Don't think of it as running away; think of it as running toward...

Don’t think of it as running away; think of it as running toward…

I don’t make a habit of retreating–unless you count all the times I have closed myself up in the bathroom for a healthy real-self to mirror-self chat–but I’m due for a retreat.

The only other retreat I’ve ever been on was a Buddhist retreat at the Omega Institute in New York. Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun and one of the only writers on Buddhist teachings who ever helped me understand and apply the teaching to my life, was the speaker for the weekend.

I was really excited about going to this retreat because:

1. I had never been on a retreat (not involving bathroom mirrors and talking to myself) before.

2. Pema Chodron was speaking, and she was a Buddhist Rock Star in my book (I was new to Buddhism and didn’t quite understand that Buddhists don’t go in for all that rock star business).

Maybe he's new to Buddhism, too. He's still got that Rock Star thing happening.

Maybe he’s new to Buddhism, too. He’s still got that Rock Star thing happening.

3. My husband had left me the week before and I was lonely and feeling unlovable. This retreat, I thought, was a great way to connect with people who were kind and loving. As it turned out, it was a silent retreat. I got to exchange many kind glances with friendly-looking people. It was a start.

4. I never went anywhere on my own before, so this was a good test to see if I could manage in the world as a single person. I didn’t get lost or murdered or anything. It was a start.

That was 4 years ago. I’m ready for another retreat.

This time I’m going to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Heath in Massachusetts. I’m NOT going for the yoga. My hamstring is still not healed from my yoga debacle  fiasco  wreck mishap several months ago.

I wasn't ready for a stretch quite that deep, no matter how I was supposed to achieve it. "Hot yoga" isn't all it's cracked up to be...

I wasn’t ready for a stretch quite that deep, no matter how I was supposed to achieve it. “Hot yoga” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

I’m going for a safe, low impact seminar. And I’m going with my niece.

The seminar is entitled “A Weekend for Highly Sensitive People.” Does that sound like it was meant for me or what? The presenter is Elaine Aron, who wrote the book on HSPs, being one herself. If you want to know if you are one, she has a self-test on her website. I scored 26/27. My niece is also highly sensitive.

Supposedly 15-20% of the population are highly sensitive. Of 40 people I counted in my immediate family (I had to throw in a few friends and one really hyper Newfoundland to get the count up to 40), only my niece and I score really high on the HSP test. That makes 20%. Which only proves that numbers don’t lie, but people might make the statistics fit their point. Don’t even think of accusing me of doing that. Why? Because I totally didn’t and I’ll probably cry because I’m a highly sensitive liar.

I was just trying to make a point. Why do you have to make such a big deal out of accuracy and truth. Sheesh! Cut me some slack. I'm under a lot of pressure. I still have to pack for this weekend.

I was just trying to make a point. Why do you have to make such a big deal out of accuracy and truth. Sheesh! Cut me some slack. I’m under a lot of pressure. I still have to pack for this weekend.

I don’t expect this retreat to be silent, but I bet it will be quiet. And calm. We HSPs don’t like a lot of stimulation. I’m pretty sure there won’t be any cocktail parties or keggers. We’re shy folks, us HSPs. I wonder if they’ll ask us not to applaud the speaker? I’ll be sure to wear muted colors. I hope the other HSPs do the same.

I suspect this will be the scene at both the lecture hall and the evening entertainment. But would someone remove that green ball? It's very annoyingly bright.

I suspect this will be the scene at both the lecture hall and the evening entertainment. But would someone remove that green ball? It’s very annoyingly bright.

In preparation for my weekend, I’m going on a technological diet. That means I won’t be blogging after today. No more posts or comments from me. Sorry.

But I’ll be sure to tell you all about my retreat–if there’s anything to tell you. By most of your standards, this weekend will be pretty dullsville, humdrumadum, zero on a scale from 1-10. But that’s how we HSPs like it! (Ooh, even that exclamation point was a bit too stimulating.)

Ah, that's more like it.

Hope you have a peaceful weekend. I expect I will. That’s assuming I can drive there and back without any problems like heavy traffic, any traffic, getting lost, weather requiring me to strain my eyes, getting pulled over for going under the speed limit…You know, the usual hassles one faces on the road from here to there and back.