The retreat I attended was interesting. An odd amalgam of yoga and writing. With Charles, yoga is never just yoga. I have had a trying disease flair since the beginning of March or maybe even the end of February, so I participated in some of the yoga, but not all, half being a conservative estimate. Charles practices a gentle enough style of yoga to suit me well, but the bending and stretching is not conducive to an intestinal disorder.
The writing was by AWA process and guidelines which were not completely spelled out for those of us unfamiliar with that. The short list includes giving a prompt, writing for a set length of time, usually 10-30 minutes, reading to the group, and then receiving positive feedback. "What worked for you in this piece? What stays with you?"
On Friday morning we did the 1,2 numbering off to separate into groups for the reading and feedback. I saw it happening as we went around the table. 15 of us, 10 women and 5 men, and I was to be in a group that included all 5 men. I was comfortable enough with the group to let it play out, but I really should have spoken up and asked to be in the other group. The all women group.
We did our timed writing and the groups met. Me, two other women, and the men. Have I mentioned there were 5 of them??? They were not crazy macho, thank the little baby jesus (trademark DSE)but 5 men. It was to be my challenge. The Universe was challenging me. There was a reason and I just need be patient enough to let it unfold before me.
I hated it.
The writing I did was good. The feedback I received was both encouraging and helpful. The men were interesting and well written.
I still hated it. Being in a room with 5 men and being forced to pay attention and respond was so far beyond my daily (or weekly, monthly or yearly) experience. I had no frame of reference. The last time this was in play it was because I was dating them. (not these 5 mind you) and I commanded their attention in a much different fashion. It was terrible and I had to pay attention. I had to interact with them. And there was another group across the way that was only women and I was missing something!
This really set the tone for the entire weekend for me. After dinner on Friday I opted out of the yoga/writing session and went to bed early. "Aren't you afraid you might miss something?" One of the women really wanted a serious answer. I told her that I already had missed it that morning by not being in the group of women, so there was nothing really left to miss.
Our groups changed with each exercise so I wasn't stuck with the men in the same configuration all weekend, but after Friday morning, each exercise was a decision to stay or go home. I missed Elizabeth. I missed the yappy ones. I just wanted to go home.
Regardless of all that homesick BS, I still had a good time and managed some interesting writing. One piece in particular I am going to clean up a little and post soon. I was cracking myself up. I am intrigued by Merrill, the main character. She might be going somewhere further. She might become part of Alex. Who knows.
I am certainly glad to be home.I left the retreat before lunch on Sunday missing the last exercise and closing circle. I guess it was around 12 rather than 3 or 4. I got an email from one of the other Houston women that I had left my cushion and yoga mat and she had them. We are going to meet for lunch at Eatzi.s on Monday. There will be a CD of pics available soon from one woman who was camera happy all weekend. Yi. pee.