The coffee started tasting bad on Thursday morning. That was the clue that I hadn’t just slept poorly – but I was getting some kind of a bug. I had that sick taste in my mouth when even the most glorious of tastes (coffee) are unappetizing. I plowed through Thursday & Friday because I didn’t want to be sick. I had a great and big weekend planned. By Friday afternoon I no longer wanted the great and big weekend, because I felt so crummy and had run out of gas to plow through anything.

A benefit of being my own boss is that I could cancel the retreat, without having to check with anyone. A real pisser of being my own boss is that there is no one else to check in with about cancelling the retreat. There is no person to say “You’re absolutely right, Rachel. You definitely should cancel the retreat.”.

I am left to checking in with myself and good grief there are so many opinions, critiques, and voices of self-doubt inside this nugget on top of my neck that it is really hard to get a clear and concise opinion. For instance;   “You’re not THAT sick Rachel. Yoga will make you feel better.”       “These people made a commitment and set plans to show up. Don’t let them down.”      “This is bad for your business. I don’t hear about all these other yoga instructors cancelling retreats and workshops? All your regulars will go over “there” because those instructors never seem to get sick.”      “Why are you getting sick all the time? I thought yoga was supposed to be good for your health?!”

At the beginning of every yoga class we turn our attention and senses inward – it’s a practice called pratyahara. Instead of having our senses (remember your 5 senses? see, smell, touch, hear, taste) tuned to everything external like normal, we re-tune our senses to the internal.  As part of this I say “Peel through the layers of you that relate to everyone and everything else. Like you take off your hat and coat, peel through the layers of you that relate to your family, your friends, your work and places of responsibility until you are left with you relating to you, right here and now.”

On some days this is easier said than done.  Part of what we were going to do in the retreat (that I cancelled) was to slow down this practice of peeling the onion that is you. When you peel off the layer that relates to your family – what’s the sensation? Lightness? Un-grounded? Relief? Is there any residue (for lack of a better word) that doesn’t quite get peeled off? What is that?  When you peel off the layer of you that relates to friends – what’s the sensation? Lightness? Un-grounded? Relief? Is there any residue that doesn’t quite get peeled off? What is it?  And then work and whatever other layers that you might peel off in order to get to You relating to You right here and now.  To get to that place is hard, at least for me, because of that residue that remains from the other layers.

It’s all those layers of me that made it kind of complicated to cancel the retreat. I’m sure you know what I mean…right? So, on Friday afternoon when I peeled through those layers of me that relate to everyone and everything else, and showed up with me relating to me, I checked in with the most important person who said, “You’re absolutely right, Rachel. You need to cancel the retreat.”.

The meditation mantra of the month is the word Niyama, which is the behaviors and attitudes we have toward ourselves.  How do you relate to you? How do you care for yourself, not for the sake of family, friends, work, etc., but for your own sake? It’s a little complicated isn’t it?

After I cancelled the retreat I received lots of emails encouraging me to take care of myself and feel better soon. I am doing the best I can. I know it will not be like this forever. So, that’s it for now. I can barely keep my eyes open, so I’m just going to let them shut for a while and take a nap.

Peace on your head, you.





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