Welcome to another episode of Wild and Precious Conversations. This week contemplating retreat. Using Norm MacDonald, Trader Joe, and Sun Tzu.
So, this week, it’s just me again, no guest.
Retreat. When my husband said he needed to retreat (not his words, but I think appropriate) and that I was welcome, I hesitated. I felt the transition was too much. I only went because I knew it was important to him and I felt like I wanted to support him.
The retreat — 4 days camping in the rain — restored me. Nature: woods, lake, mountains, mist, ducks and no human made noise other than conversation. For four days, I unplugged and sat still, not fighting, not doing, just being.
In the podcast are my thoughts from that retreat. I begin with the thought from the 5th century Art of War by Sun Tzu, that winning over your enemy without battling ought to be the goal.
You don’t get gold stars because of how much you fight. We tend, I think, to get wrapped up in the battle, the fight, the constant struggle, and forget to ask ourselves what our strategy is.
Perhaps similar to that metaphor of the frog who stays in the pot of water as the temperature slowly rises, acclimating instead of taking appropriate action, we react and adjust to what life throws at us without a strategy, without a plan.
And perhaps, perhaps, that is because we have not taken time out to care for ourselves, to retreat, to pause, to consider.
Norm MacDonald, the Canadian comedian, has a sketch (link below) about his uncle’s courageous battle with bowel cancer. Perhaps it’s not really a fight worth pursuing.
Last, a favorite retreat story of mine comes from Trader Joe, the business person who began a small chain of grocery stores called Trader Joe’s after his first grocery chain failed. He told a story about retreat to my high school economics class that I have kept close at hand for decades.
Retreat. It’s essential.
As I mentioned last week, I have been spending all my extra time over the last few weeks creating my website (underbel.li), creating courses (Create your own self care kit and Journal to Your Heart) and a little bookshop (Buy Indie books online — my first curated list is related to another course I created).
What I talked about:
Onward. Next week we continue this series on Connectedness (see, it’s all connected :)) Who knows what I will explore next week?
The Underbelly Project: A weekly workout for your emotional strength and flexibility. If you’re not afraid to get dusty and maybe shed a few tears together, join me and let’s get emotionally strong!
And please, if you know anyone who might like to share this journey, share this project. Excited to stay in the arena with you.