I drove from Maine to Vermont to spend four nights and three days with the explicit task of quieting my busy mind. I chose a renovated barn in a small rural village south of Burlington as my nest to do the "work".
First things first, I went to a grocery store to get supplies. I was road weary and wanted to just get it done. On my list, among other things like vegetables and breakfast items, were flowers. I stood in front of the flower selection deciding which color tulip to get. The pinks were lovely but I argued with myself that I frequently get pink so I should go with the yellow, or be bold and go with orange. It wasn't a thoughtful, happy moment. I had it in my mind as a duty. I had to have flowers in my retreat apartment. Busy, busy mind, right?
The next day, as my retreat guide and I sat discussing the principles in life that bring inner peace, I looked at the tulips and felt, really felt their beauty in all their pinkness. With a quiet mind and an open heart they were no longer a duty. They were a joy. Phew.