Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ojai, CA Part 2 of my Personal Retreat

I arrived in Ojai on Tuesday and check into the Ojai Retreat Bed and Breakfast. After driving up a long road to the top of a hill I found the office, got my key and drove round to the "Oak Room" which is where I stayed.  My room had a bed, a little table and chairs, refrigerator and private bath and a bay window that looked out onto the mountains.  Outside my room was my own private patio with a table and 4 chairs.  That afternoon I met with a yoga instructor, Mihaela, who came to my room to do yoga with me.  And there on my patio, I spent two and a half hours learning yoga from this amazing and inspirational woman. I had only done yoga a few times before and had not been able to do any kind of stretching until now, since my back surgery in October.  I learned about Yuan Miao and bought the book "Dancing of Rooftops with Dragons, The Yoga of Joy," which I started reading right away.  I loved it and it was just what I needed to learn about. On Wednesday morning when I opened the door, I saw a tree, surrounded by the morning mist, mountains in the background and flowers that were pink and purple in the bushes all around my patio.  The birds were singing and the air was crisp and fresh.  I had slept straight through the night again and felt rested and peaceful when I woke up.  I went for a walk down the nature path and onto a meadow and followed the trail around the property... I saw many baby quail and their parents scurrying along the path, chirping and hiding.  It was a long walk and it felt good to be by myself in nature, noticing the tiniest little flowers that grow out of the brown dirt, yellow and purple and sometimes red.  I heard noises of animals in the brush as they heard me getting close to where they were.  Being a former city girl, I became aware of the sounds and cautious as if someone or something might jump out of the bushes and attack me.  And when that moment passed, I was back in my country girl skin enjoying the smells of sage and hot pine needles all around me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's been a long time coming...

I've been out of touch.... literally.  Not just with my blog, but with myself.  I needed to take some time to be still, quiet and just listen... to nature, to the wind, to myself.  So I took a 5 day personal retreat and started it off by driving down to San Diego to see the amazing Claire Cook, best-selling author give a talk as her newest book, "Seven Year Switch"  was just released and is now in book stores everywhere! I met another twitter friend/author, Dawn Maria, before the talk and had a fantastic dinner. I stayed in San Diego for 2 days, thanks to a generous friend who gave me points to stay at the Sheraton down there.  I pampered myself with a massage and sat by the pool reading Claire's book and eating caesar salad and herbal iced tea.  I went to sleep early, never turned on the television and slept straight through to the morning...something I hadn't done in - I don't know how long!  Wow.. it was amazing...I felt so rejuvenated just by getting that kind of sleep.
I'll share more about my "retreat" and photos too - soon...  just wanted to touch base and let you know  I'm still here... just working on the "engine" to keep the machine running.  Hope you are too!

What's YOUR Seven Year Switch?