- Thursday, 12 May 2011
"The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become." - W.E.B. Du Bois
The word retreat has several definitions. Some would first think of the strategic pulling back of an army, but for many of us in the healing arts, we first think of a retreat as a place to go for workshops or R & R. It is a place of safety and sanctuary, where we can indeed pull back from our daily pressures and stresses to nourish body, mind and spirit. I've had one of those crazy years that astrologers predict but no one wants to have, so I was deeply in need of a retreat. I needed both rest and clarity; I needed to be restored.
The place I chose to do this inner restoration was Summerhill Ranch in Central California, the home of Hay House author, healer and teacher, Denise Linn and the location for all Soul Coaching trainings. Since I am already a Soul Coach one might think it was a sketchy request that I attend, or worse, that I failed the first training, but Denise has a big heart and had a cancellation so I was in! This was not a spontaneous choice and I had to arrange this about seven months in advance of the training, they are that popular!
Off I went to this magical kingdom, in search of retreat and answers. Nothing like a bit of self-pressure! But, in fact, I got what I needed. Denise is a master at guided meditations with a gift of guiding people to find their own answers. The only thing I didn't get was mystical dreams-something I'm always watching and longing for. But there is a category of dreaming that could be called a waking dream. We don't always get our "messages" from the universe at night, in our dreams. When we are wide awake to the signs, wonders and synchronicities in our waking lives, then we will see that powerful messages are waiting to be delivered directly from spirit. The ego doesn't always want to let go of the notion of mystical bells and whistles. In any case, my ego doesn't want to let that go, but I'm working on it!
There is magic in our ordinary dreams and If we can accept that fact, then we free up psychic space to get our "aha" moments. There is the kernel of the extraordinary and the seed of spiritual truth in our ordinary, everyday dreams. We just have to make the space for them in our lives. So on my retreat, I came to accept the fact that my dreams are deeply meaningful, but they hardly ever come with the bells and whistles. For the most part, I dream about the people and situations in my life. And although I’ve had some memorable dreams, they are in the minority. When they come, however, I’m ready for them! Maybe you have “ordinary” dreams too? Take the time to play with your dreams, their symbols and metaphors until the meaning becomes clear or ask a friend or a specialist to help you understand them. And like the caterpillar, who first had to dissolve so that it could become a butterfly, we can let go of how we imagined we should be in our life, dissolve our expectations, so that we can become something even more; even better. To do that, we sometimes need to retreat, to turn back from our “shoulds” to see what we might grow into. And while I might say that going to Summerhill for a second time was to re-treat, meaning to treat myself again, it was in fact a treat! To let go of the notions with which I saddle myself, was a treat and a gift that I gave myself. How will you do your retreat?