What I Found in the Wood.

There is a disturbing amount of space and eternity in the old growth redwoods.

Disturbing because, as my BFF said in her blog post today, stillness and silence means that you can’t hide behind your addictions, you can’t hide behind your busy, you can’t hide behind the distractions with which you’ve been self-medicating.

In the silence, you can’t avoid the real.

So to begin my annual personal retreat, to end a year and begin the rest, I traveled to the woods and wandered.

I abandoned the facade I had been propped up behind.

I found myself again, in that ancient space.

Mid day, I stopped along a creek because I knew something was to come.

And there, inside the Northern California coastal fog, I heard what really happened last year.

Last year, I grew up. Realized that life, that this world, is not black and white.

I found humility. Surrendered. Relaxed. Got quiet and still.

I let go of control. Stopped waiting for control.

I started to pray.

I started to forgive.

I became aware of the criticism.

I found empathy and compassion. For them. For myself.

I learned how to trust.

I learned how to ground, center, hold space, wait, open, receive.

I let go.

That even though I felt like I didn’t get as much done as I should have (which is not really true, I later realized I got tons accomplished last year), what I needed to take place in this journey did happen.

I did the most important thing possible. I did what was necessary.

I grew.

But of course the journey did not end there.

The next day I spent in a motel room bed, watching television (the prevalence of reality show programming is fascinating) and suffering from a migraine and the side effects of the medications required to keep it at bay.

But I wasn’t upset.

I didn’t feel like I was wasting time on my retreat. I knew that in that moment, what I needed was for my body to process what had happened.

I needed to just be.

Then I woke up and returned to the woods.

I found a stone bench in the middle of a grove and just sat.

I asked.

What do I need this year?

How do I need to grow?

What do I need more of in my everyday life?

I felt it through me, surrounding me, permeating the branches and the moss and coming up through the decaying logs and needles underfoot.

Peace.

I need to learn how to bring peace into my life. Every day. To exist in a peaceful, serene, centered and grounded state.

To have Peace be my daily life, instead of just my vacation.

I returned to the small town of my temporary residence (which of course has a Starbucks, can’t escape that, lol), sat down in a booth with a grande coffee with 5 raw sugars and my laptop.

I wrote. 

I wrote dozens of journal pages replying to my annual retreat writing prompts, revealing who I was last year, who I am right now, and who I want to be.

I recommitted to what my life is about.

I decided how I am going to grow this year.

And I determined how I’m going to do it.

Yes, I’ll be sharing more about the EveryDay project that I’ve committed to this year, in the weekly video blogs, on the daily LYTD podcast, and in future blog posts.

And next week I’ll share more about the Live Your Truth Guide to Your Annual Retreat, where I’m giving you the exact process I went through last week and how you can create it in your own life (including the behind the scenes details of my journal prompt responses and my 2012 plan).

In the meanwhile, for today … here is the thing.

Before you can know anything, before you can hear a voice from a higher power, before you can listen to your own intuition or find the truth or know what you already know deep in your soul, you need something.

You need space.

Silence.

Time.

Connection to the eternal.

Whether you find that connection in the old growth redwoods or a church service or hot yoga or running a marathon or flying a plane across the sky, you must make your connection.

To remember your truth, you must create space for your truth.

#thatisall

Did you do a personal retreat or annual review? What process did you use?

What are your words, goals, vision, themes, resolutions, commitments for 2012?

Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

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