A special gift
I gave a special gift to myself yesterday. I spent a day of silent meditation at the Chrysalis Holistic Centre in Donard, Co Wicklow. I try to do this day for myself several times a year, usually at the changing of the seasons, as I find it hightens the experience for me, watching as nature changes from spring to summer, from summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring and the cycle begins again. Watching the natural cycle of birth, growth and death in nature is a powerful symbol for me, and was throughout my treatment for breast cancer.
I believe that part of the stress we find ourselves living with today comes from an imbalance between silence and the busyness of our lives. I can see a lot of benefit in building some periods of silence into our day, even just five minutes to stop, close our eyes and take a few breaths. Just getting quiet and still like this restores balance to our lives. It calms the fight or flight impluse with which we operate so often in our lives. A regular practice of silence can help us to feel a stronger connection with our bodies and ourselves.
Many people keep running around and remain in a constant state of busyness to avoid examining their lives too closely. What would happen if they just stopped and had to face themselves and what is not working for them anymore. It is a terrifying prospect for many of us. One of the gifts of cancer, although we don’t always recognise it as such at the time, is that your life is interrupted, you stop running around and you have to face yourself. With cancer, there is no place to hide.
The gift of just being with yourself in silence is one we rarely give ourselves, but I can testify to how wonderfully restorative this is. The beautiful setting of Chrysalis nestled as it is in the tranquil Wicklow countryside and the care and attention you get from the staff there, not to mention the sublime vegetarian lunch all adds up to a very special day and one I would urge you to try for yourself.
Vist the Chrysalis website for more information on the many courses which run throughout the year.
Mindfulness helps to deal with post treatment phase
Hi JBBC – I have been to chrysalis a few times myself and like you i couldnt’ recommend it highly enough.
I love what you say about the importance of getting silent – if i don’t take some time out for myself each day, I feel unbalanced – it restores my equilibrium if I follow a regular practice of meditation.