A View from the Retreat (Apr 2002)

April hints that spring has arrived and soon it will be summer. I started my spring cleaning early because I didn’t do any last year. It feels so good to be back to ‘normal’ or as normal as I will ever be. Catching up from all the renovating means I get to sort through boxes, cupboards and hang up my pictures.

This is the time of the year that people start to plan their holidays, and just in time to help you make some decisions, the Hollyhock and Johnson’s Landing Retreat brochures are out. Another great way to relax and meet lots of people is at the Spring Festival of Awareness, April 26, 27 & 28. With over forty workshops, you will have many opportunities to say hello to all kinds of folks on the same path. Registration starts early as many of the participants return year after year, bringing family and friends. By then the tulips and daffodils will be in bloom with the lilacs close behind, and the fruit trees will take turns blooming.

I love living in this valley, for it gets more sunshine than any other place I have lived. Over the past few years, I have noticed the weather is evening out... No real cold or hot spells. Yes, we get a few days or even weeks here and there, but we don’t get the extremes like we used to get ten to fifteen years ago. We are now having longer but less intense winters. Spring seems to start early and then cools down before it arrives, an indication of the changes to come.

The front cover photo is a hand-painted landscape from a window at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center,overlooking Kootenay Lake. It was painted by a grateful participant, Anne Krystone of Lethbridge, Alberta. She said, “Just expressing my feelings of peace and tranquility, while I was there.” The 2002 brochures are out around the valleys, and if you can’t find one, check the centre pages for information on their website. They offer twenty workshops from May till October, outdoor adventure packages, a rest and renewal program, and vegetarian meals, all with a variety of sleeping options.

Retreats are important, for many reasons, so I like our magazine to focus on them. Retreating helps our soul to evolve to a better understanding of life, and can release old tension faster than any pill I know. The instructors at most retreats have the skills to remind you of your God Self and the power you have to co-create your life. There are many ways up the mountain and although we would all like to live at the top, happiness and growth occur while we are climbing. Surrounding ourselves with loving human beings who are on the path is a great way to help us grow, and being in a group intensifies the learning process. The greater the flow of energy, the more opening in our chakras, allowing us to feel more, becoming the unique individuals that we are.

Educating ourselves is the only way to stay well. Our society is not designed to give us tools. In fact, they confuse matters with much propaganda. You must figure out for yourself who to trust, how to know when something feels right and still keep grounded. In years past we would have gone to a monastery to search for the deeper meaning of life. Today, we need to find our God connection while in the midst of the workaday world. There are many books and as much data as we can comprehend on the net that can help us change how we think. This information highway is still in its infancy, but the insensity has been accelerated ... it is as if the data is in the air we breathe.

I am grateful to be living at this time in history, where I live in comfort and have given myself a good education in the wellness field. At the same time, I get to practice evolving spiritually, trusting the God within, knowing that life is perfect and any resistance means my ego is too strong for my own good. It is the daily happenings that make my life so filled with grace and fun.