On Motherhood & Sanity

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I just came back from a one week yoga retreat in the Sinai Desert.

Yes, you read right. I buggered off, no husband, no kids, for one entire week. Now, before you get over excited, let me explain that it has actually taken me one full calendar year, (actually, 14 months to be precise) to pull this off. The biggest block to doing it was – of course, guilt.

The idea came to me when my children were 2.5 and 1 yrs old respectively. The one yr old was still breastfeeding day and night (with emphasis on night, given that he was getting up, and more importantly getting me up, two to three times a night). My husband had moved to Holland, and I was in the process of packing up the house, finding schools, working out the tax rules as a freelancer in my new country and the like before joining him.

Did I mention that I had a photo exhibition going on?

So, in short, I was stressed and tired. I was also reading one of the most wonderful books I have read; ‘eat pray love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert (http://www.elizabethgilbert.com). I wont go into details of the book, but she does a retreat, so the exhaustion together with the book brought the idea to me. Truth be told, if it hadn’t been for my husband’s support, I probably would not have done it. That and …. serendipity.

As I was once again procrastinating and finding excuses as to why it was not a good time to do this, I received an email from a dear friend asking if I wanted to join her on a yoga retreat in April. I had to laugh, it was like destiny reminding me of my commitment to myself. My friend whom I had not seen in almost seven years, who I did not even know did yoga, was asking me to do exactly what my body had been asking me to do for over a year. Clearly it was time. One other thing happened, I panicked at the idea of waiting another four months to do it. Only then did I realize that I was again over tired, and that I sill owed this to my myself.

A couple of days before I had come across an add in a restaurant advertising a yoga retreat in the Red Sea. It was half a week in the Desert, and half a week by the sea. It seemed absolutely perfect to me. A mixture of sun, together with the solitude that only the desert can provide. Let me tell ya, it did not disappoint. Having one week to catch up with my dear friend, to share my life and get to know hers again, was like having home made bread cooked every day for my soul.

I am back now. I will soon blog about more details, but for the time being let me tell you, confess, I did not come back a super mom. A couple of days in I had a cold (probably as a result of the shock of coming back to northern European weather), and the night before leaving I spent it holding tight to the toilet, getting over some food poisoning. But you know what? not only was it worth it, but I deserved it. I would not have taken so long to fulfill my promise to anyone else. And I do feel better, and stronger, and just that much wiser, if only because I pulled this off.

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