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Retreated and Renewed

I am BAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!! Hello again blogging world.

I am not exactly sure what I expected to get from the spiritual renewal retreat in Jemez Springs. Sometimes I think I expect miracles to happen when what I should expect is a nice easy time of things. Then again, maybe my miracles happen in little ways instead of in big production ways.

Jemez Springs is a neat little town. I had heard about it often from our friends who have a cabin there. HOWEVER, the Canon del Rio was the coolest place I have ever stayed. The arched adobe courtyard entrance greeted us as we drove up. Walking through the front door revealed a huge lodge-type great room with a wall of windows facing the mountain to the west. On the left was a breakfast bar. Moving around the room, I noticed a nice kitchen area, a door marked private which I later found out was an efficiency apartment, and the traditional southwest fireplace.

On the other side of the entrance was the entertainment center complete with a big screen TV and a sofa, chair, and loveseat. The decor around the room was very Southwest Native American. The floor was covered in a stone tile that added to the southwest flair.

Flanking each side of the great room were hallways leading to the bedrooms. Six rooms, three extending from each side of the great room, were each decorated similarly. We were shown to ours with its king-sized bed for Daddy Long Legs. Our room had a sliding glass door leading out to the back courtyard, which was beautifully adorned with pole benches, small trees, and a gorgeous fishpond/fountain. Another archway led visitors beyond the B&B grounds down toward the Jemez River.

Even with the remants of winter still holding natures beauty at bay, we were overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the things our eyes had seen. Trees and mountains have a way of providing a sense of seclusion, even when one is not alone. I think seclusion was my miracle for the weekend.

If you ever get a chance to visit Canon del Rio in Jemez Springs, NM, I feel quite confident that you will find it every bit as charming as I did. When you go, be sure to tell Dagna (pronounced like lasagna) that I sent you. She is an incredible breakfast cook. You won’t be disappointed.

As for the various energy modalities used during the retreat activities, I found that I was familiar with most of them from my various BrainGym experiences and my limited yoga and Touch for Health experiences. They were good for me and for my hunky baby because it reminded our bodies of ways we can move with a little bit of warm up and preparation. We haven’t lost that flexibility yet, but we sure need to get with the program and keep moving. And yes, he survived a room full of women being sorely outnumbered about 14 women to two men.

We set an intention for the retreat. Mine was something about having clarity and confidence in my career options. That became the focus of the various meditative moments I had. I suppose I have come away from the retreat with some clarity in that area. I think I am still processing a bit, which we were told would likely take a few days longer to fully do it’s thing.

One thing is fairly solid at this point. I have realized my strong desire to reconnect with nature. While I love promoting health and wellness, I also realize I probably won’t be happy if I go from teaching and working with technology in a windowless concrete room to teaching and working with health and wellness in a windowless concrete room. I need sunshine, raindrops, singing birds, pecking chickens, green plants, and some slimy earthworms throughout my day no matter what I do. That’s an important piece of career information. If I choose to pursue massage as a full time career, I will have to figure out how to do it in a way that allows me to gaze out on nature. It’s not going to work for me to be shut up in a windowless private massage room for hours on end. I guess you would call that some serious clarity, therefore this was a successful retreat for that reason alone.

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the two amazing people who were our tireless hosts. Debi and Randy are absolutely some of the most gracious people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. They shared their evenings in Jemez Springs with us, then allowed us to extend our stay another night in their beautiful suburban hacienda. While there is much to appreciate about these two people, I think what I like most is the fact that they are truly genuine.

Randy is a man’s man. He’s a Vietnam vet chopper pilot who loves hunting, fishing, and his dog. He is not afraid to tell you what he thinks, even if it is a bit on the politically incorrect side. He is real, and that’s a great thing to be.

Debi is his counterbalance. She is soft and compassionate to everyone, and would give them her last spinach salad (which I could eat for every meal). Even so, she has a line and stands her ground when necessary. She is a woman worthy of respect, and a beautiful woman at that.

Yes, it was a great escape…my man, God’s awesomeness, powerful intention, incredible food, loving people, and none of my own children. :-)  When can we go back?

 

 

 

Our "Cool Energy" Gang

Saturday was another 10 hour marathon massage school day. Those days are the ones where ten of us spend all ten hours learning content, learning technique, practicing new skills, receiving massages, and becoming family. You just can’t spend that kind of time together and not do some bonding.

Part of that bonding process was eating lunch at the diner around the corner with one of my classmates. Not so unusual unless you consider that she’s 21 and has more lead in her ears, tongue and lip, than my dad has used in all of his concealed handgun classes combined. There was a time when that would have bothered me. For some reason, it doesn’t now. And while I find it ironically weird that a 21 year old would even CHOOSE to eat lunch with me, it’s really kinda cool.

