Friday, January 1, 2010

Update: Woggy #15 Complete!!

Over the past several years, I've taken to the practice of sending myself on emotional/spiritual "retreats" These work much in the same way that official "retreats" at retreat centers work, except I just do them in my own home. Sometimes I plan them in advance, and sometimes I just take one when life is getting just a little too frazzled, when my mind and spirit have become lost or feel like they're scattered in a million directions, making nothing in my life work smoothly. Some last just for a day, others for a week, and one even for two weeks. But the goal of all of them is the same. Time to focus on spiritual and emotional issues, at the forefront of all other concerns.

With the whirlwind that always surrounds the holiday season, I have now made a specific ritual of doing a retreat each year right before the holiday craziness is about to descend, so that I can head into that season with a firm and solid grounding.

Over the past year or so, it has been during these retreats that I have made the most progress towards reading and finishing my Woggy #15, the book called Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life. And I'm happy to say that it was during my latest pre-holiday retreat that I was able to not only make time for and recover from an emotional slump in the previously mentioned Woggy #24 (my NaNo 2009 novel), but I was also able to finally finish reading Woggy#15.

The completion of this book is in my mind no small achievement. It is to me as significant and was as challenging as the task of writing a novel in one month, or my previous task of walking 70 miles on my own two feet. On a spiritual level all three of these tasks are completely connected for me, as they have all involved the same emotional and spiritual undertaking. They have each taught me the same lesson in different form.

But like the other two, while the tangible task has been completed, there is still plenty of learning and journey to go. I have read all of the words, I have done all of the main exercises. But many of the exercises are more of an ongoing process, which will not be truly completed for a year or more. And the lessons and discipline learned are ones I will need to carry with me on a daily basis in a conscious, mindful fashion in order for the learning and practice to be truly complete. This will continue until the day when all of these lessons are formed as intrinsic habits without my having to conscientiously consider them, if in fact such a day will ever come. Whichever may be true, I am thankful for having read this book, the process I've gone through and all that I've learned, and the continuing lessons I hope to carry with me into my future as a result of having read it.

"Life is a choice. The choice here is not about whether or not to have pain. It is whether or not to live a valued, meaningful life."

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