Naturopathic health in the trenches / march 2010
A monthly health diary by Katherine Willow, ND

As I mentioned last newsletter, I did go to Galilee Centre in Arnprior for a personal retreat.  I took lots of work to do as a security blanket but didn’t do any of it, you’ll be pleased to know.  Instead I slept, ate, joined an exquisite yoga class given by Father Jack, had some lovely meditations and took a detoxifying epsom salt bath.

I also participated in my first session of spiritual direction with Jack during which I poured out my struggles to which he gave spiritual perspective.  More so, and this is what I especially appreciate about him, is that he LIVES his spirituality.  I could see right in front of me how one might respond differently to troubles and stress as he took in and responded to my pain.  I felt it shared and lifted.  It’s very direct.  And transformative.

I’ve been seeing the results of this visit in my life since coming back.  There have been lots of BIG changes, more stress, illness and demands for decisions.  I’m handling them differently, using my breath when I’d usually forget, keeping a positive outlook when I’d typically whine (some people will be glad to hear that!), being able to formulate intelligent self-talk.  I’ve cleaned up my home office for the first time in 6 months.  My goals are more focussed.  These are good results for a mere 24 hours & $52.50 — for a room overlooking the Ottawa River and a snow-covered labyrinth presided over by a graceful statue of Mary.

I’m going back again this month for more of the same, keeping my commitment from the meditation retreat and knowing that this is exactly what I need to do as homework for leading the retreats that we offer at the centre.  I can stop fooling myself: being a retreat facilitator does NOT count as a personal retreat!  An additional bonus is that Jack is interested in continuing to present at our events and so will be a part of our upcoming cleansing retreat in April, offering the spiritual perspective on fasting.

Here’s hoping you take some time to enjoy the sun and warmth of our slightly early spring.

See you at the Centre sometime!

~ Katherine