In a recent morning devotional I read a line that hit me between the eyes. It said: Be free in your spirit always…do not waste your time attaching yourself to hurt and pain.

Having been raised in a fear based household which no doubt accounts for my hypochondria and other phobias, I am more frequently attaching myself to the negative rather than to the positive. Even though I know full well that negative thinking causes depression and worse still, all manner of disease, breaking the habit of worry is easier said than done.

But still, I was struck by the word attach…something that denotes clinging and holding onto rather than simple letting go of that which is simply not serving me.

So on a recent road trip with my husband for a much needed get-a-way, I made a secret pact with myself not to bring up one negative thought or on-going family situation that might contribute to my neurosis. Traveling south for an eleven hour journey and out of cell phone contact it would be possible to work this experiment. We would be disconnected from family, work, and pending issues that tend to distract us from life’s joys. I would attempt to be focused on fun and celebration, both easy to achieve being away from the mundane and heading into the adventure of the unknown.

Although my mind occasionally slipped into thoughts of doom and gloom I reminded myself that I wasn’t going to get this “free” time back again nor would I get this very day and place back again.  I could attach to my fears as they crept into my head or not. Reminding myself that fear is nothing more than FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL I would cancel the thought for the time being and give my spirit a chance to be free.

Breaking habits of attachment is particularly hard for women who have spent so much of their life being involved with others. Time can be better spent enjoying the moment or the process of what we are doing instead of attaching to the hope for destination or peace which, in the end, is almost always unattainable.

A Wellesley College Retreat

Last weekend I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop at Wellesley College. I had applied to both Wellesley and Smith Colleges some forty five years ago, but alas, was not accepted to either. Thus getting in the “back door” as it were, and  being able to share what I know to some thirty five women was my pleasure.

There were three mother and daughter couples in attendance as well as an entire book club. We met in a very Zen like room under the Chapel and had break out sessions and meditation time in smaller rooms, each dedicated to one or another of the world’s religions.

The morning session was dedicated to getting to know ourselves again—that is answering the question:  Who am I beyond the roles that I play?

Dividing up into groups of eight for lunch each table was responsible for answering one of the following question:

What is outlived in my life? What is unlived?

Which emotional conflicts have given me the most strength?

How has my own fortitude given me unique characteristics I hadn’t recognized before?

How can I nurture my spirit and redefine the meaning of high maintenance?

What needs to be healed in my physical, emotional and psychic being?

With a plethora of answer coming forth we tackled the question: How to launch our second journeys.

The day culminated with a closing circle standing around a magnificent labyrinth which allowed each of us to release that which was outlived and receive intentions for our future.

I look forward to more workshops on other campuses to keep the unfinished women crusade alive.

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