Last day of June Summer Camp. Which means…tomorrow July Session starts!
If you want to connect to live calls in The Work for July, check it out and sign up HERE.
You can start at 8 am Pacific time on Tuesday, July 1st! Lots of calls to choose from. I hope to meet you in Summer Camp this month!
I’ve come out of the luscious green old-growth forest to write to you!
It took me six hours to drive home. There was an exciting moment along the way where the wheel fell off on a car right in front of me.
More about that soon (I saw no cars crash, although I did see sparks flying)!
Before entering freeway world….we went deep into The Work at Breitenbush Hotsprings in Oregon in the annual 4.5 day retreat, for the fourth year.
There was a misty, soft rain pattering down most of the time this year, but of course the weather doesn’t matter one bit.
Inside our gorgeous round yurt with stained glass window up above, and soft carpeted floor, we have 28 minds doing their “work” between ages 17 and 77. They’ve come from far and wide, Florida, New York, California, and all around the Pacific Northwest.
One loving inquirer volunteered to go first last Thursday morning.
His worksheet was on the frustrations in teaching someone how to drive.
I thought of teaching my own son just within the past couple of years. The nervousness. Deciding not to hit the freeway yet….
….because I am the one who is too anxious, if he is the one driving.
The wonderful thought brought to the surface in our retreat: she should stop!
Everyone could find that thought. Everyone could feel that moment in their lives, in some situation, where they might have even been saying, or shouting, STOP!!!
And it wasn’t stopping.
You know what it’s like to want something or someone to stop, and they don’t.
Sometimes it can feel like you look around in the world, in your life…..and there is so much you’d prefer stopped.
Noise, traffic, talking, the grind of working, messiness, confusion, big feelings, addiction, depressive thinking, mean people, that troubling person who keeps accusing you of crazy things.
They should stop!
It’s true! I absolutely know that it’s true!
In our retreat we did an exercise I have begun introducing in most retreats or workshops I teach that are one day or longer, as a way to really contemplate and feel what your thoughts are like inside your body, how they affect the whole of you, this life force within you.
You can do it now:
Write down a thought that is disturbing, something you believe.
Maybe you have the same thought “that person (or thing) should stop”.
Now stand up and walk about, in the room you’re in, and feel what it’s like to believe this thought. Let you mind flash images, pictures, memories.
Let yourself feel the feelings…..
…..THAT PERSON SHOULD STOP!
In our beautiful yurt here at Breitenbush, all the inquirers walked about, heads down. Some backed up against the wall, rigid. Some felt like punching the air with fists.
Feel what the room is like, what your environment is like, how you feel about other people, when you’re believing it should stop.
Now pause. Take a deep breath.
Who would you be without the belief? If you couldn’t even think it, or have it cross through your mind?
It’s not stopping…..but you’re not believing it should, either.
I know it’s bizarre, especially if the activity happening (that you’d prefer would end) feels painful and hurtful.
But how do you move, without the thinking about it? How do you feel? What’s happening right now, in this moment?
In our retreat group, people noticed they felt suddenly INSIDE their bodies, they looked up, they wanted to smile. The room burst open with living-color, they could see everyone around them.
People hugged. Felt like jumping up and down, and running. Some felt their energy could hardly be contained inside this room.
I am beyond words today with the sense of gratitude, awe, reverence and inspiration found in the collective gathering of a beautiful group all doing The Work together.
Every person was such a gem.
They looked the most remarkable but not uncommon thoughts: the sudden death of a spouse, the pain from terrible trauma years ago at age ten, the fear of aging, the wish for someone loved to quit drinking.
That was the best Breitenbush retreat yet. I can’t wait until next year.
“Our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It’s who we are right now, and that’s what we can make friends with and celebrate.” ~ Pema Chodron
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Much Love, Grace