This article about spiritual retreats being the new spas got me to thinking about my trip tomorrow to Bainbridge Island, WA. I’m going on my annual pilgrimage to visit my best friend and fellow HuffPo blogger, Cara Barker.
Best friend retreats – I highly recommend them! Here’s what Cara and I do for five days:
- Unplug from the world and recharge the batteries
- Get a new perspective on our lives
- Brainstorm ideas for living with more creativity, less stress
- Remove all trace of shoulds, have tos, or guilt from our thinking and language
- Laugh….. a LOT!
I could have left out the first four items and just written the last one….. laugh a LOT!
I don’t know about you and your best friend, but mine makes me laugh in a way no one else on the planet does. I’m her best audience! I wrote an article awhile back, 10 Ways To Nurture Soulful Living (you’ll find it in the blog archives here) and one of the 10 ways was “Uncontrollable belly laughter”. I was thinking of Cara when I wrote that. Deep laughter is restorative to the soul in a way that nothing else comes close.
My best friend and I share a long and storied history, 35 years to be exact. We call it “the long walk down the hallway”. We’ve been through the scary times and the good times together. We’ve been through the death of family members and loved ones, marriages and divorces. We’ve shared similar challenges with our daughters and watched them grow from little girls into beautiful women.
Soon, Cara will become a grandmother. A new life is about to join the circle! We’ve shared the same career path throughout much of our history, and even began blogging on the Huffington Post the very same week, totally by coincidence.
Our life journeys have mirrored one another’s so closely, I’ve often thought my best friend was the perfect gift from God, a mirror to see myself more clearly. If I can’t figure out what’s going on in my own life, I call to check in on hers and I usually find my own answers.
My best friend and I know each other inside and out. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and count on one another to tell the inconvenient truth when it needs to be told. We’ve been surrogate parents to each others’ children, serving as “stand-in moms” on those times when our daughters have needed a maternal ear to listen or shoulder to lean on, especially when it needed to be one not attached to their own mother. And those times have been plenty! It really does take a village. My best friend is the co-tribal chieftain in my village. I know I can count on her to have my back, no matter what, as I have hers.
Do you have someone you consider your “best” friend? Who is it? Tell us about him or her. What does your best friend bring to your life that no one else does? What do you count on them for? What qualities does your best friend bring out in you? If you live far apart, how do you stay in touch? What does being a best friend mean to you? When was the last time the two of you celebrated your friendship?
This week, my best and I will sit on the deck overlooking Puget Sound and listen to the seals, watch the ferries pass by, and bask in the glory of the Cascades and Mt. Olympus. Very restorative food for the soul!