The exact schedule of the weekend ahead alludes me, as the whole retreat was a moment by moment intuitive experience with little future planning. I was downloaded one session in advance at a time, and no more.
I was constantly reminded that to truly allow my sisters to “retreat” from their daily lives, and regular daily schedules, the weekend would remain structure-less.
Ego sais: “Everyone needs a schedule, people like to know what’s on for the whole day so they can plan their spare time. They will all think it's so strange to have no schedule! You should have planned it differently!”
Soul Sais: "Trust in your intuitive guidance and the way in which the weekend will unfold. It's all perfect and you are so supported"
With this soul guidance my body was flooded with a deep peace and a knowing that “we all need to disconnect from the external world of time and doing, and allow this divine space that I have created to nurture our intuitive eternal world to lead us through every moment”.
After excitedly welcoming everyone to the first Soul Sister Retreat, I handed around one of the divine purple carnations to each of my soul sisters who placed them in the center of the cozy space I’d set up for our circle work, creating our very own mandala.
It had been my plan to create the mandala as part of the set up earlier that afternoon, but as time disappeared it was yet to be created. I knew she would be as I’d been shown her in my visions. Then the following words dropped in, “hand the flowers around to each soul sister and her energy will be placed into the circle as she sets her intention for the weekend.” “I love this!” I replied in my mind to the universe, and thanked her for her beautiful guidance.
We gathered in a circle and meditated.
We asked every part of our humanness, soul energy and essence to be present as we set our intention for the weekend ahead.
And then we danced!
We joined hands in a circle as one sisterhood. And we closed our eyes and swayed to the beautiful words of “Home” by Phillip Phillips…
“Hold on to me as we go,
As we roll down this unfamiliar road,
And althought this wave is stringing us along,
Just know you’re not alone,
Cos I’m gonna make this place your home“
Then one by one we released our hands opened our eyes and danced as sistes of the soul have, in circle, for century’s.
We went on to enjoy dinner and the girls delved into their home retreat kits filled with beautiful goodies to support them on their journeys after the retreat.
In our session after dinner, I shared my intentions for my sisters to experience energy in a very palpable way. I called upon myself and my soul sisters to FEEL everything this weekend and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable…
Little did I know what would unfold over the next 10 hours….
As i settled into bed for the night my mind felt busy, and increasingly anxious, and my body tired, with an underlying unease that became more and more apparent the more I tried to sink into sleep.
I took deep breaths, I practiced mindfulness techniques, I tried to let it go any way I could, because the last thing I wanted to do, (which was the thing that helped me move through it) was FEEL it.
After hours of trying to shift it and let it go, and in the mean time really just resisting it, I finally sank into FEELING into my body.
As I lay there and turned my attention inward, I became aware of how much of my own emotional baggage I needed to release. And at the same time was acutely aware that as it was my retreat and I need to hold space all weekend (to me, holding space is all about keeping my channel clear to be present, and sitting in my heart and soul space, to allow everyone there the energetic space to simply be themselves and do what they need to in every moment, in a palpably supported way) I quickly realized that I needed to clear out everything that wanted to come through me.
And so it began…
First of all came the flashes of all of the instances over the past couple of weeks where I had experienced emotions and not let them go. (I hadn’t been taking time to do my usual regular emotional releases in the preceding weeks, instead spending that time ‘doing’ things for the retreat)
My whole life I’ve been a very visual person and I would describe this experience like one of the old school slide show masks you flick a leaver on the side of the mask to flick to a different slide. Only I had no control over the slides or the intense speed at which my mind was bringing up different scenarios.
And with each vision came the intense emotions.
And then followed the physical release of them all…
Each and every emotions was working its way through my body one after the other, no time to have a break, all needing to leave me and be felt once again in order to be fully released on their way out.
The physical feeling I can only liken to feeling like I was in the begining labor stages of give birth. I know that sounds extreme, but it's incredible the effects built up emotions can have on our physical bodies. Especially when they're all in a rush to leave.
I was energetically rebirthing myself.
I couldn’t move.
I could hardly breathe.
My mind was out of control.
Ego sais: “How will you get through the weekend and support all of the girls when you cant even support yourself? You need to be ‘on’ all weekend, you won’t have the energy to hold this space. You should be in hospital on a drip and pain killers to ease this pain!"
Soul sais: "For you to hold space for all these women this weekend you need to be a clear channel for the energy that needs to flow through you. You need to purge all of the blocks that are holding you back and stopping you from holding the space that is needed.”
I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide from the world.
I want to pretend this never happened and that I’m curled up at home with my hubby and sleep for a month.
And then I began feeling guilty for all of the guilt I was feeling!
