Monday, March 28, 2005

Anticipating retreat

I've registered to spend a week later this spring at Kripalu, one of my favorite spiritual retreats. I'll be taking a workshop called "Grail, Goddesses, Crones, and Circles" with Jean Shinoda Bolen, who's well-known for her books Goddesses in Everywoman, The Millionth Circle, and Crones Don't Whine. Kripalu rarely offers workshops with a pagan or Goddess focus (although they're always pagan-friendly), so I'm especially excited. Following my Goddess weekend, I'll participate in a five day workshop on "Joyful Weight Loss." The only reason I'm even willing to consider a "weight loss" workshop - since I'm a feminist and highly critical of dieting and standard norms of beauty - is because I trust Kripalu, and I know the focus will be on "love yourself, have fun, move more, eat well." I know that my friends and allies in the movement against fat oppression would still object to the name, and I agree. But in college and graduate school I developed disordered eating patterns and the attendent self-loathing, and I want out. I want a safe, structured environment for exploring the emotional issues that arise for me around food. I'm fighting the pull to go on a diet, because I know that, for me, that's a way to continue the cycle of self-loathing, not a way to challenge it. I can feel that the time has arisen for me to deal with my distress around food in a conscious, deliberate way. I've been binging, a sure sign of fear and resistance. Last week while grocery shopping I nearly had a panic attack in the middle of the supermarket. But instead of avoiding this shit, as I'm wont to do, I'm going in, baby. I'm going straight through.

Kripalu is time alone and in community, time out of time, slow time, delicious food, lots of yoga, lots of sleep, spa treatments, reading, nature. I can't wait.