Not For Everyone, But Maybe For You: A Private, Special Retreat

I am thrilled and jumping up and down (on the inside)!

Because a dream I’ve had that others have suggested to me before, something I couldn’t imagine only a few years ago, is now coming into reality this fall.

For five+ years now, I’ve been working with people who hate their bodies, people who struggle with eating, people upset by aging, their flaws, their appearance, a difficult spouse, trying times with kids, and those frightened about money and lack of support.

As one of my favorite authors and teachers, Geneen Roth, summarizes it….

….it’s the suffering of Not Enough.

Every single workshop or class offering inquiry to those struggling with food and eating, pain or illness has offered profound teaching for me personally.

I’ve been learning how I can transmit the information I have of freedom from the prison of worrying about food, trusting my appetites, accepting this body and its flaws, allowing money to come and go freely, letting go of anxiety, feeling grateful and feeling deeply beautiful….

….to you.

I’ve loved my own journey every step of the way (well, ok, I didn’t exactly LOVE it every step of the way) and living this ever-expanding life with you means the world to me.

You may know where I came from, but if you don’t, it’s kind of embarrassing and ugly.

At least that’s how I used to feel.

I was anxious about overeating, upset when too hungry, and never, ever satisfied with the way my body looked. I went on huge binges, stuffing my face with everything in sight. I pushed myself hard with exercise.

I lost almost all my assets and money, and never had a satisfying career. My relationships were somewhat rocky, I got divorced. I yelled at my kids.

I felt flawed.

The stressful beliefs began when I was a kid, and surfaced more deeply when I was in high school. Then they got more sophisticated and I became a nutrition expert (without a degree), and bulimic, and life felt frighteningly unpredictable.

Ugh.

What I really, really wanted was total freedom from thinking about my life in such a painful way.

It’s agonizing to imagine that something is wrong with you, with your body, your mind, your feelings, and that you’re a failure when it comes to being here on planet earth.

Then, on top of feeling unacceptable, I would criticize myself for being self-critical.

I should know better! I should be nicer to myself! I’m acting like a teenager! I need to get a grip!

You can’t win, with this kind of loop-dee-loop thinking. It’s like bouncing back and forth between a rock and a hard place, like a ping pong ball on steroids, never getting any relief.

I sought many modalities of healing and all of them were excellent.

Individual therapy, group therapy, The Course in Miracles, meditation, The Work of Byron Katie, retreats, counseling, training, spiritual teachings, twelve steps.

And now I’m ready to combine them into core teachings for healing the mind’s attack on the body, on other people, on food, on money, on life, and end that war.

I find there are six areas of stressful beliefs, some that begin when you’re only a child, that contribute deeply to Not Enough-ness.

You can question them all, and shift.

They are responsible for immense suffering.

These areas are:

  • If I don’t look acceptable, people won’t like me. If people don’t like me, I’ll suffer. Therefore, find out what acceptable is, and look like that.
  • My feelings are not to be trusted, or shown to others. They upset people.
  • I am not safe in many situations. The world (full of people) is a chaotic, disturbing or terrifying place.
  • My thinking is not my friend.
  • There are many activities that can change my feelings about situations that are troubling…like eating, smoking, drinking wine, cleaning, getting a crush on someone. But they all hurt in the end.
  • I am my body, my body defines who I am.
Boy howdy, when your feelings are not trustworthy, and your thinking is not trustworthy, and the world is not trustworthy….then you are up sh*t creek, philosophically speaking.
But there is a way out, entirely, from that madness.
You can question what you learned was true, from your earliest memories all the way to now.

You can alter your beliefs, your mind, your feelings….by changing what creates discomfort for you in your own belief system.

In other words, if you don’t like the way a thought makes you feel, you can question it and find out if it’s really, really true.

When I was in my twenties, I felt desperate to find answers. I had some fantastic guidance, but I wish I had found a clear resource to look at my inner thoughts and what I was making things mean in my life.

Now, I don’t even have to “work” at it.

Don’t get me wrong, my mind still has troubling thoughts. Just the other day I saw my 53 year old wrinkles around my eyes and let out a sigh.

But then I chuckled.

And if I don’t, I’ve got The Work.

