Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: retreat

Piqued

From last weekend’s cuddle-sesh

It was a short, 3-day work week and I loved every minute of it. One of the rewards of travel is that my normally aloof mutt becomes very interested in snuggling (see above).

Now on to the links:

Happy Writer Mama wrote up An Introvert’s Guide To Retreats (With People) but I’d say it’s a great list to keep handy for any situation where you have to meet a lot of new people, especially people you want to be hanging out with.

Guuyyyyyssss, I love post-apocalyptic stories + Walking Dead zombies and Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, so it’s only natural that I share her short how to survive a zombie apocalypse appearance on BuzzFeed.

Tom Hanks is obsessed with typewriters. The cooler thing? I’ve gotten to see some of them because of my cool music industry-related job. Now if only he’d been working the day I was at his office… This NPR Book News link also covers Ann Patchett’s comma correction and Lena Dunham’s rage spiral. Obvi.

20 Animals with Majestic Hair. My sister texted me this link and I actually laughed out loud, multiple times. I feel like at least half of these animals’ internal dialogue is just “FML”.

For a happy Justine, sleep is the 2nd priority, coming in right below food, so it’s no surprise to me that sleep-deprived bees are not able to give their little waggle directions as accurately as their well-rested counterparts. (I wish this article was longer. I love bees.)

My friend T sent me this link about how introverts interact differently with the world, including an ah-ha moment for WHY I SIT NEAR EXITS. “When surrounded by people, they (introverts) locate themselves close to an exit…Whether it be by an exit, at the back of a concert hall, or an aisle row on an airplane, they avoid being surrounded by people on all sides”.

New motto for life: avoid people on all sides.

And random share here, but @danlongo ‘s tweets are hilarious. We’re like, almost real internet friends b/c he’s friends with my actual internet friend Ciara.

And that’s that. Happy weekending xo

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Wear What You Want – Freedom

Freedom.

That’s one of the things I took away from the retreat a few weeks ago. It’s something I wrestle with daily.

That I can decide what to do with my time; when to do work, when to read a book, when to clean or nap or go outside.  That I get to decide what I want to wear. And I can wear anything I want.

I struggle with giving myself permission. Apparently, I’m always looking to someone else for clarity.

There was a woman at the retreat named Sherry who had the most fabulous style (check her out on her site – Simply Celebrate). And Laurie said that Sherry embraces her freedom in her style – and if she didn’t dress like that, then how would her people, her tribe, find her?

Since the retreat, I’ve been embracing what clothes make me happiest, even if it means pairing a gray skirt with brown boots and yellow t-shirt. Getting styled gave me so much information about what I truly like. I mean, if I love navy, why not wear navy?! (True story: a girl walked into the bathroom today at work in a fabulous navy trench coat and I complimented her on it as she locked her stall door. I don’t normally compliment strangers, but it totally caught my eye).

I don’t have any answers for you. I’m just learning these things myself. How Sherry is an example – a living, happy example – of a woman dressing in what makes her happy – and that radiates outward from her, influencing and encouraging me to dress in the ways that make me happiest.

It’s somehow silly and radical at the same time.

Do you use your clothes to express who you are, truly? Do you have some outward way that signals people others as someone in their “tribe”? 

Returning Home From The Retreat

Your car, barreling down the 5 at 70mph. The last hour, torture.
The dog a whirling dervish of wiggles, following at your heels as you go back and forth
One, two, three times
to lug all of your shit in. Bags of clothes, food, camera and paintings.
Paintings.
Putting your hands in the wet acrylic pain. Was that just yesterday, a mere 36 hours ago?

It feels as if a lifetime happened at the retreat, and since.

Not a single thing is cleaned up or taken care of. Unscrewing the broken toilet paper holder from the wall, changing the garbage bag in the bathroom, stripping the bed and putting on a duvet cover – knowing that, even if the apartment is filthy, clean sheets will make you happy.

You already feel rusty.
Feeling the weight – the shoulds and responsibilities – come raging back. Not one load of laundry folded. Not one sink cleaned. Feeling like you have to do it all.

Then, you remember your practices, shooting photos on a walk with the dog – the golden hour, captured. Your heart beat calms.

Returning home from the retreat, you talk to Mom, eat leftover chili, watch football on in the background, text your sister, eat 5 Oreos, wait for a locksmith.
Get a new door knob.

Returning home from the retreat you see the sticky, dusty residue on the counter tops. Feel crap from the carpet stick to your toes. No one’s watered the plants so you pour water from the dog bowl over them.

Returning home from the retreat you can already feel the magic slipping away – bright and calm self squashed under the realities of “home”.

Is this how addicts feel – free from their programs, but not their minds? Is this when the “real work” starts? And what about soldiers? How do they leave the monotony, the camaraderie, the danger and go back to driving automatics and waking to an alarm?

All of us women scattered. The retreat a dream we once had – the magic and the calm dissipating – like ripples on a still pond.

Plop. One pebble after another.
A handful of rice tossed into the air on a wedding day.
A fist of balloons, released.
(It is everything and it is nothing an echo says)

Driving back into LA, you pine for the pines. The leaves falling. The sun at a different angle, less harsh. Cleans pants and a/c that works.

And you know you can build your own little world right (write) inside here. A nest or a hovel or a den. The way animals settle in and dream.

Returning home from the retreat.