The smell of a home cooked meal seeps through the doorway of my room as I catch up on the activities of the day. Mike and Susie, the owners of le perchoir des paons are indeed cooking something delightful. I can’t wait to find out what delicious French goodies await us this evening.
We began the day with a light breakfast of homemade bread and jams, fruits and yogurts…just enough to prepare for our morning meditation and writing inquiry. Mark asked us to explore our intention for being at the retreat…a question I loved! I shared that part of the beauty I have discovered in treating myself to a week of inquiry, is that I never really know exactly why I am here. What I think I am here to learn and what I actually discover have consistently been two different things, and I have come to love the surprise at the end of the course. I acknowledge my desire to let my inner guidance be my outer compass on a more regular basis. Isn’t that what we all want? Intertwined in my dialogue were words I was not aware of…a thought I had not considered. Mark has a gift for seeing beyond the dialogue, and asking the un-mentioned questions. Mark asked me my feelings around the word complacency. Complacency seems to have a negative connotation for me. We agreed acceptance is much more palatable. 😊 In a quick moment I realized finding a balance between complacency and desire is something I struggle with…as it is the desire which fuels my fire to continue on this unknown road as a seeker, and complacency which does not feel like a comfortable spot at my table. Understanding that part of the human experience is this tug of war helps me to accept where I am, what I am doing, and the pace in which my life flows. I have always struggled with judging and evaluating my position. That is something I am learning to accept as a choice that I do not have to make. I can let go of putting demands on myself and let grace guide be my guide with patience. A much better choice for sure! Sounds like a good plan, and one I intend to have as a take-away from this experience.
Later in the day we looked on our childhood and had time to ponder how it has created certain qualities in our adulthood. I discovered a lot about myself that I knew, yet now I have clarity regarding its roots.
After hours of writing and sharing in this honest, loving environment, we took a road trip to Chateau des Milandes where we toured the house of Josephine Baker, and watched a spectacular live show of birds of prey. It was a tremendous experience getting close to these magnificent creatures. We drove through little villages and stopped to explore medieval towns. THe castles are amazing, dating from the thirteenth century..a walk back in time. Only pictures can describe these loved structures and little villages built on a mountain side perched on slim, windy roads. There is a deep sense of peace, a forgetfulness, a detachment to the world as we know it today.
And now, it is the cocktail hour and we are about to have dinner. Another delightful French-style home-cooked meal and great company. I look forward to a spectacular evening in the company of those I have just met yesterday, yet I can comfortably call them friends. Until tomorrow!