Who would you be without the belief that you are Not Enough, that people won’t like you, that you need to be liked, that there is Not Enough money, Not Enough attention, that you must protect yourself from a hard world?

Kind of amazing to consider, right?

Which brings me to why I’m so excited….

I’m offering a very deep focused immersion into self-inquiry, spiritual inquiry, The Work and experiential exercises I’ve found to be amazing to address the sense of feeling lack, disappointment, anger, fear, discouragement…..

…..to a very small group of eight people.

The Serene, Powerful, Loved, Ecstatic, Enough Retreat.

If you enroll in this unique once-in-a-lifetime retreat, offered November 10-13, 2014, you will look at the nooks and crannies where you have believed in Not Enoughness.

You will look at who you really are, what is genuinely true, and what’s gotten in the way of your freedom.

You will have access to the nurturing, care, enough-ness, beauty and wisdom that lives inside of you, that’s been here all along even through your self-defeating behaviors.

You can put down trying to solve the problem of life, money, kids, spouses, food and weight, and build your contact with unconditional love.

We’ll question painful messages of fear and hurt, of thinking there is something wrong with you.

You’ll open to truly imagining there isn’t.

I would love to support you to put down the battle, the project of self-improvement forever….and I know you can’t stop your thoughts, and you can’t control them.

(Control never works in the end).

But you can turn your attention to other truths, you can stop proving that your stressful thoughts are true, and prove the peaceful ones instead.

This is not your average, in-house retreat where I have people come to my cottage for a day or two. This particular format will appeal and be possible for only a very few.

We will be in luxuriously cared for, with special guest appearances via skype or in-person by teachers who are experts in spiritual inquiry (and maybe you’ve heard of them).

I’ve asked several important guides, and it is yet unknown who will be able to connect with us for sure. It will be a surprise!

You will be able to ask personal questions and have direct contact with them.

This experience will be different than large meditation and educational retreats attended by hundreds. You will not contend with crowds.

And I’ll offer you my own experience and strength, and my compassionate facilitation.

“The Way of Liberation is a call to action; it is something you do. It is a doing that will undo you absolutely. If you do not do the teaching, if you do not study and apply it fearlessly, it cannot effect any transformation. The Way of Liberation is not a belief system; it is something to be put into practice.” ~ Adyashanti

You can turn all of your beliefs around, and live a life of completely, utterly, unconditionally enough at every turn, around every corner, deep inside of you.

You can start practicing it now, by turning the troubling beliefs to the opposite:

  • I can look the way I look, people love me. If people don’t like me, I’ll won’t suffer. Being myself is acceptable.
  • My feelings are to be acknowledged, honored, and shown to others. They don’t upset people. Or me.
  • I am safe in every situation. The world (full of people) is a mysterious, magical, curious and loving place.
  • Thinking is my friend.
  • There are no activities that can change my feelings about situations that are troubling…except self-inquiry, self-love, allowing everything and everyone to be as they are.
  • I am not my body, my body cannot define who I am. My body is inside of me, as is everything else.
At the Serene, Powerful, Loved, Ecstatic, Enough Retreat

you will stay in five-star award-winning accommodation Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington. Our group will be fully catered for every meal. We will work with the abundance of beauty and food as part of our inquiry practice, and what is enough.

For many others who will not be able to do this due to cost…. ….have no fear, I’ll be presenting my teleclasses this summer starting soon in July, and YOI (Year of Inquiry) in September…and I am working on pre-recorded classes you can take on your own.

(Eating Peace will be the first class people can take online on their own, stay tuned).

“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Letting yourself experience this four-day retreat of deep self-inquiry, The Work, presence, now….you may discover a new light within that is both serene and ecstatic, when you know how loved you are that no situation, person, place or thing can change this.

And who knows what can happen from there.

The Serene, Powerful, Loved, Ecstatic, Enough Retreat is by application only.

If you are interested, please click this link. I will respond to all applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please apply by July 4th, independence day in the US. Your payment will be due upon your acceptance into the program and confirms your participation.

Thank you universe for this incredible opportunity to be a guide along your journey.

Wherever you are, and whoever you are, you are love.

“Love is action.” ~ Byron Katie

Much love, Grace

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