A Silent Retreat With My Kid Around

by | Feb 2, 2017 | Alternative, Parenting, Visible | 0 comments

 

 

There was a raging storm inside of me. So many thoughts, so many possibilities, so many questions, so much churning. It seemed that my home, my temple, my sanctuary was blasted with gusts of outbursts and drama. I was battling enough my confusion, the fog that the physical location of my life brought to the project through which i felt most need to manifest my life purpose of facilitating joy and love. I felt spent having talked about, debated, sought advice and meditated and then my vain attempts at surrender.

Having just returned from India, having a house guest, missing my space, the joy of seeing the ocean and missing the happy buzz of Halla Gulla, setting up home again, getting back to routine it was all a bit too overwhelming and disorienting.Then everyday watching messages and e-mails of opportunities we couldn’t take up because I wasn’t in Mumbai. After a while my heart grew heavy. I missed the joy of giving  that comes to me from live interaction.

The day after Christmas, I woke up feeling the desire to be quiet. It was just natural, not planned. If I could have planned I would have gone to the Sivananda Ashram in the nearby Bahamas, but I could not, and I really didn’t feel up to traveling after a hectic India trip, so I just sent my husband at text explaining I wished to be in silence for a few days and could he support me please. He said yes and things flowed.

Our daughter is 5 and very expressive and with a strong need for communication and she couldn’t quite get it. I saw that it was challenging for her, yet I felt strongly to honor the call of my soul. So i communicated in sign language. I was still accessing e-mails and whats app in a disciplined manner.  Our LO did ok, meditating with me and us sharing lots of intimate hugs and eye gazing that ended in smiles or giggles. Inside I continued to be a witness to my thoughts, watching them without the colors of anyones opinion or advice.

Still it was intense for the LO.I hadn’t decided how long I was gng to remain silent, I was just going with the flow of my souls need. I arranged playdates for her via text with friends who would understand my silence.

Addressing a meltdown in silence
One day however, her swimming teacher didn’t come. S loves her swimming class and her swimming teacher, who is the most positive encouraging person. The two of them share a lovely bond and greet each other and thank each other in Swahili and Hindi respectively. I love watching them and give thanks for the gift of such a lovely teacher. S burst into tears. With all this silence she was looking forward to the swimming to have fun and let go and so she just let the floodgate of tears open. I hugged her and kissed her and acknowledged her feelings with my eyes and sign language? It was not enough.

I wondered if i should speak. But what point. My mind raced…and I knew nature would solve this for us. So I managed to get her into the car. Taking a packet of bread along we drove to a pond nearby. She was crying  inconsolably. I carried her from the car to the pond and took a piece of bread and threw it in the water. Soon there was life . The hickatees (like turtles) came in , few first then a whole bunch of them.  She suddenly got excited about who was going to get the bread and forgot to cry. Then there were the baby tadpole like fish that create designs as they reach for crumbs and make the water jump sometimes. there are the carps and there are the red beaked ducks who glide past indifferent to the buzz the bread has created and leave a V shaped wake of water behind. She fed the tickets, shooed the roosters and hens away and was enraptured  by nature. We stayed there for 20 minutes or so in silence, each of us watching what most appealed in any given moment. There were large flying stalk like birds that came and went and reflections in the water and the sun changing position. Suddenly there was a drizzle of rain, refreshing and beautiful. We smiled, hugged and went home.

 

Hickatees popping their heads up for food[/caption]

Hickatees Close up

Nature and play to heal myself and my child
While I was honoring my own need for silence and clarity, I also wanted to honor S need for play and togetherness. I had recently chanced upon the most beautiful swing in the world. A tree that dies, gives life after death. The picture will say all there is to say!

So I took S to this beautiful swing by the sea and I my husband came along too. Me in silence, them chatting.  She was thrilled with the swing. Her heart needed more and after a while, she was not happy with swinging alone.  She craved intimate play. So we gathered some beachy treasures and created a world. Its amazing communicating in silence, understanding what the other is saying, where they want to place an object and how we communicate our creative vision.

Kind of clues you in on  a deeper level. But she wanted play, like physically play..so I looked on the wet sand and began to make different types of footprints. Walking like a penguin, a duck, walking zig jag, jumping, drew a line with a stick and jumping on either side. This was so much fun for her. She made some of those up and I followed along. It was really the  most creative time on the beach. We began to notice doggie paw prints on the sand and bird claw prints ….just a world out there! Jumping facing one way and then another footprints[/caption]

Criss cross, zig zag walk footprints

Heel walk footprints

How I procured a wooden crate in a liquor store without talking
Some asked how I went about the business of the day without talking. I went to buy S a wetsuit at the diving store. I smiled, pointed, indicated her age with my fingers and communicated entirely in sign language. Its amazing how nice people are and even more when they think you have a disability. The saleswoman was just so helpful.
Another day I went to a liquor store to ask for a wooden wine crate I wanted to repurpose into a Kabaad Se Jugaad bookshelf. I typed on my phone. I walked in with a big smile and showed the cashier my request. the whole store came to help. They didn’t have one, but one guy said his mother worked at another store and she would arrange it. He wrote a note for me to give his mother. I went to her store and got the crate.
All along it was beautiful…..really deeply beautiful in a way you don’t experience in the normal world. This beauty you can’t experience in a retreat, a vipassana, an ashram, because there you know most who come re coming to seek, are positive. here in the real world, experiencing the welcome giving of a liquor store salesperson is just such a gift.  the Divine Intelligence shines through all levels of consciousness. Truly! I rust that one day I can keep this in sight through my interactions with the one or two people that challenge me!

“Mamma, I miss hearing your voice”
One day S said to me , “Mamma, I miss hearing your voice”…so from that day on, every night when we give thanks to the universe, I would give thanks aloud. I also told her I’d  read her a story everyday with no conversation before or after.
And did I mention a moonlight walk on the beach with my husband where I wasn’t talking. Must have been bliss for him! lol!

Mindfulness walk to bring in the new year
I’ve been hosting a stone soup gathering once a month in my home. For the 1st of January i sent out a mail inviting people to a darkness into sunrise mindfulness walk at 7 mile Beach, which is such a beautiful beach.  We went at 6 a.m when it was dark and walked in silence until 7 when the sun rose. We had 2 kids among us, who found their own silent communication and play. The dark water turned to its beautiful blue as the sun rose and it felt like time to speak again. I came to, feeling rejuvenated and with such amazement at the gifts that a silent retreat  while living in the heart of life can bring.

I didn’t find the answers to the questions i had, but in silence, I found the most unexpected beautiful gifts and such deep connection with my LO.

Is this something you would do with your child? I’d love to know.

About Me

As a mentor, trainer and coach, Mirabelle I support committed yoga lovers to savour the luxury of inner experience and find purpose, pleasure and joy in life through the breath. 

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