then I was sick and because I've transitioned from paid work to way more free time, I have no routine. I'm thinking about that. I can't imagine going to bed as early as ten each night, but I'm thinking about it.
I looked around at other people in the solarium where I wrote today, and I was reminded how lucky I am to love to write. I'm excited about this novel, about this Macabee family I'm writing about.
Actually, today I'm content. No worries. JB is good, Jess and her husband and the kids are good, we have money in the bank, and I'm here in a sacred place trying to spend sacred time. I have plenty of complaints but not today.
And how happy I am to post again here!