I wanted to create my own retreat day at home and invited my mom to join, although many things emerged that challenged myintention.
I awoke and practiced yoga outside, but I could hear my dad talking inside. The atmosphere was not the most peaceful. I decided to put on some music, that helped. Then my puppy Riley wanted to join, I accepted her love and loved her back and she went on her way. Sometimes you just need to give a little attention to an issue to resolve it.
As I started to enjoy breakfast and ginger tea, the modern pop music Big Bootie Mix started blaring from the outside speaker while my sister Tori practiced her Kickboxing… not a silent meal. Yet, I could still make it mindful by accepting my state of being and noticing what feelings and thoughts came up. By not remaining “attached” to my ideal “retreat day,” it unfolded into a fun, relaxing, and wholesome day that included my family, along with tanning, reading, gardening, an@expandedpodcastDRE, and an overall sense of admiration for this beautiful world and all it’s beings.
During my yoga practice, the flower used for the quote was opening, and each time I looked at it, it opened more #natureisamazing. I noticed the obstacles and turned them into a practice. The very reason I practice mindfulness, meditation, and self reflection is to observe my reactions when I am interacting in the world, in order to remain in that state of BEING regardless of whatever life throws at me. I could have attached to the obstacles and become upset, frustrated or had given up, but I chose to see a far bigger lesson, one of ACCEPTANCE.
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I was looking forward to spending a full day on retreat with Lizzie, so when our plans changed and the wish did not manifest, I let go completely until Lizzie invited me to join her on a half day home retreat. I really needed to give myself permission to do “NOTHING,” meaning nothing around the house or work related. I needed to check out and check in to regain my center. I decided to let go and allow myself to be inspired by Lizzie and led intuitively by what felt right in each moment.
Just like Lizzie, I was confronted with the interruption of dogs barking, the doorbell ringing, and Tori playing her big booty mix while splashing in the pool. We repeatedly invited Tori to join – she lasted all of 20 minutes and left rolling her eyes at us. We both continued on… silently moving through the day. In the end, we sat reflecting with one another and sharing our experience and insights. We both discovered that we made a definitive choice to stay in the practice and allow whatever to arise – letting life be our practice.
By allowing and not giving up or running away to a quieter place, we were truly able to take refuge in the moment, in awareness itself. Both of us discovered the sense of freedom and joy that was available to us right here, right now.
First I allowed myself the time and space, and gave permission to put aside the to do list. Then, as the obstacles to the peaceful retreat emerged, an opportunity arose to detach and let go of the PLAN, which allowed us toaccept what unfolded. It was by far the loudest retreat I have ever experienced, packed full of opportunities to let go- let go- let go. In the end all that was left was LOVE, GRATITUDE, and JOY.
Lizzie and I both hope to inspire others to let go, allow, accept and detach, because we trust that what you will discover in the end is an INNER PEACE of LOVE.
With love and gratitude,
Lizzie and Patty and all the Sacred Treehouse faculty
Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches. Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shutt is a student at the University of Florida. She is passionate about all things green and currently participates in many forms of environmental advocacy, including summer intern and volunteer with WiseTribe and the #Unlitter movement. When she isn’t hitting the books, she enjoys cooking plant-based cuisine, composting, and surfing.