When I went through yoga teacher training, I had FIERCE yoga teachers who weren’t afraid to help us (force us) to really look at ourselves. At one point, our small group got called on the carpet. Some of us were talking too much, our teachers said. Some of us weren’t talking enough. Some of us were talking just to hear our own voices. Some of us had things to say and didn’t have the courage to speak them. At that time, I was one of the silent ones.

Recently, I caught myself talking too much.

I hate when I do that. And it usually indicates that I want to talk to someone, that I’m reaching out for some kind of connection. Social media just doesn’t completely do it for me, though I love knowing what my friends are doing and how they are.

Retreat gave me time to stop and see the flowers!










Still. There are circumstances that are appropriate for connecting in certain ways, and there are other circumstances that are less so. I had the awareness to realize what I was doing, and I did my best to make the situation right.

Then I went home and talked to my cats.  🙂

That’s not as pathetic as it sounds. I’ve been on a self-imposed retreat, deep in the world of a novel I created, getting revisions done so that it can be sent out into the world. That does require silence, focus, concentration, and the circumstances to allow yourself to completely submerge into that created world. Once in a while, I need to emerge from such a retreat, and connect. But I will try to connect in a way where that’s the clearly understood reason for the connection/conversation, etc. The recent incident is a good reminder/learning for me about that.









The novel revisions are finished (YES!), but this retreat has taught me a lot about myself – my stuff, my behaviors, my insecurities, my courage. I needed to get quiet to go there. It has been a long time since I allowed myself a retreat. I think it’s a highly healthy thing to do, and it doesn’t have to involve a lot of complication or expense. I did my retreat right in my own living space.

Don’t be afraid of the quiet. You may find some of your greatest insights there.



Catherine Holm is the award-winning author of fiction and memoir books about place, cats, and transformation. She’s also a regular writer at Catster.com You can see her books on her website or on her amazon page.