Things I noticed as I crossed the road while on retreat in India

Retreat to Advance stamp

Context.  “The Road” is a 10 ft wide lane of crumbling blacktop that winds along next to the ashram.  OK…here we go:

  •  14 teenage boys on 4 bikes.   
  • A crowd of exuberant Indian children skipping and jabbering away in Hindi,  in the night…yelling “Hello” in English. (I’m in silence…so all I can do is smile and nod…which makes it worse as I start laughing and can’t stop. )
  • A little horse drawn surrey with tiny horses and a whole family packed in the back. 
  • An endless supply of motorcycles, rickshaws, really loud buses and fantastically painted trucks all honking and swerving together with beautiful sari clad women, babies and children hanging precariously everywhere you look.  Overloaded?  What is overloaded? (Yes, these people are so stunning, I feel like I’m on a movie set.)
  • Sacred Cows, of course. 
  • A wagon pulled by oxen, again packed with beautiful smiling families. 
  • The flower garland vendors who won’t give up their quest to have me purchase and are convinced I haven’t paid for the one they threw around my neck when I wasn’t paying attention yesterday.  Rather than going after me for the rupee’s they have targeted my roommate to pay, who has to dodge them every time she crosses now too.
  • The guards who are quite handsome in a vibrant sort of way, I do feel safe and protected …and a little light headed in their presence. 
  • An old sadhu covered in Kum Kum who looked into my eyes and for several hours I’m seeing stars and galaxies circling around in my head.  And speaking of stars, what is up with the tall smiling, completely amazing European businessman? 
  • A young Indian man, with a wooden box on his head that I am sure has a snake in it. 
  • A parade of chanting pilgrims, complete with megaphones, cymbals, drums and their own teacher carried forward on a garland clad truck.  
  • A truckload of chickens and last but not least….at 3:45am, there is no one but us meditators crossing the road.  The end.

I was just going for my “Eat Pray and Love” Experience

I’m retreating at the beach on Whidbey Island with Peg Marckworth, the wonder-personal branding consultant and Tucker the wonder-dog.  We’re watching the water sparkle in the sun and the first bright green leaves on the rose bushes emerge.  It’s been 3 months since my retreat in India.  Since I have returned change has been constant.  India called forth growth in my life and business, just like the sun is calling forth the wildly alive spring green that is emerging here everywhere.

It’s been magical to witness my outer reality, trying to catch up to the wise inner Knowing that my time in India unvieled.  Sometimes it’s been elegant and profound…sometimes it’s been clumsy and physically intense.  Big surprise!  I expected joyful bliss.  It’s been all that AND it’s been heart wrenching, chaotic and messy.  Gentle compassion flows through me with silent, peaceful ripples. Often followed by the diesel engine style love that rumbles through with powerful might, expelling every trace of limitation or illusion of control. My heart is 10 times bigger.  I’ve noticed that the sorrow of my lifetime has mysteriously gone missing, healed without a trace.  No band-aids, no scars remain.  

My “Pilgrimage to the Heart” via India was the beginning of Retreat to Advance 2008.  It has not been a linear process where I retreated, meditated, had inspiration….then came back, reflected, quietly made a plan and began moving forward.  It was more like a tornado of pure Love energy blasted through after which I picked myself up and asked.  “What the heck?”  Nothing looks or feels the way it once did.  Everything is changing from the inside out.  I’m wildly, passionately happy and quite proud that I’ve made it this far.  I still miss everything about India.  My imagination sees, feels, tastes and smells it in sensual detail every day.    I’m told that this “missing” is the energy of divine Love.  Crazy. 

Bottom line.  Retreat, surrender to Love, gather your circle of support, be kind to yourself, fasten your seat-belt and get ready to Advance.


Guide Yourself to Truth


This web-log is devoted to the exploration of Retreat to Advance.  Through sharing the wisdom gleaned from  “retreating” for times of reflection and stillness, I’m aiming to deepen our understanding of how “retreat” supports “advance” in both business and life.   Another goal is to deepen our collective wisdom around the question:  How can we most effectively initiate and move through times of change?   Hint:  The change process is not linear and it often involves messy chaos.  I welcome your comments, stories, feelings, perceptions and experiences.  For more about my work and my ideas about Retreat to Advance see