I spent the weekend at a retreat led by the amazing Sarah and Ty Powers. Sarah is one of the founding yin teachers, and both her and her husband are Buddhists, and they merge Buddhist meditation with yoga. They are unbelievably amazing and inspiring and kind.
The retreat had me fly to BC and then drive 2 hours on my own. That alone is big for me. I never used to like driving…but I drove through a fire and my perspective has changed. I can do hard things. THis wasn’t hard.
Anyway. We spent Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday exploring the ideas of chi, cleansing breath, stillness meditation, relaxation and physical practice. I have never spent so much time I’m silent, sitting meditation, and I loved it.
During one of the earlier meditations we were encouraged to ask who was sitting. I allowed the though to come and I freaked out. Inside I found a scared and sad version of me, a me that was tired and scared and really wanted someone to hold me and tell me things are going to be ok. All the thoughts and fears of the past 6 weeks flooded in. Perhaps without my children around I was able to let go of the armour and be frightened.
It really shook me. I cried. It felt very relieving, but dragged down. It was hard.
We followed the meditation with a physical practice, but I couldn’t get out of the poor me mindset. It was like my whole body was suddenly so heavy and tired. I wanted to go home.
After we were done I found Sarah and Ty and told them how I felt. They were very helpful, and encouraged me to make a plan to see my therapist when I got home, and to make a deal with myself that I would investigate and allow these thoughts their space. But that maybe in the mean time I could reassure my self I would be ok.
Later that day we performed the same meditation. This time I could still feel that sad and scared me, but I wrapped her up in a blanket and told her we would make sure she was cares for, but that we were going to find a way to explore today. I wouldn’t forget her.
It worked. I was able to find myself back in my mindful day. To find some of my inner stillness. And I will see my therapist tomorrow.
These are big things for me. I really struggle with identifying my emotions. It felt like a release. A bit of a letting go. A cracking open of a door I am sacred to look behind.
I didn’t know anyone at the retreat. Of course, everyone I met asked me about the fire, my house, etc. I think part of this experience was just a bit of rebound. At one point I thought, I wish my house had burnt down, then I would be deserving of sympathy.
That’s crazy. I don’t wish that, as many of my dear friends have lost their homes and it is devastating, but I am deserving of kindness and support, like everyone else. Why is it so hard to believe I am worthy of compassion? Or allowed to be weak?
Lots of thoughts this weekend. And I still go back to the realization that sobriety has been the launching pad from where I live. It was the decision to choose life over enduring that has given me the opportunity to find enlightenment. To be able to feel that stillness and know everything is as it should be. Even if it sucks.
As an aside, I though about becoming a Buddhist a lot and this weekend made me think about it again. But it takes a lot of time and work. Instead, I have found my own inner stillness and peace in my own way. I am already free. And yet still human. I guess that’s how it goes!
Stillness and peace