This post is coming days after I usually blog, and it's been itching at me to be written. Once I start writing consistently, the wheels are turning and it's difficult to pause or take a break from it. I know this is a good thing...the compulsion to write, so I'm grateful for the chance to be creative with it, and allow myself time to post when I can and not force it when I am unable to. Though I am aware of the reality that more will be revealed in time and there is much more to process.
I just returned yesterday from two retreats, which were were both incredible in their own ways. The first retreat was with my meditation Sangha (community) in Chappel Hill, Texas and the second was with a new group from all over the country who were there to learn breath work, yin yoga and meditation. I can't quite discuss all that happened because it will take me some time to process all of it, but I will at least point to some highlights.
In Chappel Hill, I took a solo walk on the second day around the parameter of the property. For the most part, we were in silence and so I decided to have a conversation with myself, out loud as I walked. The walking felt so good and so did the solitude and I soaked it up fully. The conversation turned into me just asking a bunch of questions out loud to the Universe, God, my Higher Power. My intuition or the still small quiet voice within me would answer each question soon after I asked it, which was quite cool to experience.
'Am I on the right path?' I asked to which the universe replied, 'yes, of course you are.'
'Why this path?' I asked. 'because this path is the quietest one.'
The path of the Buddha or the seeker, the yoga practitioner, the teacher, the meditator---these things all beg for quiet, stillness and space. The quietest path, yes. It makes a lot of sense for me. In order to quell my anxiety, I really do require a life of simplicity. A minimalist existence.
For a long time, I denied this...thinking I could just coax the extrovert out of me...to attend multiple social functions in a day, be surrounded by loud, jarring music---and while sometimes I do love that stuff, I'm really beginning to realize just how crucial silence, solitude and stillness are for my well being, especially when things outside of my control are in upheaval. I don't need to create or proliferate a dramatic existence for myself if I don't choose to....and I'm learning.
The second retreat in dripping springs gave me even more insight into this reality. Focused mostly on breath work and meditation, the requirement to be still was inherent in the program. And while I was working the retreat as well as participating, often separating myself from the group to do body work, I experienced quite a bit of the breath work and was truly amazed.
I was so resistant to it on the first day that I curled up into the fetal position and wriggled about---feeling defeated and exhausted afterward, likening my experience to getting hit in the chest with a brick. At the urging of the facilitators, I tried again the following days trying really hard to stay on my back and not roll over and woah...emotions flowed strongly---there was stuff in my body that I had been resisting dealing with probably for a long time.
Silence, stillness, solitude---these things are so important to my well being as a highly sensitive person. I will practice them more for me and for those I interact with. It makes me a much more available human because I will have been more available to myself.