I’ve taken quite a bit of “vacation” the past couple of weeks. I traveled to Colorado, went on a solo camping and mountain hiking excursion (I’ll write more about that for a different directive), and a social media vacation for the past several weeks. It has been more than incredible. It has been absolutely NECESSARY. As my friend Brad said, I gave myself a shamanic experience on a mountain and this past week or so of neglecting social media has been beautiful. It’s the start of me being logged off MORE and present MORE.
This past weekend I led a retreat right before I started my new full time position, and it was very special and important to me. I posted about it already via Facebook, but it’s a good one, so I’ll copy and paste what I wrote here.
Now don’t forget – take your own damn vacation, physically or mentally or virtually – and please tell me about it. Let’s get wild and unabashed and unplugged for a while.
This weekend was one of the most powerful weekends I have had. It marked a threshold – the first weekend of summer, my last retreat before starting my full time job, the last big event before my name officially changes and I check a new box on forms. To be quite honest, moving into a 50 hour plus work week and it being my second to last weekend with my dog, I wasn’t feeling particularly excited to lead this retreat. Not upset about it, necessarily, just not as excited as I have been for other retreats. LIFE has taken up too much of my energy.
And – to be quite honest – I was feeling very uncomfortable. Nearly all of the individuals in this retreat were yoga teachers. “What the fuck do you have to teach YOGA TEACHERS,” went my internal dialogue. “You don’t have the right.”
Thursday, the day before the retreat began, I had a session with healer Matt Turner. Matt told me – “Amie, your work is to teach. You are here to teach. Teach and teach and write down everything you teach. But get over yourself and stop feeling like you don’t have the right.” I’ve done really well with this for the public, but every time I get up in front of other yoga teachers, there goes my imposter syndrome, my “never enough”-ness, my not so nice inner dialogue telling me I need to study more, be more, have more discipline, etc.
And then this weekend.
Oh this weekend.
I led this retreat, but in reality I was led. All I did was bring together the space, and it happened. Perhaps it was my voice in the yoga practices, perhaps it was my name on the booklet, perhaps it was my words that we read, but this was absolutely, 100% a co-creation. Every single person on this retreat brought their soul, their voice, their unique contribution.
Brandon brought his guitar and his Scorpio rising.
Fanny brought her accompaniment and her voice.
Cara brought her dance moves and her fearlessness.
Anna brought her literature and her passion.
Rachel brought her love and her wisdom.
Stina brought her energy and her courage.
Ana brought her angel cards and her transformation.
Marisa brought her spunk and her fire.
From each person I learned so much. When we went into discussion of the sutras, everyone participated with such raw open honesty. There was no victimization in this group. Every single person, for every shitty life situation has thrown at them, took responsibility for their shit and for moving through or moving on. I heard not one person – not one – blame their life circumstances, their bad days, their shitty moments, on anyone. If there was shit to own up to, it was owned up to. If there was grace to be found, grace was found. If acceptance and love of the self was needed, it was granted.
When I went to bed on Saturday evening, I went to bed thinking, “Here I am for the rest of my life. Alone. Sleeping alone, no one to come home to, no one to rely on.” And at first, I was very sad. But then, I remembered the gifts that everyone shared – and I hugged myself. I remembered that I am my own best friend. I can massage my own feet, I can take myself on dates, I can laugh at my own jokes, and I always know exactly where the thermostat should be.
When I slept, I had a very powerful dream that woke me up at 4:15 am. In the dream, I was surrounded by friends, strangers, people I had never met. They were all lifting me up, supporting me, as I wept tears of devastation, tears of transformation, tears of gratitude. They scotch taped a Chinese fortune cookie statement to my forehead and presented me with days old dried up flowers, and we had a ceremony where I married myself. And in that moment I knew, maybe I was alone, but I was never REALLY alone. That there was an entire community of people, those that I know and those I have never met, who have my back, who lift me up, who are there to support me if I ever need the help.
And when I woke, I realized that was not a dream – but my reality.
This is my reality.
Tomorrow I start my new job. The week after that I get divorced and lose my dog and half of my furniture. And every single night I will sleep alone.
But I am surrounded by the best people I know. Where, even when I am of service, I am truly the one being held and served.
To all who came – you made my weekend, my transition, my life so much more beautiful in this space. I love you. Thank you for all of your you.
It has helped me become more me.