As some of you may know, I am spending several weeks in the south of Spain on a personal retreat. And yes, I feel so unbelievably fortunate to have the opportunity to do so.
This November, I felt a strong pull to come sooner than planned to this place I have come to love. I was in a personal place of confusion and I felt I needed some clarity. I felt conflicted about being dependent on a relationship and yet craving independence. I needed to drown out the voices around me so I could hear my own.
There is no place like solitude and time with my journal to quiet the outside noise.
This is my fourth year here in Torremolinos (near Malaga) so I feel at home. I have made dear friends here which I look forward to seeing. There are favourite eateries, shops and experiences I savour every time I am here, not the least of which is my hourlong walk in the morning along the Paseo Maritimo, the never ending tiled sidewalk which borders the sea and many little chiringuitos (beach restaurants).
Then my walk. I usually listen to an inspiring audio book which I’ve downloaded from the library; this practise alone feeds my creative energy and moves me towards wellness practises. I sometimes end my walk by doing some stretching or meditating by the sea. If not, I return to my apartment and spend some time on my yoga mat, luxuriating in the feeling of easing muscle tightness, knowing everything I am doing is feeding my soul.
I spend afternoons developing workshops and completing online course assignments for my certification with the Therapeutic Writing Institute. This requires a fair amount of reading, which I love. Lunch is usually a homemade soup (this week’s is Tuscan White Bean and Potato) and/or salad or an occasional lunch out for calamari, pulpo or my personal favourite, gambas al pil pil (you can read more about those on my blog at www.35latinlovers.wordpress.com).
And I journal.
Life is sweet. Very, very sweet.
For those who know me well, that was certainly not the case a few years ago. (You can find out more about that by reading my divorce story.)
So what does all this have to do with a cat?
Yesterday morning, I greeted the day by opening the large glass windowpane which comprises this closed-in balcony. I was struck by the sight of a black cat drinking water at the pool’s edge below. Of all the times I have looked down, I had never seen a cat there before. I was intrigued.
Here is what I found when I looked up Cat as spirit animal:
“The cat is emblematic of a lifestyle that combines times of fierce independence and moments that are more social and cuddly. Being inspired by the cat’s spirit, you may foster the balance between your personal need for freedom and time alone with the company of others and social activities. The cat beckons us to realize that when we turn within to our own hearts, minds and souls, and trust in ourselves, we will always be shown the truth of matters.”
I am still a work in progress and always will be. What I feel deeply, though, is that I chose well to listen to my intuition, that voice of “knowing” I hear when I sit quietly with my journal. This has been a remarkable, nurturing, life-enhancing, creativity-inspiring retreat. I return home next week energized, rested, enthusiastic and ready to share my passion for journal writing and its many gifts with as many people as I can.
And I am so grateful to my journal for tracking this serpentine journey of mine. My awareness around the riches and synchronicities of my life has made me a very grateful and contented woman.
It can do the same for you.