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Mancora, Peru
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Yoga Retreat Deposit and Fees

Yoga Retreat Deposits and Fees

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the thing that is in the way IS the way

One of the most important teachings of all that i've gotten in the jungle, and the most difficult to integrate: “The thing that is in the way IS the way.” In mediation and conflict resolution work we tell people that there are not actually “conflicts” but only “opportunities”. Time and again I have seen in my own life experience and with all of the people that I am working with, that the thing that seems to be our greatest hindrance is actually our greatest teacher, the stepping stone to our deepest transformation. This means that there is no need to reject any of our life experience, because ALL of it is perfectly placed in our paths to help us to grow. This sounds good on paper but it takes some time put to practice when the “obstacles” arise. The good news is that we will never run out of opportunities to practice.
We can struggle unnecessarily by resisting a certain “obstacle” in our lives and the things that we do not want to look at. When I do recognize myself struggling or resisting, I open myself up to the process by asking myself questions, such as “What am I not accepting here?” o “What am I not wanting to see?" I recommend strongly having someone to accompany you on this process, such as a coach, as they can help us to gain perspective and see our own “blind spots”.
Upon first attempt this may not seem easy, but when the obstacle is great, the freedom that comes from overcoming the obstacle is equally great. It is as though we have created our lives as an entire obstacle course, in order to see what we are truly made of. And what fun it is to discover! If you have ever faced something that you thought you were afraid of and felt how free you were afterwards, you know what I am talking about. For example, I recently told people that the thing that I was most terrified in the world was the free-fall sensation. Within 3 weeks some beautiful friends appeared and offered me the opportunity to go sky-diving in Arizona. The perfect opportunity to look my fear dead in the eye! The feeling of flying from 13,000 feet in the sky is thrilling on its own, but once I had jumped the realization that I had nothing left to be afraid of is utterly exhilarating. With practice going inward and facing our fears, we begin to trust the process more and more and to flow with the current of life, “obstacles” and all.
I find myself more and more surrounded by people who are choosing to look head on at the obstacles that they have been resisting for most of their lives. Since I know how empowering this has been in my own life, there is nothing that inspires me more than helping other people to go inward and reclaim their power from the things that they have felt powerless in the face of. Once we have taken this step, we open ourselves up to entirely new ways of being, and we must integrate these new ways of being into our lives. For this reason I have developed my new Integration Coaching program. I am opening up the pilot phase of this program to people who are going through (or wanting to go through) a process of transformation and integration in their lives, to begin coaching at very low, or even no cost to them. If you feel that this applies to you, or someone that you love, speak with me directly and I will give you the details of how to begin.
Until then, I am off to find the next airplane to jump out of!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Living beyond the boundaries of the rational mind

I went down to the jungle as a continuation of my quest to understand the relationship between healing ourselves as “individuals”, healing our collective wounds that we bear from generations of war, slavery, abuse, etc., and the healing of our connection to nature. We all know intuitively, and now scientists are coming with more and more “proof” that there is little if any separation between the mind/body/spirit that we perceived as separate spheres. Our thoughts are energy and have potential to heal or hurt us, plants and animals can feel the energy of our thoughts and intentions, cancers and chronic health problems have direct relationships to the energy and emotions that we store in our bodies. For many people these are not difficult ideas to swallow, conceptually. However it is an entirely different thing to have a lived experience of that which we cannot explain with our rational minds. And yet even more different to make the leap of living beyond the explanations of the rational mind your entire way of life. I had the realization a month or so after moving down to the Temple, that I had actually grown up and then realized that I was Peter Pan, living in a Never-never land where magical things can happen all of the time.
And what does magic actually mean really? Perhaps it means something different for every person, so I rely on my own definition of magic. In the magic that I am a part of here, things happen which I cannot give a rational explanation to, a healing of people’s deepest wounds and a bringing about of our deepest longing, based on our intentions and commitment to face head-on all of our fears that keep us trapped in the limiting beliefs that we cannot be loved, or whole, or abundant, or healthy. The maestras and maestros are like the most talented surgeons that guide us through the removal of the blockages that have us suffering physical, emotional or mental “dis-ease”. However it is the tremendous courage and commitment that I see from every individual to take responsibility for their own healing and truly for their own lives, that continues to humble and inspire me time and again.
As for the maestros and maestras, one aspect of their “magic” that I have been able to take the most from is that they see to tap into a deep connectedness to each one of us, which allows them to love us so deeply that they truly care about our healing. However the most interesting thing is that this love is not a personal love. While yes, they care about us as individuals and personalities, they also have the ability to invest their heart and soul in helping each one of us to heal, and then get up and walk away, and shake it off. They are masters of the art of humor and being in the present moment in ways that are very similar to children, while their awareness and perceptiveness are off the charts. Many times I have seen one of the maestras, seemingly not paying attention to a conversation about a participant’s illness, and suddenly make a comment which blows everyone’s mind and the participant asks “how did she know that? I never told them that...”
This work has given me a full blown undeniable lived experience that so much of our reality is happening beyond the ability of our so-called 5 senses to detect, and the humbling awareness the “average” human being is using such a small percentage of our real abilities to perceive and work with energy. For myself, I have become aware that I have always been aware, but have been afraid of acknowledging all that I am aware of, because I haven’t known how to understand it all. I refer to things like feeling other people’s thoughts, knowing how to balance or imbalance the energy with a person or group of people, and speaking to people on various levels without needing words. These are not particularly abilities that are unique to me, rather I believe that we all have senses and abilities that are lying dormant because we haven’t figured out how to process and work with them. This is the area that I am most passionate about in my coaching, is to help people to uncover the innate latent abilities that they have and learn how to tap into them and be their fullest expression, which is in the highest interest of all of humanity.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learning how to follow the flow of life.

