I am just back from my 3-day Rest to Rise Retreat up in the French Jura. I can’t believe I’ve been running these retreats now since 2011, sometimes 4 times a year, and every single time it’s different and every single time I grow. I am feeling so blessed and grateful right now. I am reminded of who I want to be.
Again and again, I am blown away by what happens on these retreats.
The people who show up, and I mean really show up, are like mirrors, reflecting back to me my fears and my pains, my self-doubt, and confusion, my shadow, and my light, my beauty, my strength, and my longing to live a Great life.
They are a direct reflection of my humanity and my divinity, standing before me, looking directly in my eyes.
Wow! That can feel really vulnerable at times, and really inspiring and empowering too.
I am reminded that when I show up when I relax into being myself, fully, and when I open up to listen and share with others, I realise I have so much in common with pretty much everyone.
We each have our personal struggles and painful life experiences. We each have our crazy, monkey, self-doubting mind. We each have our shame, limiting beliefs and patterns that we’ve made our identity and that hold us back. We have our resistance to the very thing we long for the most. We each have incredible inner resources, wisdom, longing, and love.
And how relieving it is to know that I am only human after all!!
Do you ever (unconsciously) run the story that your issues and problems are so unique or shameful that nobody would understand or want to hear them? Funny, isn’t it how we can alienate and separate ourselves?
In Buddhism, Hinduism and original yogic texts, this illusion of separation is called Avidya – ignorance – and is said to be a root cause of our suffering (Dukha).
So, this past weekend in the French Jura, we took time to create space, to be still and silent, to release tension and to open up. Naturally, this leads us to being more able to feel our bodies and our emotions and to notice the stream of thoughts running through our minds. Some of them positive, some are really not.
Approaching all of this with the ‘right attitude’ is key.
When we support each other to do this with respect, patience, humility, compassion, and curiosity, then true wisdom flows forth. I just love hearing this wisdom emerge from each person as if it were being delivered on a silver platter for me!
The amazing thing is that every time someone shares how they are feeling and what is going on for them – no matter how big their pain, or uncomfortable their story, or wacky their vision is – it is so easy to love them.
As I hear, see and love them exactly as they are, in their pain and in their joy, without needing to give fix or advise or compete, I am loving myself even more in all my chaotic, neurotic, perfect messiness.
The more real and raw they are, the more present I am with my heart and the more alive I feel.
In truth, I yearn for this authenticity. I yearn for this radically real human connection and community. I yearn to show up in this way in life and be met there.
And the incredible thing is that just by creating this relaxed, loving space together, and allowing the space to reveal whatever wants to be revealed, with no push or pull, what gradually emerges is access to our innate sources of energy, joy, inner peace and love.
Inspiration bubbles up. We start to feel free again.
We are ready to rise up again, but now connected to a core and unlimited sense of Self.
Here are some other lessons and reflections I got from spending 3 days with an awesome group of people on the Rest to Rise Retreat:
I am responsible for my life, my health, and my happiness.
It is my choice to live an inspired and sacred life, aligned with my own truth.
I have full control of the energy in body. There is infinite supply of energy in the universe. When I release blockages and tension in my body I can access, channel and be a unique expression of this abundant life force.
You are a reflection of me, and I am a reflection of you. By loving you, I am loving me. By loving me, I am loving you.
Space, stillness and silence are hugely healing and nourishing and help me go beyond the crazy chatter of the mind to a deeper, wiser connection with my true nature. Wisdom, clarity, peace of mind, connection and creativity naturally arise.
Nature reveals her loving wisdom in powerful and surprising ways when I take quality time and create my own unique relationship with her, really listening to her and trusting her.
I choose to create and seek out safe space whereby I can feel my emotions and be seen and felt and heard there by others, without fixing or advising. This unlocks stuck energy and liberates the flow of innate joy.
I choose to follow my own path and let others follow their path. I trust that my higher Self is going to guide me and I am going to be open to receive her guidance and abundance.
I choose to be in my body, and to feel all there is to feel in this human body.
I choose to live in the present moment.
Showing up fully is a choice and requires inspired action to share my vulnerable truth.
Movement, sound and breath help move energy and emotion (energy in motion) and can transform any moment. Authentic movement, sound and breath arise naturally from within, and connect me to my inner power and resources.
I acknowledge that feeling stuck, or disappointed, or uncomfortable, or disconnected is very much part of the awakening and transformational path. I just need to be awake enough in these moments to bring love, understanding and patience.
Knowing how good it feels to be deeply connected to myself and to others, I choose to be disciplined and courageous in taking inspired action to reconnect and to feel all there is to be felt, when I find myself closing down, resisting or disconnecting.
I shared some videos on Facebook during the retreat, so you can check them out there
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