I highly recommend it. Retreat that is. And atop a mountain with exquisite views of Nature’s majesty doesn’t hurt.
Our day to day life is important. Our commitment to daily life is key. Sometimes, though, it’s really good to unplug and retreat from daily life. Purposefully. Mindfully.
There is something very special about these Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia where I go on retreat. It could be that they are some of the oldest mountains in the world. It might be they hold rich historical memory having been home to the Mississippians in the 1500’s and later to the Cherokee Indians who were later forced to leave and migrate west. I’m not sure why it is but there is a palpable shift in the way I feel in my body when I cross some invisible line on the way up the North Georgia Mountains. And once my vehicle is on the narrow steep lined by welcoming trees, I roll the windows down. The air feels, tastes, smells richer, nurturing, supportive.
Once the vehicle is parked and I step out, I am greeted by the most immediate and profound element of mountain retreat: quiet… stillness… There is no pressure to go and do. There is only a soft invitation to sink into the ease of being. The unwinding of tension begins and by the time my retreat has to come to an end I return to my daily life with a renewed perspective and a reminder of what really matters. The tendency to rush and operate from urgency has melted away, at least for a while.
I am incredibly blessed to have had opportunity to build and sustain a very special mountain retreat in Ellijay on a mountain top with my husband. After years of renting out other cabins in the mountains for weekend get-aways we finally positioned ourselves to realize a common dream of creating our own mountain retreat, Wonderidge. I feel so honored to be able to host others in their need for retreat.
The practice of mindfulness, of gentle observation without judgment and analysis, is heightened when I am in the mountains. Taking this with me back into daily life is the key. We always have a closing session at the end of the retreats I host. During this session we have one last group meditation which always is very quiet and peaceful. As we come out of that meditation I encourage everyone to consciously take this sense of peace with them as they return to every day life.
“I come to myself…I come home to my solitary woodland walk as the homesick go home. I thus dispose of the superfluous and see things as they are, grand and beautiful.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Lynn Louise Wonders