This last weekend I went on a retreat…up in the mountains…away from all the incessant demands my life currently makes on my time and internal resources. In many ways, this retreat was what one would expect…surrounded by nature, setting intentions, eliminating technology, delving into stuff.
You know what I mean by stuff…all those emotions and issues and desires and wishes and frustrations that get shoved aside because there really is something much more important to focus on right now. And they often are…things like fixing the car or getting groceries or getting the kids to school on time or doing laundry. Sometimes it’s all you can do to manage the mundane aspects of life. Dealing with the inner stuff is just going to have to wait.
And it did. Until the retreat…a beautiful requirement for one of my classes. And boy did I delve…into the muck and the discomfort.
My first intention for the weekend was to connect with myself. As an introvert, having alone time for me every day is vitally important. And yet, my current schedule requires me to work every day of the week and interact with the public. Almost every moment of every day is booked in some fashion, so I haven’t had as much time for myself as I actually need. As a result, my connections with others were falling away too. But the most difficult part was that my comfort level with being a loner or having just a few friends around me completely evaporated. I was lonely in every aspect of my life and I needed to recharge…first myself, then with others.
My second intention was to dissolve all the obstacles standing in between where I am and where I want to go. I’ve been so frustrated with my life lately. It doesn’t look anything like I want it to look and it certainly isn’t anything like I think it should be. Whenever I spend time evaluating my life (which is often and with obsessive analytics) I currently go into that space of self-doubt…did I make the right decisions, did I just really bugger up my life, should I go back to doing what I’m trained to do even if my heart isn’t in it? The natural consequence is that I then apply for jobs in my familiar field…good paying jobs for which I am fully qualified. And…nothing happens. Again and again and again this cycle has repeated over the last nine months. Only one place has any movement in my life…the area in which I’m taking classes…however, it can’t yet support or sustain me financially so I feel silly. And then the unpleasant cycle in my head repeats.
All of these internal tensions were pulling me in their various directions when I arrived at the retreat. I only hoped that in the short amount of time we were there I would be able to receive the answers and healing I was looking for. In hindsight, I’m laughing at my tenuous trust, as the cards I’d been pulling for the last six months told me I would have answers that very weekend.
And they did come…those answers. They came in a very quiet and unexpected way…as many of the best answers do. I had to use the restroom in the middle of the night. At first I ignored the need, postponing the inevitable as long as possible because I was so cozy and comfy and didn’t want to expend any more energy than necessary…until my tentmate got up too and then I just really couldn’t wait any longer.
As I walked towards the throne of relief, I realized that the nearly full moon had set and the sky was littered with stars and I felt a soft caress on my cheek. I didn’t turn on my light…instead, I took a meandering walk, connecting with the vastness of the Universe and the beauty of the night sky. It had been so long since I had seen this sky waltz I almost started crying at the feeling of coming home again. In that moment I received my answer.
The more you resist what is, the more suffering you create.
I didn’t like it. That’s not the answer I wanted. I wanted something big and grand and affirming to my feelings and wants and sense of injustice. I wanted to be validated and vindicated. Instead, I got a wee bit of a remonstrance…you are creating the suffering for yourself to a much greater degree than actually exists simply because you are too stubborn to change your perspective. I voiced my displeasure and received this in response.
If you want movement in these areas of your life, you have to let go and accept all that is around you and within you. The flow will naturally happen and take you where you want to go.
Again, stink. There are some things in my life I just don’t want to accept. I don’t like them and I want them to change. I don’t want to allow them to be anywhere near me or my life…even if they are. I want to push them away or remove myself from them. I certainly do NOT want to accept them. Again I communicated my thoughts on the subject and another portion came in.
Accepting does not mean condoning. It does not mean that something is right or good. It simply means you have stopped fighting its presence in your life. The more you fight something, the more resistance the other side creates…building strength against you. Let go. Stop fighting. The flow will help you move away from those things that are undesirable to you.
I sat with this information for a few days…evaluating what this looks like on a daily, moment-by-moment basis. Each time I came up against something I didn’t like, I asked for help in practicing acceptance of that thing or person or event. I’m so grateful for my team to model this to me because this is not an easy thing for me to do all on my own.
And then a magical thing happened. At the full moon, something shifted. I honestly hadn’t done a lot of work in this dimension…only a few days of a few practices. But apparently that’s all it took. With the full moon came a huge release and shedding and an opening within to a happiness and joy that I have not been able to access for months…maybe even a year. Nothing really has changed in my daily life…and yet everything has changed because my perspective has shifted. I’m more connected with me, my schedule seems to have hidden treasures of time I never saw before, I’m making new friends and spending time with old ones, and some how, there is a pulse moving me forward.
I am on the right path. I didn’t bugger anything up. I just have to keep going…looking for the miracles in each moment…trusting that as long as I keep accepting, I will continue to find and create my path.
And so it is.