My weekend retreat was not a retreat, I learned to my great distress on the very first evening (no leisurely unpacking, no lolly-gagging). It was not about reading books. It did include a lot of writing, but not the sort of writing I would normally have chosen.
It was called a Responsible Living Workshop. What it taught me was how to feel my feelings, in particular how to dig deep into my own childhood and recover what that little girl used to feel. It was, in a word, intense.
Of course in numerous ways the weekend turned out to be all about my writing. Well, all about life, which–ultimately–is what the best writing taps into.
Right now–home after three busy days (Thursday evening to Sunday evening, 7 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday)–I’m not sure what else to add. But this together with my PNWA workshop with Margie Lawson this past summer (the one about writing emotion) are telling me, loudly, clearly, that I need to pay more attention to feeling my feelings.
“To humiliate a crying child is to increase his pain, and augment his rigidity. We stop other people from crying because we cannot stand the sounds and movements of their bodies. It threatens our own rigidity. It induces similar feelings in ourselves which we dare not express and it evokes a resonance in our own bodies which we resist.” –Alexander Lowen