How I Found the FUN in My Funk
Updated: Jan 4, 2020
By Teresa Thomas, 50 Fun Things
For months I'd been dreaming of my first Loving Kindness Retreat with Radiant Jane. I imagined the Tuscan hillsides warmed by the sun. I was in such a dream-state that I overlooked a few things. It started by bringing carry on luggage that was slightly too big and wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment. It barely tucked under the seat in front of me so I had to sit like a frog for the long flight.
When I went to pick up a taxi, I should have waited in the correct queue and disregarded the taxi driver who offered to give me a ride. He charged me way over the regulated price. I was tired and sore and while the price seemed exorbitant, I didn't have the fortitude to argue. I went to pull out my Euros and was horrified to see I had only packed 100 Euros and not the envelope of Euros I had picked up at the bank. The cabbie took over half of my Euros.
I brought my bags in to the B&B and the host explained how I had been ripped off. She was kind and let me know her husband would be able to drive me to the airport to pick up my shuttle for the retreat for a quarter of the rate the taxi driver had charged me. She pointed out some things I might want to see during my limited time in Fiumincino. I took her advice and went out for a walk. Once it became dark, I got turned around and lost my way for just enough time to make me nervous but the streets were safe and I found my way back.
That evening, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself about starting the trip off on the wrong foot. I woke up the next morning in time to walk to the oceanside to see the sunrise. I brought my 50 Fun Things chart and a pen along with me. I wondered if it would be possible for me to list 50 Fun Things I had experienced since arriving the evening prior.
To my surprise and delight, I came up with a list of 50 things! The exercise gave me a chance to really notice my surroundings and senses. My gratitude opened up. I saw that my trip actually was off to a great start once I stopped focusing on the few negative things and compared them to the many positive things I had experienced. These are the 50 things I came up with: FUN (Joys I always appreciate):
Luxuriated in the process of awakening in a nice bed and surroundings
Turned a frustrating situation into a humorous lesson
Got dressed up more than necessary
Wore something that made me feel great
Sat on a balcony and enjoyed the view
Met an interesting new person
Heard nice live music
Fully tuned in to the present, the NOW
Realized, "Really, I am okay."
Challenged myself to interpret things I didn't fully understand
Journaled to pay attention to my thoughts
Opened up my mind to curiosity and discovery
Accepted a compliment
Found a cool plant and noticed every detail about it (a form of meditative thought)
Caught myself smiling
Wrote a sweet note
Found things that pleasantly surprised me
Indulged in a simple pleasure (chocolate before breakfast)
Enjoyed a sunrise
Heard the melody of another language
Listened to laughter -- and wondered, does it come in different accents?
Sought out inspiration to guide me
Wore a special charm/piece of jewelry that motivated me
Sat on a beach, contemplated and relaxed
Noticed the clouds, their form and movement
Window shopped and noticed how commerce is different that at home
Picked up and delighted in shells, rocks and leaves
New to me:
Wandered in a new area
Tried a new food
Did things in a different way than usual
Saw a type of bird I'd never seen before
Noticed different insects and how they behave
Discovered cool new things I'd never seen before
Fully savored and appreciated a meal
Appreciated seeing a couple in love
Detached from expectation and allowed things to BE as they were
Invited in increased awareness, appreciation and joy
Gave a compliment
Experienced everything beautiful about a cappuccino
Picked up and deciphered the myriad of sounds in my surroundings
Gently told a tense area of my body that it could relax
Breathed in and noticed how the air was different
Took a leisurely walk
Soaked up the radiant energy from the sun
Enjoyed the breeze on my hair and skin
Listened to breaking waves
Walked barefoot and noticed how it felt
The guiding lesson I took from this experience was the power of delighting in the little and unexpected things. When I shifted my awareness and focused on what was going right, I was able to see just how wonderful thing really were. The attitude adjustment set me up to fully embrace the joy, nourishment, beauty and lovely connections that the Radiant Jane Loving Kindness Tuscany retreat provided. This refreshed attitude rippled out to affect others, too! When another retreater grumbled about jetlag, we talked about how wonderful it was to experience jetlag because it meant she had taken the step to take herself on a gorgeous adventure to Italy! She maintained that positive perspective throughout and beyond the retreat which in turn rippled out and affected others, too! If something is feeling like it isn't going right, where could you use an attitude adjustment? Take a 20 minute break and see if you can list out 50 positive things to observe or try out.
Teresa is thrilled to have since returned for two more retreats with Radiant Jane Retreats in Tuscany. The truly radiant retreat leader, Jane Reeves refers to Teresa as the "Joy Concierge" for how she adds to the positive and uplifting experience for retreaters both through facilitating 50 Fun Things and through her warm and inclusive personality. Could you use a nourishing week of beautiful self-care in the cradle of magnificent Tuscany? Join Radiant Jane Tuscany Retreats and Teresa Thomas to immerse in a replenishing week of gentle yoga, meditation, flowers, fauna, sunrise, sunset, vino, lovely cuisine, amazing humans, lots of laughs, tears, love, joy and everything in between. October 4-10, 2020. Set the intention now and reserve your space.
Learn more at: https://radiantjane.com/retreats/tuscany/