September ended up being quite an intense month with lots going on and my mind racing all over the place so much so that I could not get myself to sit down and write let alone sit on my meditation mat. Mid September I took myself off to Dharmagiri Retreat Centre in the Berg. What a special place and perfect gift to myself. The weekend focused on Quantum Theory and Self Reflection, led by Gavin Robertson who was inspiring with his vast knowledge on the subject and held the energy in such a beautiful way allowing for deep and expansive processing by us participants. The weekend was held in noble silence, which means no communication from Friday evening until Monday morning, being a quiet person and used to my own company I thought this would be easy. However I was really surprised with myself on Saturday when I found the silence extremely uncomfortable and thinking to myself “Kate what are you doing here? Haven’t you done enough self growth and personal development to last you a lifetime? Why do you keep putting yourself in these situations?” Prior to the weekend retreat, I had literally been using every possible distraction to avoid myself and as a result ended up with so much fog not only in my head but in my body as well, for weeks my body ached as if I had the flu and no matter how much yoga or running I did, I could not get rid of the achiness. It was aching with emotion (emotion I was trying desperately to avoid) – yes I am a BodyTalk and Reiki practitioner and emotions can still get the better of me, perhaps that’s why I can relate to my clients.
Over the weekend the outer environment seemed to perfectly reflect my inner state. When I arrived on Friday afternoon the wind was howling which matched my busy mind – no stillness. I had some time before dinner so I decided to write, writing has been a form of therapy for me over the last few years and something happened on the pages of my journal that Friday afternoon, slowly I began to surrender, to let go, to hand it over in the form of a prayer “Dear God will you answer my prayers through my hand on these pages? Please help me. Help me to understand what I am so afraid of. Help me to open up, let me be at peace, help me to surrender” a desperate cry for help.
Saturday morning the fog had set in covering the beautiful mountain that was visible the day before, yet again reflecting my mental state which was still so foggy, so much so that I my energy felt heavy and weary in the Saturday morning session. I wrote a bit during the breaks and tried to get reacquainted with myself in the silence. By the afternoon session I was perking up and feeling less foggy, the process of processing was beginning.
On Sunday the fog was lifting both in my head and on the mountain. We came out of breakfast and we could see the beautiful mountain only this time she was covered in snow! The realisations started to sink in. I have written a lot in the past about fear keeping me stuck, about being vulnerable and stepping into my power. But perhaps this weekend I saw all these things at a whole new level, another layer of the onion had been peeled back, I was being exposed to myself. And that is probably one of my biggest fears – fear of exposure, fear of being seen – I literally have nightmares about this, and here I am exposing myself! When I first started my blog 3 and half years ago my dear friend and mentor who is no longer with us said to me I need to be more honest in my writing, “don’t be afraid to bare your soul” she said. I thought I was doing that but maybe it’s time to be raw and real and maybe this is for you Clare, I can see your bright eyes and big smile shinning down from heaven giving me a thumbs up and saying “Go for it KK!!”
We got stuck into the self reflection process and strangely enough I was more comfortable than I had been with myself on the Saturday. “The path to enlightenment is to be intimate with all things, starting with yourself” and that means getting to know your shadow. You can’t be fully intimate with someone else if you have not owned your shadow and maybe that’s why relationships are often so tricky because most of us do everything to avoid our shadows, I know I have been avoiding my shadow forever, but that weekend I got to know her a little bit better and she actually isn’t so bad she is just f**king terrified.
I realised that all of my big fears whom I know so well stemmed from so many smaller fears…
Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not meeting expectations, fear of exceeding expectations, fear of what other people might think, fear of not doing it right, fear of not being good enough, fear of not believing I can do it, fear of disappointment, fear of commitment, fear of being hurt. Oh my goodness I may as well walk around with scaredy cat written across my forehead. All this fear makes me freeze, like a deer caught in the headlights of a car, I feel trapped and I literally can’t move and my default action is to disengage. And that has been a theme for most of my life. This was a huge realization.
So I asked myself “what would it mean to step into my power?” And as my hand floated across the page the answers came effortlessly, it would mean engaging in every aspect of my life, living consciously with awareness and intention. It would mean facing fear head on and kicking her to the kerb. It would be supporting myself, nourishing myself, loving myself, standing up for myself. It would mean extreme self care. It would mean feeding my body/mind with nourishing, wholesome foods and materials. It would mean 100% commitment, engagement and participation to myself and my life. It would me 100% trust in God and Divine Source and letting go of control. It would mean trusting that I am safe, guided and protected and believing in my abilities to accomplish absolutely anything. It would mean viewing challenges as opportunities for growth. It would mean peace. It would ultimately mean surrender.
The fog had cleared enough by mid morning on Sunday to go for a walk up the mountain. I think this was the most therapeutic walk I have ever had. The air was cool and crisp with freshness. The climb up was just enough to get my heart rate going to keep me present, focused on each step, as we walked I could almost feel clarity sinking down into my body. We got to a ledge and sat down to the most beautiful view, sitting there I could feel such a strong presence of loved ones who are no longer here in physical form, and it was as if the veil between the two worlds disappeared I could see, feel and hear Mum, Granny and Clare. Everything we had learnt about in quantum theory the day before seemed to make so much sense. I could feel my connection to source, in that moment the essence of God became tangible, something I could see, feel and touch with my whole being. Waves of emotion rose up and on the way down the mountain emotions that had been trapped in my body for the last year finally found their way out. It was then that I realised that I had not allowed myself to grieve the loss of my grandmother and friend in a way that I needed to, perhaps the grief of losing my mum was still raw and this new grief was too much to bear so I just shut it away. But on that Sunday it was finally seen, felt and heard which was maybe all it needed.
On Monday morning the sun was out and the mountain was clear again and for the first time in ages so was my inner state, I came home with a new found clarity.
What I learnt that weekend was you really can do absolutely anything because with quantum theory the possibilities are endless absolutely endless, your intention can change the outcome and conscious choice is what will liberate you.
It has been 3 weeks since the retreat weekend. In these last 3 weeks I have been navigating a space in between, at times I am racked with fear and anxiety and it is easy to slip back into default patterns but I find I have more awareness, I am using my breath to ease into the discomfort I feel, I am doing things more consciously and I am learning to lean into the Universe for support and to surrender, after all God really did answer my prayers at Dharmagiri, how can I doubt her? And on a lighter note the achiness has left my body.
Perhaps the best gift from Gavin’s retreat was the new image of myself that I came home with,
“I am a beautiful, strong, independent woman. My heart is open and over flowing with love. I am liberated by my absolute belief and trust in the Universe. I engage in the world around me in a quiet, kind and gentle manner, loving life, laughing easily, compassion and humility flowing freely. I love life and life loves me right back. I live each day to the fullest, resting peacefully and sleeping easily knowing all is well.”
Thank you Gavin for a beautiful weekend and reminding me of the endless possibilities of conscious co-creation.
*First published October 2016*