Retreat aftermath

Posted on August 7, 2013 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments


Stunning scenery from the train journey between Edinburgh and Newcastle


It has been about 5 days since I returned from Scotland, and I am still feeling slightly disorientated ( which seems to always happen after a week-long retreat).

I remember on the day of departure, some retreat friends and I had some spare time and decided to grab a quick lunch in Edinburgh city centre before taking the train/ plane back home. This turned out to be a discomforting experience because it was the opening day of the Edinburgh festival and the city was completely packed! Not only did we have to fight our way through the crowds with our baggages, I was also highly sensitive to the noise level, people's facial expressions and even the colours of passerby's clothing ( I found it hard to adjust to the sharp bright colours after seeing mostly 'green' all week)!

The train ride back was not much better either, the air-conditioning unit broke down in many of the coaches ( including mine), so it was like sitting in a sauna... but for 4 1/2 hours! The toilets were blocked and the staff were grumpy, the only consolation was the beautiful scenery outside of the window esp. the from Edinburgh to Newcastle. I felt like I was being 'tested' after a mindful retreat... I had to tell myself: Welcome back to reality!




Back at my desk, I am aware of the emails that I need to reply to, the office supplies I need to order, and the large amount of preparation that I need to work on for the upcoming new collection and Christmas season. Despite feeling positive and energised after the retreat, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed as well. Images of the retreat, people, the loch and its surroundings kept popping into my head, and eventually I had to leave my desk to meditate for a while.

From my past experiences, I knew I would be feeling more emotional and sensitive after the retreat, but perhaps it is not so negative in my case. Since I decided to start this business, it has been an extremely 'lonely' experience, even with the support from people around me ( and sometimes from strangers), often I am unable to express my frustration and anxieties to others. I love what I do and am grateful that I am able to pursue my dream, but I cannot say that it has been an easy journey. The most difficult part is to find a balance, whether it is between commercial and conceptual options or work and life, there are so many decisions that have to be made and most of time, it's about taking risks. Even as I am writing this, I find myself feeling 'exposed' as I have no idea who will read this and I am not used to being so 'public'. Often I am wondering how much of 'me' should be exposed and how much should be kept private? Where do I draw the line?

I think the retreat has allowed me to reflect, feel vulnerable... and perhaps slow down a little. In life, often we are so focused on the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey, and even if the journey is not always pleasant, it is best to sit through it with awareness rather than trying to run away from it. I know that there is nowhere for me to run to, work still needs to be done and decisions still need to be made, but the best thing that I can do is to take it one step at a time... slowly and mindfully.

Like a miracle, once I became aware of this, I woke up this morning with many positive news relating to work ( and more support from strangers and new friends) all within a day! Is this the result of all the positive energy generated during the retreat? I would like to think so.


This post was posted in Travel, Business, Transport and was tagged with meditation, business, Scotland, retreats