March 2018 Yoga & Inquiry Retreat
Enjoy the following reflections (copied from my social media posts after facilitating the retreat) and photo journal of my yoga and self-inquiry retreat in March 2018.
participants came from Isreal, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Sweden, India (I got to speak some Hindi!!), and all over California! I've been holding retreats for over 6 years now (crazy!) and hope you will join me one day <3
"Yoga means skill in action, not merely the practice of certain exercises which are necessary to keep the body healthy, strong, sensitive. Skill in action demands great sensitivity of the body, a lightness of the body." Krishnamurti, 1969
"Thank you for creating such a safe, comfortable and non-judgemental space for us to have a healthy dialogue."
- a participant from retreat, "Listening to the Unknown" this past weekend.
I just finished holding space for 6 days of retreat; 3 days in a group environment and 3 days in the context of a one-on-one personal retreat with someone from Sweden who specifically wanted to work with me. We spent hours each day working through the medium of somatic experiencing and self-inquiry to move toward his truth and ultimate healing. I don't feel as if it was me doing anything. I am out of the way in these cases and I have somehow learned to hold this space of openness and potential.
I feel it's important to share what we have going on in our lives. I share because for so long I shared NOTHING and EVERYTHING was kept everything inside, hidden away, and it ate away at me. It is was ultimately led to my most intense psychological breakdown, about three years ago, which changed my entire life. I am now becoming the woman I am meant to be.
I thought it was cool to keep it all inside and that I was being strong. This practice of keeping everything inside for my entire life and then having it pour out all over the place to anyone who would listen has shown me the utter important of SPEAKING and EXPRESSING. This lifelong self-imposed practice of bundling it all up inside and having it explode out has created in me a specific ability to listen with immense capacity, compassion, and clarity.
I would like to be of service to others in more one-on-one personal retreats and to be flown all over the world to do so. I would like this to sustain my life and to become my work that unfolds over a lifetime because I have this sense that I am moving congruently with the energy inside and outside of me and that this is the right path.
This is a movement different from the ego. The ego has an end goal and vision and speaks from a place of having this end goal in mind. Can't you tell when someone is speaking from here? This is a movement from seeing that this seems to be a gift that I am to share with others and live in as much as possible. This comes from seeing that nothing else will do. It's pretty clear I can't keep just teaching yoga classes and it was such a relief to my soul to be 'off' for 6 months while I went to Hawai'i and India.
There is no timetable. I am not a brand. I am not an influencer. I am not telling you how awesome my style is. This is not about marketing.
This isn't about you complimenting me or even acknowledging me. This is about me expressing what I see to be truth for me in my life.
This is about me being as close to death as a person could be, probably dead on the inside actually, and coming back in a new way through the pain of coming back to reality to hold space for other people who need help in a way that I can provide. Somehow. I really don't know. It's a simple 'pay it forward.'
Once you've been to that... this place... where death is holding out her hand... once you've looked her in the eye and said, 'not now,' more than one time, it seems you have a special ability to be with others in their complete and utter darkness and understand how to hold space to allow them to also come back, if they so chose. This is not a movement of the ego, but of a deep respect for everything that is not me and knowing that I don't know anything and can't actually do anything. There is nothing to do except accept what your dharma is and to not resist it.
It is a simple balancing act; I am of service and allow energy to move into it's rightful place and, in turn, my needs are met and I am allowed to continue to exist on Earth.
While I was abroad, I spent maybe 6-8 weeks alone with very minimal interaction with anyone. During this time something happened to me that has apparently cleared up many things in my psyche. I say this because I’ve been leading these retreats a couple times a year for over five years and this is by far the smoothest and clearest it’s ever gone. No issues or weirdness whatsoever. I think it’s due to my inner reality being really organized (this is not the exact word I’m needing, but it will do) and clear. I feel 100% receptive to whatever is coming up, and there is a deep responsibility and respect present.
It’s not just in this retreat, it’s been my experience for months now. It is just magnified today because we spent all day discussing consciousness.
I don’t really want to say much else because it will perhaps take away from what has already been said. I will say that, beyond anything else in this world, freedom from illusion and self is by far my highest calling. I look forward to more solitude in India later this year. It seems to have had an effect.