I just returned from five days in Connecticut, at a retreat which was about happiness. I don't recall the official title, but five days in the woods with a bunch of wonderful people, a river to swim in, good food and lots of singing, meditation and dancing is my kind of thing. It's not for everyone and a year ago, I never would have imagined going on any kind of retreat. I didn't really know what a retreat was, but now you could call me up and invite me on one and I'd be packed in ten minutes and out the door.
This retreat was about remembering what you are passionate about and trying to find ways to make that a priority in your life. Whatever the passion is: yoga, knitting, feeding the world, singing, writing, performing, ice skating, dancing, your partner, painting, teaching, traveling, cooking, working with animals, whatever. For some people it was surprising to see what they felt most passionate about. For some it was scary.
The highlights for me were: an early morning dance class that got me out of bed at 6 am and dancing by 7 am, Paulette Pope's meditations, a daily river swim/water aerobics gathering with my friends Helene and Karen, which then led to singing "Proud Mary" with Tim and many other songs, performing (as a back-up singer) "We Are the World" and "New York, New York" in a show, being asked to meet with our meditation partners and then told by Paul Tenaglia, our retreat leader, to dance. And a few good desserts, particularly the ice cream bars.
Anyway, I'm back in Brooklyn now with Zoe and Steve. Last night they went to a really great 4th of July party where Zoe danced. To African drums. In the rain.