What if the purpose of life was simply to find deep meaning and enjoyment in each moment as it arises? Supposing that this were true, how would this change they way that you are living your life right now? Would you perhaps be in less of a hurry to get to wherever it is that you think that you need to be heading? Would the elements yet to be crossed off of your “to-do” list be less of a concern? Would you find yourself doing less of certain things that you believe that you “should” be doing, or that you have little interest in?
One of the greatest lessons that I am learning during my time in the Amazons, is learning to flow more gracefully within the meandering current of life. In contrast to the place where I live and work now, in the society where I was raised, I was socialized to be goal oriented and “achievement” motivated. Since childhood, I already “knew” that there were very important things that I “needed” to accomplish to be a successful adult, and needs that I would have to fill in order to be happy. We think of our life paths in terms of destination, and we seek to find the shortest possible journey to reach our destination. In fact, we are constantly searching for the fastest, most efficient ways to short-cut through life towards our goals. I’m not suggesting that having a goal is a negative thing, or that we should not have a vision of what we want to create in life. What I am learning however, is how to approach the journey towards those goals as an enjoyable adventure, which has a value in and of itself.
The shamans that I work with at the Temple are all in their sixties and seventies, profoundly spiritual beings who work tirelessly to help people to heal from serious physical, mental and emotional afflictions. They take their work very seriously, and I have never yet seen them turn anyone away, no matter how late it is, or how long they have been working. Never for a moment however, do they lose their sense of humor or joyful nature. Even in the midst of working with someone with a serious problem, they will stop to tell a joke, giggle, play a silly prank, or tease one another. There is no sense that enjoyment should cease at any point, no matter what else is going on. Whatever is happening in this moment is an experience to be lived and enjoyed. I do not mean to portray as if they are not human beings with the capacity to get angry, frustrated, annoyed, etc. But I am amazed to witness with them, similar to the way that children often are, when they experience anger, frustration, etc., they will feel it, express it, and very quickly let it go and move on. Life is lived to its fullest expression in the present moment, and that moment is constantly changing.
Watching these shamans the last seven months, I have realized so much about myself. I recognize that I have often been distracted from the enjoyment of that which I am living right now, because I am thinking about where I am “supposed” to be, what I “should” be doing, or what I “could have” done. I recognize that I have ideas of the way that things are supposed to look in my life, and that often the map that I have created is actually limiting my perspective of what is possible. Time and again I find that when I set my goals and allow life to flow in its unexpected and meandering ways, the things that happen are more marvelous and miraculous than what I had ever planned. This is awareness that I continue to have over time, but the practice of this in my daily life requires a childlike faith and a certain level of humility, a “beginners mind” that does not need to control the outcome of life by assuming that I know the best way to make things happen. It requires a tremendous amount of patience as well, another attribute that I am learning from the shamans.

Time, or the illusion of time plays a very important role in the process of learning how to follow the flow of life. So often I hear from people; “I wish I had the time for that”, or “I could never find the time to do…” or “I don’t know where all my time goes.” There is this illusory sense that our time is limited, and a sense of a pressure of time, that we must continue to work faster, harder, smarter, in order to stay ahead of this invisible time pressure. However I continue to find that the more impatience or anxiety that I have about “making” something happen, the more obstacles and “distractions” will arise to delay the manifestation of what I am pushing for. And suddenly, when I’m focused on something else entirely, “poof”, the obstacles will be removed and things begin to flow. The process of trusting the flow of life means that I can soften my sense of trying to “control” time, which is definitely an impossible task. It means softening into life in general, and I find that I am more joyful, more childlike, more intuitive and probably a lot more fun to be around. My mental to-do lists are still several imaginary pages long, but I don’t feel so much anxiety if they have not happened yet, because I know that they, just like me, are a constantly evolving work in progress.

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