This week I’m in retreat mode. Retreat from the world mode that is, in my house. Not an idyllic spa retreat.
My Dad is in hospital. He’s got dementia and he’s hit a bad patch with it. So… after coming home from visiting him, I’ve been licking my wounds, processing what’s happening to both his body and his mind, and preparing for the worst.
I know that it’s important not to close down completely at these times, so I’ve been receiving some nice phone support, accepting loving kindnesses from friends and family, practicing gratitude and actively working on still taking time out to appreciate the beauty of life.
I’m feeling a call to go within, to be quiet and reflect on the journey I’ve had with my Dad over the years. And that call inwards has made me think about the distinction between retreating into my shell (avoiding the world because it’s too scary) and the process of taking time out for contemplation.
It makes me think of a conversation I had with a friend recently about this distinction.
A bit of back story:
I wrote an article for LivingNow magazine’s March issue about how hiding out in my turtle shell too much can actually block abundance from showing up in my life. And a friend of mine read the article and she had an interesting comment to make about it…
(By the way, you can read that article here: http://livingnow.com.au/what-do-turtles-have-to-do-with-abundance/ … For those of you who read my blogs, some of the ideas in the article will be familiar to you.)
Anyway, back to my friend’s comment about the turtle shell article – she said “Yeah, yeah… I get what you’re saying about the turtle shell bt sometimes I do need to retreat from the world. Sometimes I need the space and time to reflect.”
I thought that was so insightful. And I feel that the key distinction here is why: why are we retreating? Is it to REFLECT on what’s going on and figure out how to respond, or is it just to hide out and AVOID dealing with what’s really going on?
The difference between reflecting and avoiding… well, it makes all the difference in the world.
Another friend of mine put it this way: when you’re faced with a big problem in life, you’re either looking for solutions or you’re looking for distractions. If spend your time looking for distractions, nothing moves forward. You just stay stuck.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, send me a message in the comments below.
To YOUR Abundance
Julie Ann Cairns