It was layer upon layer and it was READY to go…
It was in those moments of such deep struggle that I called upon my dear friend and soul sister Rach for her to mother me, and look after me when I couldn’t do that for myself.
My intuition was telling me I was extremely dehydrated, I couldn’t even get up to get my water bottle. Rach held my water for me so I could sip at it slowly, and warmly reassured me it was all going to be ok. Those exact words you need to hear when you feel like you’re loosing control of it all.
After hours of allowing this energy to shift through me I finally got to sleep, it would have been around 5am.
My alarm woke me at 7:30am to get ready for our first session of the day.
I crawled out of bed and sat in the middle of our room reflecting with Rach on the night before.
As I re lived what I had experienced, I suddenly gained the most incredible clarity. Hidden under all of the layers of emotions that I’d purged the previous night was the truth.
“I AM NOT ENOUGH”.
And with that came the uncontrollable sobbing and tears as I lay there curled in a ball on the floor clinging to Rach’s leg. It all came out and there was no stopping it. It felt so damn good to have reached the core and let it go. To hold space for that which was ready to be released.
Feeling pretty exhausted after the events of the night before, with very little over 2 and a half hours sleep, I shuffled over to the showers and enjoyed one of my favorite showers on the planet. Fresh mountain rain water, and a large shower head, covering me in hot soothing water, the aches in my physical being began to melt away.
I often receive ‘guidance’ or downloads when im in or around water. And as the water cleansed away the stiffness in my body and any remaining stagnant energy, I sunk into a deep realization that all I needed to ‘DO’ this weekend was be me in every moment.
My mind had been telling me that I need to ‘Be on’ all weekend, it was some sort of belief i'd acquired that was telling me I had to be like x, y & z to lead a retreat. My truth is me being my honest and vulnerable self, so why would that be any different on retreat? I knew on a very palpable level that this retreat would come from the very place it was born and created from, my intuition, my truth, my vulnerability and my deep deep desire for a supportive space to be all of me, and for my soul sisters to feel the same.
I changed into my yoga gear and headed up the stairs to join everyone for yoga.
As I headed up the stairs I bumped into my gorgeous friend, soul sister and yoga teacher Sarah Elise who could see I wasn’t good, and reassured me that everyone has had a beautiful couple of hours sipping cups of tea and journaling in front of the crackling fire.
My mind eased as I walked into the room that was filled with a peaceful sleepy energy, and as we began to share our stories of our previous nights sleep, I realized that everyone had experienced a restless nights sleep, and strangely this bonded us all as we laughed it off knowing that we had plenty of time to nap and rest and take it slow throughout the day ahead.
As we met our mats a trusting silence filled the space and the soft and supportive voice of the divine Sarah Elise filled the air as we were asked to gently listen to our bodies and their desires through out the session.
After a few slow cycles of gentle flow, I heard my body asking me to stop, lye down, surrender and just breathe. My body no longer wanted to move, after last night I needed to simply BE. With the permission of simply being on my mat, I allowed myself to do something I’ve never done in yoga before. I lay down on my mat, rested my head to the side, closed my eyes and focused on only my breathing and the nurturing sound of Sarah’s voice for the rest of the session. When we reached savasanah, I rolled over and lay there in the silence of my mind, for she had finally released and let go.
I love that yoga, and the act of simply showing up to my mat holds within it the permission to simply be. To allow everything to be perfect as it is. To hold me when I need to be held, to support me while I let go and shift and change. It’s my sacred space to move and breathe through the discomforts that arise in any of my 4 arenas (mental, emotional, physical and energetic).
My yoga mat invites me to simplify, surrender and shine my light...
“She holds space for me to journey inward and understand myself a little more.
She holds space for me to shed another layer that no longer serves me and supports me when I feel raw and vulnerable.
She reminds me how strong and soft I can be together.
She gives me permission to simply be me.”
After a deliciously out of this world breakfast we gathered in circle once again.
We bonded over the lack of sleep we all experienced while I shared my energetic and physical experience from the previous night.
We then sunk into a blissful intuitive meditation where we were reminded to bring all of or selves in and allow ourselves to be mothered by the divine feminine energy, by mother nature, by the nourishing food, by ourselves and by one another.
We were asked to allow the space to hold us and to allow ourselves to unravel in this sacred space while we slowed down and reconnected with our deepest truth.
I encouraged everyone to let their intuition be their guide throughout the weekend as they did what they felt they needed to do. Whether it be silent time in nature, sinking into a book and a cuppa on a cozy couch or having a nap or a chat with their fellow soul sisters.
Stay tuned for Soul Sister Retreat Musings Part 3...
To join me on my next retreat, click HERE for more info...