A few months ago I went on a yoga retreat holiday to India. (That sentence immediately makes me feel the need to apologise, but I’m going to resist the urge).
What interests me is why it took me over a decade to do it. Every list of ambitions, goals and dreams for the last 15 years has had:
“Yoga retreat (preferably in India)”
scrawled somewhere on it.
So, why did it take me so long to get there? I had the major hurdles sorted out - money to pay for it and someone willing to take on my responsibilities at home. But still I kept putting up barriers: the children really need me; I won’t be able to get the time off work. And then once I realised the kids would be fine and I was now self-employed: I’ll feel guilty when I tell people; I don’t deserve it.
This was my dream - one week of time out for me to do whatever I wanted without worrying about anyone else. Once I was there it seemed so simple, so easy, so right, and I started to question my previous attempts to prevent myself from going.
The conclusion I came to was this: sometimes it is easier to keep on looking after other people’s needs rather than face our own. We keep meeting the demands of work/family/friends/others rather than paying attention to what we need. And perhaps the reason for this is because if we ask ourselves what we really want, that might lead to some difficult answers. And those difficult answers might involve lots of thinking and facing truths.
Because paying attention to ourselves isn’t always easy. But think about where it might take you.
(With thanks to Claude for the invitation, and Chris for the idea).