Blissful Retreat

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was BLISS. And Frank Prem writes about wanting to attend their annual Rainforest Writing Retreat. What a blissful thought!

Actually the thought of any retreat where you can kick back and relax with friends/fellow writers sounds great, especially when their official website invites you to “Escape reality with your fellow writers in Australia’s lush mountain rainforest at O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park!”

Yes, BLISS! Just a continent and a small fortune away. Sigh. Frank laments that he can’t go either now, because of new COVID restrictions in their area.

RETREATS: An Absence of Real-World Temptations

Twenty-five years ago I knew a lady in Montreal who went on several retreats. Not the blissful kind, though. Over time she paid out what amounted to a small fortune to spend time at a holistic health retreat in the country, where she did nothing but NOT EAT. For $70 a day she was given a tiny room with a bed, a dresser and not much space to move, where she spend several weeks at a time just resting, supposedly cleansing her body of toxins, reading, meditating, praying. She could walk around, but there was no encouragement to exercise; folks were there to purify their bodies.

She felt this effort brought her closer to God, but she also had practical motives: lose weight and quit smoking. Someday I’ll write more about her episodes, but suffice it to say, the plan didn’t work in the long run. Living only on water and juices, of course she lost weight. Back in the real world food and nicotine tempted her as always. Coming home after a retreat one time, she ordered an extra-large pizza — and ate the whole thing. Then her body was suddenly overloaded and she suffered. In all that enforced deprivation, she’d let self-discipline slip away.

So I shall forgo rainforest retreats until my ship comes in. Even being in a gorgeous, low-stress setting, surrounded by all those good vibes, won’t guarantee that a person would spend the time in her seat writing every day once she’s home again. The enthusiasm and inspiration would be a boost any writer would enjoy and you’d come away with fresh inspiration. However, it still takes self-discipline to keep pounding the keyboard when those temptations to skip off and play come beckoning. 🙂

Pixabay image

12 thoughts on “Blissful Retreat

  1. I had a friend who did similar things, including (sorry) coffee enemas which I considered a waste of good coffee 😉 People are all looking for something and different things appeal to different people (duh, Martha). When I retired, I went on “retreat” for the rest of my life. So far so good…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like a good plan — and you picked a good place to do it, too. Scenic and nicely remote. 🙂
      My poor friend, trying to purge her body of the “toxins” she shoveled in normally… But when you starve, history shows, your body sucks minerals out of your bones. My friend fell down some steps not so long after the last fast and broke her leg. The doctor, after seeing her last x-ray, said “Your bone really shattered — it looks like corn flakes. We can hardly put it together.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a very sad story. My friend ended up dying from an unidentifiable and (apparently) deadly disease, possibly lupus but the doc was never able to give a clear diagnosis. I think she suffered from a kind of hypochondria that makes it impossible for a person to accept who they are, as if she had to constantly be working on herself, doing a “cleanse” (usually at home) every month or two. She didn’t trust conventional doctors, either, or “chemical” medicine and put all kinds of weird things into her body. I just wanted to shake her and say, “Sally, just be happy with who you are! You’re just getting older.” I miss her but there came a time when I couldn’t handle her neuroses any more.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My poor friend so much wanted to be slim and twenty years younger, whereas she was mid-forties, tall, and what we used to call “big boned.” And she’d accepted the belief that our foods are loaded with poison; regular doctors are only out to push pills and make money. (I’d say the people who ran the health retreat were doing pretty good, too!)
        Sadly, far from being holistically cleansed and guaranteed many more years, my friend died of bowel cancer around age 65. When I talked to her not long before she passed away, she was really hoping to get to a famous faith healer’s crusade to be held in that city. I don’t think she lived long enough.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bliss indeed, Christine!

    Thank you for sharing my pining for the Retreat. What I have enjoyed about it in the past has been the sense of belonging, where mostly writing (poetry) is a fairly lonely task, I think.

    Genuine belonging is its own kind of bliss, I think.

    The other kinds of retreat you’ve spoken of make me shuder. No thanks.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, just thinking about a retreat like that is BLISS. 🙂

      As to my friend’s retreat, clients must put their faith in a philosophy, or worldview, based on the concept that “Medicine and science are out to kill you.”
      An elderly gent touting this theory one day told me, “Pills are chemicals, but If it’s a natural herb, it won’t have any bad side effects!”
      Being of a contrary nature, I mentioned “herbs” like tobacco, belladonna, nightshade, hemlock, poison ivy. And many of the long-named cancer-fighting drugs doctors use these days are plant-based.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Frank Prem Poetry and commented:
    Christine Goodnough has been pondering Bliss in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt, and has touched on my Rainforest Writing Retreat as one of her reference points.

    Pop over and check out Christine’s Collection blog site.

    Liked by 1 person

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