Women’s Retreat

(Written in June 2008)
Exercise in nurturing: As people shared, I realized that one huge – necessary! – thing that sets the stage for me to be able to nurture myself is to be able to accept what is happening in the present moment, and to remember that when I can’t do that, I can still accept my resistance, or weakness, or inability to accept. Sometimes it helps to make the time interval as short as possible. Also paying attention to what works for me, and what doesn’t work, what I’m drawn to, and what I want to avoid. Avoiding is fine as long as I know that I’m doing it. Paying attention to what Martha Beck calls “shackles on” and “shackles off.”
And what I really want to say is Thank god for this circle of women. Thank god for Neskaya, and for my persistence and hard work in making it happen. Thank god for the “tough little drip that just wouldn’t quit.” O yes — and the importance of trusting the process to bring me what I need instead of trying to make it happen.
We were able to do the walk through the woods as part of the retreat. They loved it! That was actually very nourishing for me — to be able to take in their delight and that I had made it possible. I think that’s something I’ve always wanted to do — make people happy — but because nothing I did ever made mother happy, I concluded that I “couldn’t do it.” I lost faith in my ability to perceive what would make someone happy, got too scared to try. Now I’m finding that the things that make me happy — shared — make other people — the right kind of other people — happy and that’s the best joy of all. I suppose if some of my efforts had made mother happy I might have turned into a people pleaser. But it seemed to me, no matter what I did, whether I was true to myself or untrue to myself, nothing pleased Mom. No, maybe I’m wrong, she wanted me to be untrue to myself and I couldn’t do it. Despite all her talk about individuality, she was jealous of mine, of my exuberance and creativity and my ability to do my own thing and not care what others thought. She did her best to kill that in me. Poor Mom. I wonder what happened to her.

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