I was really looking forward to today’s silent retreat. Before we closed our eyes to meditate, Marion explained that there was spare paper for jotting thoughts, mandalas to colour-in and should anyone need it, access to a private purple room for loud sobbing, raging etc.
‘No way am I going in that ghastly purple room,’ I said to myself. I’d seen the stunning felt pen selection and had colouring-in on my mind. Besides, I was feeling good. The worry monster had left for the day thanks to the fact that my youngest sister was staying with Dad.
It only took five minutes. Worry didn’t rear its ugly head, but up came a tsunami of grief and sadness and I was first into the purple room, snot pouring into a ball of tissues. It was not what I’d had in mind from the retreat.
The rest of the day was spent sitting or lying in a well of sadness, grief and then later on, fear. I didn’t get a whiff of a felt pen, but although bleak emotions took hold, I did touch the stillness within. It was warm, comforting and reassuring. An anchor in the stormy seas of my psyche.
I’ve experienced the boundless inner stillness before, but never while I’ve also been swamped by yucky feelings. How interesting. That lovely oasis of calm is always there no matter what emotions are coursing through me.
Time stood still today. The eight-hour retreat passed in the blink of an eye and I felt totally wrung out afterwards. Who knew that doing nothing could be so utterly exhausting. I really did zilch. My biggest exertion was flicking the kettle switch.
I am at my Dad’s house now. He looks a little better and has gone to bed having swallowed a couple of sleeping pills, so hopefully he’ll rest well. That leaves me with yet more silence and whilst I do love a bit of peace and quiet, Netflix is calling. I’m watching The Kindness Diaries at the moment, which feels apt. There are raspberry marshmallows in my bag too. Oh joy! The purple room is but a distant memory.