48 hours of silence… (First published on March 14, 2012)

These 48 hours of silence began this entire blog adventure – from becoming sick and uncovering the truth of my health, to discovering drawing, my love for writing, and re-discovering movement and dance in new ways. Meditation took up roots in me a long time ago, but it wasn’t until these 48 hours where I finally dropped all of the self-prescribed bullshit that apparently was holding me up, and started down a path of my own making. Reading this again makes me want to do another one…     Jill 7/22/15

On Friday morning, I will wake up fully immersed in my first ever 48 hour silent retreat. After a pretty tough few years, my focus for this retreat is to shed any residual anger, heartbreak, and grief left after the many changes in my life. I have come so far, but still have a ways to go. Dedicating time to exploring my deepest roots, pulling up what is no longer serving me, nourishing what needs to be supported and taking a firm step on a freshly cleared path seems to be just what’s needed. So to support these desires, I have designed these 2 days to be at home where I can feel safe to focus on building a stronger meditation practice in the very place I hope to grow and prosper – my house/studio. I am taking this vow of silence willingly (gleefully) and with heartfelt purpose to re-connect, to re-set, and to satisfy my nagging feeling that there is a much happier me underneath the triggered reactions to the continual, seemingly never-ending, barrage of incoming stimuli that is my daily life.

I am a mom of two beautiful boys (Mac 8 and Riley 6) who will stay with their Dad (Marshall) for the two days. Because I am a mom, I had reservations, and of course, guilt about taking this time for myself. I am slowly learning the flight lesson of putting the oxygen mask on myself first – so hard to do when I have been grinding myself into patterns of exhaustion for so long, and I have experienced the depth of burn out so many times – I’m ready to do this differently and emerge with tools to maintain a steady balance with my children, work, family and friends – calming the waters so that we all may thrive. Over the 48 hours, I have coordinated two quick check in texts with Marshall to confirm all is well on both sides. Hopefully, this action will support a smooth retreat for me and a fun weekend at Dad’s for them.

My intentions for this meditation are vast, but I am only hoping to take a step…here they are: to begin earnest communication with my inner compass, inner voice, and higher self…to say goodbye to residual resistant anger, heartbreak, and grief…it is time…to say hello to grace, gentleness, ease, safety, self-care, and comfort…to do something differently, to reset, to spring clean my spirit, clear out the cobwebs, shine light into the darkest corners and to breathe deeply and fully.

The vows ­– to not speak or communicate (except the two texts to Marshall) for 2 days, to turn off and disconnect my iphone/ipad/computer/tv/ipod, no novels or other external entertainment for the purpose of taking myself down to the quietest of levels, to keep the above intentions close to my heart and to dive as deep as I can within this framework.

My loose-ish schedule – since this is a meditation of my own creation and is focused on care and gentleness, I will not be fasting (everyone keeps asking..) I will however be cooking my favorite healthy foods, having full meals with a focus on veggies and fruits, and two snacks if want – one being tea and cookies:) I need to know what true abundance feels like – I’ve been way too familiar with starvation to see how fasting would serve me in these particular goals.

Thursday: clean house, clear clutter, shop for anything i might need including groceries, candles, oils, flowers, do laundry, set-up spaces by clearing out all entertainment, digital communication, novels, ect., put flowers, candles, lay down rugs, floor pillows, extra blankets. Have dinner with the boys and kiss them and hug them and wish them buckets of happiness for the next two days. Last thing before going to sleep, cut everything off and take a last check to make sure everything is prepared so upon awakening on Friday morning, I will find myself in the middle of the experience.

Friday and Saturday: Wake up naturally, have tea/breakfast, stretch, meditate, write (with snack), do something (garden), repeat starting with lunch and longer sessions of each – stretching/meditating/writing in the studio instead of in the house (more on that soon – there is a genuinely significant reason for this), repeat starting with dinner except the do something will be a bath and the stretching/meditating/writing will be back in the house and back to the shorter sessions. End with deep, deep sleep and then repeat. Simple yes?

My hope is that this will become a seasonal ritual that I take to keep myself strong and healthy so that I can be more present for all of the people I love and care for in my life. I hope to keep going deeper and exploring and clearing, nurturing and supporting, becoming myself more and more. I hope these retreats will help solidify my daily practices in stretching/meditating/writing, and that I will discover the secrets to carrying these ideas from their 48 hour macro form into the moment to moment daily micro form. I also hope to see how these practices allow for greater space, love, freedom, and care in my relationships.

These next few years promise to be exciting, challenging, rewarding, and superfabulousamazing both personally and professionally. I need and want to be ready to meet the wonder of my own life and those I love with clear, purposeful intentions and big, big dreams (more on this to come!). It is my highest goal to have these practices be the foundations upon which to build a truly happy, possibly even giddy future – woohoo! Here’s to trying something new:)

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