I joined Kathryn Antyr’s online class Personal Retreats over at her True North Arts Workshops. I feel like this is something I really need. I’ve been feeling the cumulative affects of stress brought on by a strained relationship (not doomed, just very strained and stressful-sometimes on a daily basis) and I’m seeking out a method in which I can create some moments of solitude, serenity and a bit of simplicity a few times a week.
Kathryn suggests first of all we set up a little altar or ‘sacred space’ consisting of objects which remind us of relaxation and spirituality, or anything else which brings us closer to the feelings we hope to achieve through our personal retreat. I set up a sacrecd space on my art table where I can see it every day. It’s in my bedroom, a place that’s warm and cozy and just happens to be my creative space. I kept it simple and chose a few smooth small stones from the shore of Lake Superior, my buddha, a few candles, my Eiffel Tower and a photo of my dog. These items bring me to a calm state of mind when I look at them.
I’ve given a bit of thought to my objectives for having a personal retreat. My goal is to carve out a few hours a week where I can spend some time doing an art journal and give attention to my thoughts an listen to my soul. I seriously need quiet time and to just breathe, but not to breathe in the sense of inhaling and exhaling. For me, breathing has more to do with having time away to myself where I don’t have to answer to anyone or meet anyone’s needs except for my own. For the short time I allow, I want to focus on me. I don’t believe I’m being selfish. I realize that every woman needs to nurture herself first before she can go on and adequately nurture others.
If you, too, are feeling stressed, and need time away, you don’t have to leave your home to find some peace. Just carve out a space for yourself and allow it to happen.
Today, my husband was gone all day at a meeting. The house was peaceful and quiet. I played Ray LaMontagne softly and sat in front of my little altar of serenity and planned a journal page in my new Moleskine sketchbook. The candles were flickering and I could hear the dog snoring. It was very calming to my nerves. I’m supposed to have Friday to myself, too. I plan on art journaling in my new Moleskine sketchbook. It should be a very good day.