I’m preparing for this coming weekend’s spring retreat of Year of Inquiry, our amazing group of inquirers who meet all year for steady inquiry with a different topic every single month.
I get super excited to see everyone.
I know their voices so well, their personal inquiries, the focus of their investigations.
We spend a lot of time inquiring on the phone (or skype) in our shared groups. There are 9 calls a month. Some members of YOI like to come to 2 every week, some just come to one call a week, some go through periods of calling in for every session.
It helps to have all these times available when you lose your job, feel frightened about a life change like a job loss, or a new job, or for some reason have a lot of busy stressful thoughts filling your mind.
But there’s something different about being in person.
I notice this in the Eating Peace retreats, too.
In my own life, when I go somewhere and study, or stay at a retreat center, or take time out of my normal routine….
….I’m taking a break from life-as-usual.
It’s a break from daily life with an intense focus on only the subject in front of me.
Meditation, creativity, writing, completing something (like my book), being outdoors, physical training, learning something new or taking something to the next step.
Now here’s the funny part about all this.
In the end, what I’m most drawn to, is feeling peace, feeling love, right here in my daily routine.
You may feel the same.
It’s funny how we decide to gather, bring our bodies from long-distance areas on airplanes or trains or cars, tell the people we live with that we won’t be around for a few days, and put out a strong intention to make a shift through whatever work we’re doing.
It’s like it appears we need to take a time-out to concentrate, or “get” something, or learn something new.
If you feel discouraged today….
….like you CAN’T leave and go on retreat, you CAN’T take that workshop, you CAN’T gather the funds to pay for that program, you don’t know how you’ll ever achieve your dreams without signing up for something (and yet, it doesn’t seem plausible)….
….then this inquiry is for you today.
Because I remember well having the notion that I had to go on meditation retreat in order to wake up or find peace.
And then, I realized how stressful that belief actually was.
Who would I be without the belief that going away, cutting back on my schedule, making big changes in my daily life, stepping away from the routine, leaving my family, joining a mastermind, signing up for that big program, traveling to see the great healer or teacher….
….was required for internal peace, or success, or love and happiness?
Are you sure your beliefs about what is required are true?
This doesn’t mean NOT to ask for help, or NOT to go ahead and enroll in a program (this can be so meaningful and thrilling) or take a trip to see the healer on another continent….
….but if its stressful to consider, and you don’t have the funding,maybe you don’t need to do it right now.
When I had almost no money left through my divorce, and all resources seemed to be crashing apart around me, I couldn’t go to Byron Katie retreats, I couldn’t go on meditation retreats, I couldn’t attend the expensive programs, I couldn’t afford anything.
This was the most amazing experience.
I suddenly discovered, for the first time really, who I would be without anything required to “find” peace.
I could sit still….very, very still.
I could allow my thoughts to be the way they were. All busy and freaked out and panicked, and do The Work.
I was breathing, I had a roof over my head, I even had a car, I had loads of books on a bookshelf.
I could begin to see what WAS available to me, where I could go, what I could do, who I could spend time with, that cost almost nothing.
I could invite people over. I could have them bring potluck if I couldn’t afford to buy stuff.
So I did.
There were so many beautiful, incredibly supportive people right in my city, and so much wisdom accessible at the library across the street. The examples just went on and on for what was freely open to me to join.
Who would you be without the belief you need to go somewhere or get something right now that isn’t already here?
“All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect.That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God.” ~ Richard Rohr
Rest quietly today knowing you are OK where you are. You are here, where you need to be. It can change in five minutes, but this is not actually required.
All is well.