I spent all Saturday afternoon at the spa!! Just to clarify this “spa” included mindfulness meditations, coloring, reflecting, journaling, chanting and nature walks. Ooo and did I mention it was a silent retreat?? Yes that’s right, no speaking for an entire day. How often do we take the time to nourish our soul, turn inward, and reflect? It’s amazing what happens when you slow down.
At first when I had the opportunity to join the day retreat at Lotus Village Yoga in North Saanich (studio details below) I felt a strong internal resistance. A huge part of me feels drawn to meditation because I know deep down that this is what my body needs. However, another part of me is extremely fearful of unraveling past emotions and having to address old thought patterns.
You never know what to expect from a silent retreat and everyone’s experience will be completely different. However, being that this was my first time at a silent retreat I decided it might be helpful to share what came up for me.
Growing up I never created a sacred place to fully express myself. What I mean is that I never allowed myself to be completely vulnerable with others. I feared judgment. I was always considered the friend who was such a good listener and always willing to lend a shoulder to cry on. However, I never allowed myself to fully open up to others and be able to ask for a shoulder to cry on in times when I truly needed it. I chose a path of suppressing how I felt rather than sharing it.
As I have been taking time to look back on my journey and work through past experiences and traumas I feel that I am slowly getting closer to my raw pure self. For so many years I chose a life of silent suffering and hiding behind my emotions. I chose to use food as a shield to hide behind or a tool to punish myself with. I was embarrassed to show people my imperfections as I feared they wouldn’t want to be my friend if I was anything less than perfect. As silly as that may sound, it’s true.
As I begin to unravel the layers of my past, I’m starting to see that there is a person inside me who is ready to flourish. My inner light may feel dim right now, however, in time it will heal, grow and shine bright as the sun. I am not defined by my past, nor do I live for my future. I’m learning to feel safe in the present moment; safe to explore and discover what each moment in my life is meant to teach me.
This silent retreat has taught me not to fear being alone with myself. It has taught me how healing silence and stillness can truly be for your soul. Being new to the island, I feel beyond grateful to have found such an amazingly open hearted community to have shared this experience with. I’m starting to embrace that this is exactly where I am meant to be. The universe has presented me with an opportunity to grow. I know that there is a lot of work ahead of me to truly rediscover and free myself from past experiences and relationships. However, I believe that if it doesn’t scare you its honestly not worth doing and this is how I have chosen to live my life.
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*Lotus Village Yoga : North Saanich Health & Wellness Centre
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