For that matter, all of my classmates have their own level of cool. I mean, let’s face it. Something has to keep me WANTING to drive 2 1/2 hours round trip to sit for 3 1/2 to 10 hours at a time. Well, okay…I admit it….I sort of like the silence, but what mother of four wouldn’t? Still, it doesn’t matter what kind of mood I am in. Within 30 minutes of arriving at class, I am laughing and cutting up with a bunch of teenagers and just-barely-not-still-teenagers, and feeling great. This has become so apparent, that I used it on my aforementioned young friend when she proclaimed that she had in fact arrived in a rather bitchy mood.

“No worries,” I told her. “You won’t even remember this mood in 30 minutes.” She responded with her best “Oh yes I will—I’m in a bad mood and it isn’t going away.” I laughed. At lunch I asked her what happened to her bad mood. It seems that the be-witched mood had left the building. That admission was of course followed up with a resounding “I told you so.” Yeah….I love that little phrase. Makes me seem so freakin’ smart.

Anyway, the energy in our class is just pretty cool. First, there is the instructor. Bob Saget in miniature version. Definitely looks like Saget. As far as comedy, he can hold his own trying to be a funny man, yet he still maintains professionalism. That’s a tough technique with a room full of 18-22 year olds and a mid-life, career changer who is attempting to relieve her college years.

Then there is the my friend with all the additional holes in her flesh and cartilege to accommodate her cool jewelry. Freakiest thing is when that girl pulls her lip jewelry all the way back through to inside her mouth. <SHUDDER> And yet, that girl’s got your back. She’s full of fire and spunk, and would probably rip someone’s face off in defense of her friends. Good energy.

Wicken Boy (I love calling him that) is quite fascinating. He’s a  brilliant engineering wannabe who decided that the academic  game wasn’t worthy of his time and effort. Betcha he’ll be a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs one of these days. He’s cool.

Mrs. PTL is an adorable little white haired lady who wants to make a difference for older people. When we are around her, I know Jesus is happy, because EVERYTHING she says includes a “Praise the Lord”. She is a crack up, and as my classmates and I know, a well placed PTL can make for a gut-busting belly laugh. THAT’s one reason I keep going back. I am all for belly laughs.

The quiet little farm girl is so quiet that I am embarrassed to admit I don’t know that  much about  her. She keeps to herself alot. She’s not one to divulge much info, but I know she’s got dogs and cats and chickens. In my book that makes her worthy of my highest energy rating. Her energy doesn’t jump out and grab a person. Rather it sneaks up when you don’t expect it and wraps a warm smile in your direction.

Next is Gentle-Man. If I were gonna have a crush on a younger guy, he’d definitely fit the bill, but since that is just gross and creepy (and since I’ve got such an amazing hunk already in my corner), we’ll suffice to say that his quiet gentle spirit oozes out tenderness and compassion. He’s a bit older than the rest, and that maturity shows. A proud daddy who wants so much to give his little man the world, he WILL achieve his goals. He’s got focus, passion, and compassion. What an incredible combination of gifts to have and to give.

One of our youngest class members is another quiet one. When he does speak, it’s like one of those flavor changing candies. He has a sort of slow, quiet, and almost discreet flavor until you think about what he said, then the other flavor grabs you by the throat and you realize he’s just plain funny. He’s a really nice guy, but it seems like he’s faced a lot of challenges in his life. I really think there is more to him that meets the eye. Hopefully a few more layers of the onion will come off and we’ll all know him a bit better.

The next three are our party crew. Two girls and a guy. One really has an interest in massage, but she is not the type to kiss up or be owned by anyone for the sake of pleasing them. She’s just real. I really like that genuineness. Super energy. Girl Two is an In-Your-Face-Drama-Queen. She is absolutely hilarious. She can put a look on her face that will give you more info about what she is thinking than a front-page expose’ would give. Her counterpart is a 19 year old guy who is very “Whatever!” in his attitude. Annoyingly indecisive, most likely due to being 19 and male, yet adorably cute about it. He totally cracks us all up.

Yes, the drive is worth it. I really don’t know why God felt compelled to put me in Massage Therapy class at precisely the time he did with precisely the group I am with, but I have a feeling he did it to help me understand what it means to experience really great energy. These people have nothing to give me except that fabulous energy. They are all basically broke college kids and a widow lady. Honestly, I don’t need anything from them except that energy. They make me feel accepted and young again. Hopefully I can be something equally as powerful for them.

What life adventures have allowed you to be surrounded by miraculous mood-changing energy generators?

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